Former ICANN CEO calls on hackers to keep the Internet free from regulation

The dust from SOPA and PIPA is settling, but the hacker community knows that it canbe kicked up again at any moment. In the run up to WCIT, the World Conference on Telecommunications, former ICANN chief executive Rod Beckstrom called for the hacker community to protect the Internet from regulation.

“It’s not merely that everybody should be able to communicate with everybody else at any time, it’s that people actually want to,” said Dan Kamisky at the Def Con conference in Las Vegas. “It’s not just a reconfiguration of government, it’s a reconfiguration of human social behavior.”

WCIT will be a seminal moment for the Internet. There, the International Telecommunications Regulations will be decided — a document that will touch all Internet users whether they know it or not. According to Beckstrom, the Internet needs to be an organized chaos. And to keep the Internet free and open for all, hackers across the world need to start talking to their lawmakers.

“We should not move our nation of the Internet from a multi-stakeholder model, which includes all voices, to a process that only includes one,” said Beckstrom at Def Con.

Beckstrom believes the Internet should remain open, global, neutral, governed by multi-stakeholders (which does include governments), with little regulation. The only way to make this happen is to communicate with legislators, and more importantly, learn how to explain technology in simple terms.

The panel used SOPA as an example of this. When the bill surfaced, many attacked supporters of SOPA and PIPA — both verbally and with a variety of DDOS and other offensive techniques. Acts such as these, and simply the anger with which SOPA was met may have intimidated policymakers into being mute, afraid to ask the right technical questions.

Akamai director of security intelligence Josh Corman fears lawmakers will be scared into making “stupid policy decisions” while reacting to malicious hacks and other public displays of infection. For him, tyranny breeds chaos, which breeds tyranny. Because of this, hackers don’t just have a responsibility to talk with lawmakers, but with those in the community who may be using malicious attacks.

“Don’t judge them,” said Corman, “Mentor them.”

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