Fears of a Net of Control are well founded. I was truely aghast at the comments by Verisign CEO Stratton Sclavos at the Red Herring conference. Crystallized why ICANN matters -- this is a battle of control and profiteering. From an article (reg. req.):
“SiteFinder will come back,” vowed Stratton Sclavos, CEO of VeriSign in an interview at the Red Herring Fall conference in Monterey, California, although he did not give a specific relaunch date. “A group of 200 technical zealots were against it and they got all the headlines,” said Mr. Sclavos. “Did they misinterpret it? Of course. We're not going to let this go.”
...Mr. Sclavos took the opportunity to take a swipe at ICANN: “It is time for the industry to grow up. The Internet is the infrastructure running the economy for the next three to four decades. We should not have ICANN volunteers running the policy of the Internet naming scheme.” He noted that he may be the only CEO in history to ask the federal government to regulate his industry because federal regulation would trump ICANN’s powers.
See Mitch's notes for further transcription, but this was the line that cut my ear:
We have to move the complexity back into the center of the network and remove it from the edge.
This is a genuine threat to the very decentralized nature of the Internet. Its a stupid network, and those who try to make it smart do it for greed. Druming up fears may lead us to the scenario of the Imprimatur where freedom is curbed for sake of unjustified security. There is only one company positioned to serve certificates for every session, and I cannot help but assume that's the direction we are headed. And on that note, its the 35 Anniversary of the Tragedy of the Commons.