The Internet's Fatal Flaw

The Internet was created to allow the free flow of information, speech, knowledge, and ideas.  Unfortunately, our Internet is under attack by greedy corporation and repressive governments.  Not surprising, the major source of these attacks are coming from the United States.

Due to the way the Internet is currently designed, it has a fatal flaw that allows such governments and corporations to abuse and/or limit the intended freedoms of the Internet.  The core internet technologies such as DNS and Routing are designed in a centralized manner.  This means that there is always a single entity at a specific point that controls these two core fundamentals.  Giving a single entity complete control of anything means that it can be manipulated for bad things by bad people (corporations and governments). 

Given recent events in the last few years, it's no surprise that there has been talk about creating a decentralized DNS system.  More recently, there have been some ideas on how to make the actual "wiring" (or routing) of the Internet decentralized.  I absolutely believe that this is the future and the next logical evolutionary path for the Internet.

With decentralized DNS; I think the most fair way to deploy such a system (and avoid name conflicts) is to develop a protocol that allows anyone to "register" an  unused domain without having to go through a central authority.  In essence the protocol would work in such a way that you only need to maintain the infrastructure to keep the domain "live".  The protocol would be designed to ensure that no one could ever overlap or use a domain that already exist in the decentralized system.  So it's up to the individual or entity to ensure the infrastructure to keep that domain secure is in place.  Of course the protocol would have built in safety measures and time limits to prevent someone else from stealing the domain should the infrastructure temporarily fail.

The beauty of this decentralized DNS is that does not change anything for the small person that is perfectly satisfied with registering a domain through a central authority.  Registrars could still exist and people would pay the registrar a registration fee to secure the domain.  The registrar is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure that houses all the domains for their clients.  It's win-win!

While the decentralized DNS solves one issue, there still remains a more serious issue.  Since the Internet plumbing (wires and routing) are designed in a centralized manner, it means that your ISP can be forced to disconnect you.  The next solution involves developing a new protocol that works on the basis of peer-to-peer based routing instead of point-to-point routing. 

Anyone should be able to "connect" themselves to the Internet by linking with the nearest peer.  Just like DNS, they would be responsible for maintaining the necessary infrastructure.  Just like DNS, an individual can become an ISP for those who don't want to maintain infrastructure and are perfectly happy paying for access through a central authority.

The key to these two solutions is in the protocol.  A reliable and functional protocol needs to be developed for both systems.  As of now, the closest thing that exists is decentralized P2P and Bit-torrent.  However, those protocols operate on top of the centralized protocols.  These technologies need to take things to the next level, it is the natural evolution of the Internet.

By editor on 08 October 2011 |