back to article French scream sacré bleu! as US govt gives up the internet to ICANN

The French government has slammed the agreement to move the domain name system out from under US control and hand it to Californian non-profit ICANN. The French believe the move hands too much control to internet giants like Google and Amazon. Speaking to leading French newspaper Le Monde, French government officials said …

  1. Magani

    Obvious, no?

    "The consensus requirement only produces warm water. "

    The aftermath of a conference where too much of the icon was imbibed?

  2. lnLog


    The word is obliged, there is no need for a made up one, you have an obligation to use the correct grammar...


    1. AceRimmer1980

      Re: Obliged


    2. Alister

      Re: Obliged

      obligated is a perfectly valid word (cromulent, even!), not made up as you claim.

      Its use in the sentence you fail to quote is correct.

      The board is also obligated to explain its reasoning if it does reject that advice

      Obligated and obliged both mean "to be morally required to do something", however in normal use obligated is used where the subject has no choice in the matter, whereas obliged is more like being indebted to someone.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Obliged

        obligated is a perfectly valid word (cromulent, even!), not made up as you claim.

        All words are "made up". They are all products of human artifice.

        More importantly, as the English language does not have any broadly-recognized governing authority, there are no grounds for declaring a particular word incorrect in itself. As parole, it may be an error (that is, the writer intended to use something else), a neologism, a rarity, a usage confined to a small group, not preferred by most of those careful in their diction, etc; but as langue all words are first class.

        As for this particular case: the Google nGram viewer shows "obliged" is by far the dominant of the pair. But use of "obliged" has fallen steadily, while that of "obligated" risen slowly over the past century or so, so they're on trend to achieve rough parity.

        The distinction in sense you describe may well be recognized by a significant audience, but I have to admit I haven't heard it before. I suspect it's largely idiosyncratic.

        Nonetheless, the descriptivists (always) have the right of it. Rail against shibboleths, like the OP, as much as you like; but if you think some external law supports you, you're fooling yourself.

    3. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Obliged

      This is my favorite ever commentard response.

      For one, you are wrong: "obligated" is in fact the right wrong, and "obliged" would be the wrong word. The Board is obligated under specific rules. If there weren't rules but merely agreed custom, it would be obliged.

      Second, while trying to be a pedant and failing, you misspelled "pedant".

      You are, sir, an ignoramus.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Obliged

        "The Board is obligated under specific rules. If there weren't rules but merely agreed custom, it would be obliged."

        Much obliged sir!

        (Yes, for those unaware of the usage, some people use that to mean thank you, but not I.)

  3. Herby

    What is needed...

    Is a benevolent dictator. Unfortunately these don't exist.

    If too many governments get their say, we end up with something like ISO, and their definition of networking. We all know how far THAT went.

    Governments really don't add anything to the inner workings of the internet as it exists now other than to restrict its use (e.g. great firewall of China). If they continue, we will get a tower of babel and every country will have its "own internet" that they devised. Much as we now have over 200 languages on planet earth.

    Hopefully ICANN can keep its head above water while everyone is out to drown them.

    1. ian 22

      Re: What is needed...

      Governments really don't add anything...

      And yet the Internet was a government program in the beginning. So many government programs have been coopted by private industry braying how government is wasteful. Well yes, it does things private industry fears to embark upon, not seeing beyond the end of the balance sheet.

      We are all so impoverished by government spending....

    2. Mike 16

      Re: What is needed... is a benevolent dictator.

      Like Jon Postel? I would agree, if the selection committee could contact him. Is there an RFC for spiritual mediums?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shouldn't be run by governments or Google/Facebook. Should be the technical/standards community.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "last-minute compromises reached at ICANN's meeting in Marrakesh "

    There's part of your problem there. Don't host these ICANN meetings at tourist destinations. Make people go to average cities like Kansas City or Manchester, and the result will be more work getting done, instead of a luxury junket.

    1. JohnMurray

      Re: "last-minute compromises reached at ICANN's meeting in Marrakesh "

      That assumes they want to do work.

      Maybe the work was an excuse for a luxury junket!

    2. Warm Braw

      Re: "last-minute compromises reached at ICANN's meeting in Marrakesh "

      >Don't host these ICANN meetings at tourist destinations

      Tourist destinations tend to have cheap flights and cheap hotels, unlike most "business" destinations. And they don't attract the same kind of riff-raff.

    3. Mike 16

      Re: "last-minute compromises reached at ICANN's meeting in Marrakesh "

      I was hoping someone would bring up one of the better known attractions of Marrakesh as a possible cause of some decisions.

      But I really came here in response to the "Kansas City" comment. Long ago, on a mailing list frequented by tech nerds (like myself), someone stated that there was very little computer tech in the middle of the U.S. Someone else countered by mentioning the "Kansas City Standard" (for recording data on audio cassettes. Ask your granddad). In reply, yet another poster said that he was there, at that meeting, and does not recall a single person from Kansas City attending. KC was chosen as roughly equidistant from MA and CA, and having a decent low-price airport hotel.

  6. MrT


    Soon to be announced - a French dictionary's worth of new TLD names for sale. And not just the ones that kids look up first when learning it as an additional language.

    Further news - ICANN offer executive board representation to La Francophonie - rioters in Quebec claim this doesn't go far enough, demanding HTML5 standards recognise le français international and display everything else 5 point sizes smaller...

  7. Vadar

    The internet has been phenomenally successful. Will those who seek more power over it have the intelligence and self restraint to not mess it up? Questionable. Apply the changes that are and will be needed from time-to-time outside the engine room.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look at it this way

    With any luck the French will cut themselves off from the internet and we will all be saved.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given the Internet is a US invention with military roots, it seems odd for foreign nations to think they get a vote on it.

  10. crayon

    "it seems odd for foreign nations to think they get a vote on it."

    If foreign nations don't get a say then those with sufficient motivation and means will just say fork it and set up alternative institutions and mechanisms.

  11. Tom -1

    If no-one but big American companies gets a say the thing will degenerate into uselessness in time. The big companies care only for themselves, not for others.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Balance and counterbalance, we strive not for perfection, but simply equilibrium.

    A body should generally be entitled to autonomy in its decision-making procedures (such as the process by which it forms advice.) However, if that advice is to be accorded special treatment, then it is reasonable for those according the special treatment to also establish conditions on the advice so entitled. If there is no special treatment (for example, the requirement for a specific Board vote to not follow it), then there is no need to establish any special pedigree for the advice. By insisting on special treatment for their advice, the GAC invites consideration of what type of advice shall be afforded the special treatment.

    Similarly, seeking GAC decisional precedence within ICANN would be quite reasonable if ICANN preempted each government's ability to engage in national rulemaking (which occurs in various degrees with multi-lateral treaty structures.) However, ICANN is a coordination body, not a treaty organization, and therefore its coordination activities do not preclude governments from exercising their authority with respect to entities in their jurisdiction. Unlike other ICANN participants, governments already possess unique rulemaking powers that ensure their ability to carry out their public policy obligations, and that provides a more than adequate counterbalance to all other participants in the ICANN ecosystem and the outcomes that are produced.

    A system with unequal forces quickly tears itself apart, and in the case of ICANN that would be a cost too great for the Internet to bear.

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