15 March, 2014

FOURTEEN DRUNK PEOPLE, AND ONE MASTER KEY: GLOBAL FINANCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY




The group conducts the ritual, then each person files out of the room one by one, and then they all head to a restaurant and party.

The above is the last line from a Business Insider article  titled: The internet is actually controlled by 14 people who hold 7 secret keys

The article describes the process by which Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) assigns a master password to the Net.

According to the article:
ICANN is responsible for assigning numerical internet addresses to websites and computers and translating them into the normal web addresses that people type into their browsers.

And:
If someone were to gain control of ICANN's database that person would control the internet. For instance, the person could send people to fake bank websites instead of real bank websites.

Now its pretty clear almost all financial transactions are now conducted via computers—banking, and ATMs, being the obvious examples.

And it’s also pretty clear that ICANN, an American entity, has been controlled by the US government. Which basically means all financial transactions at the present time is under the control of the US government—who has recently come under scrutiny for trying to hack into all existing networks of communications. The US government doesn’t respect privacy—but it is also controlling the master key to all financial transactions that ever occur on this planet, at this given time.

As anyone with even a glimmer of social responsibility can tell, this is worrying state of affairs. ICANN seems to have become aware of global concerns. In its website,  it states:

The transition of the US Government stewardship has been envisaged since the early days of IANA functions contract. This transition is now feasible due to the maturity of the Internet technical organizations involved in performing their respective roles related to the IANA functions, and ICANN will facilitate a global, multi-stakeholder process to plan for the transition.

The strength and stability of the IANA functions within the above organizations (which make up the Internet technical community) are critical to the operation of the Internet. The processes around the IANA functions have always been carefully specified in the communities that our organizations represent. The IANA functions are faithfully administered by ICANN. We are committed to continuing our proven, community-driven processes as we engage in this transition. Our communities are already considering proposals to progress the transition.

Our organizations are committed to open and transparent multi-stakeholder processes. We are also committed to further strengthening our processes and agreements related to the IANA functions, and to building on the existing organizations and their roles. The Internet technical community is strong enough to continue its role, while assuming the stewardship function as it transitions from the US Government.


So when is this transition going to happen? If its not going to happen soon enough, then the world community surely has to think of alternatives to banking, routing of ATM data, encryption, et cetera. With nations like China and Iran already worried about the future possibilities of one nation holding on to the master key to everyone’s bank accounts, it is clear we are going to see a lot more fracturing of the Net than we can imagine at present.

And perhaps that’s a good thing. Because it’s clear letting one entity hold on to everything, from the keys to global finance to the keys to global communications, has surely been humanity’s greatest mistake in the 21st century.

Like Vladimir Putin, who’s gone back to the typewriter, I envision that quite a few Swiss banks may have quietly transitioned out of the Net into something less digital and more secure. I imagine that the rest of the banking community, especially those who are aware of the potentials of cellular technologies and the ease with which they can be hacked, will follow suit.

Of course, there are actually no existing laws at the current moment which stop someone—say, Joe Shmoe, employee of the CIA—from setting up a cellphone tower which actually is not a cellphone tower, but which is a cleverly designed fake designed to steal all ATM passwords, and torture intellectuals and dissidents at night in the bargain. US culture has always been good at “multi-tasking.” And right now its out and about setting up these towers in countries worldwide. I have a feeling the bureaucrats at the UN are quite aware of what is happening but are too shit-scared to lose their pensions to do anything about it.

I personally always had a fondness for the analog world—and I have a feeling its going to make a comeback now that the digital has been exposed for the blinking illusion that it is.

Because you don’t want fourteen drunk people partying at a restaurant to be holding on to the master key to global finance. There has got to be a system better than this one.

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