As part of Google's previously announced plan to make the Web faster, Google announced yesterday a Google engineering alternative system to the Internet's current core, the Domain Name System or DNS.
- Google believes that Google's new addressing system is faster and more secure than the current Internet addressing system, which is run by the independent Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) and which is essentially the Internet's de facto "phone book."
This is a big deal. Google is essentially saying it can do a better faster job for the Internet than the current ICANN can. Listen to ICANN's self description:
- "To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet.
- ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers.
- ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet."
In stark contrast, Google's entire business is controlling how most content is discovered on the Internet -- so Google's lone wolf re-engineering project to "make the web faster" would represent a massive change in how the neutral Internet works -- tantamount to a type of non-neutral engineering takeover of the neutral Internet.
This is not an isolated Google Internet re-engineering event. It is part of Google's grander vision/ambition to single-handedly re-make the global Internet allegedly faster and more secure, for everyone.
- Readers of this blog appreciate that Google's Chrome browser also essentially replaces the DNS system by creating only one "Omnibox" search bar, by completely replacing the DNS Internet address bar at the top of the page.
- I explained in this previous PrecursorBlog post that Google's Chrome browser completely replaces the neutral DNS address bar with Google's non-neutral search rankings, which forces everyone that types in a URL in Chrome, like www.brand.com, to not go to the DNS address that they requested first, but to get routed by the Google Chrome gatekeeper function to Google's search results page -- where Google can be first to monetize that page/traffic and the requested brand website may or may not get monetization seconds.
Many may not know that how Google makes the search experience so fast is that Google literally makes a digital copy of all the literally trillion web pages in the world so that when you search for something you are searching Google's database copy of the Internet in Google's massive data centers, and not the Internet itself.
Many also may not know that in just the last few years Google surprised most everyone in the world with how much new Internet infrastructure they have built and assembled for Google's use. As the recent Arbor Networks study showed, Google now carries more Internet traffic than any entity in the world.
In sum, Google "making the web faster" is GoogleSpeak "code" for transferring Internet traffic off of the Internet and onto "GooglesNet" where Google can run it faster because it is all happening in their data centers and not on the global Internet itself.
What relevance does all this have to an Open Internet, net neutrality, and the FCC's proposed Open internet regulations, which by the way effectively exempt Google from any openness, neutrality, or transparancy obligations?
- In Google's announcement of its better DNS mousetrap Google makes the very bold claim that Google can make the Internet better and more neutral through Google's superior engineering:
- "Validity: Google Public DNS complies with the DNS standards and gives the user the exact response his or her computer expects without performing any blocking, filtering, or redirection that may hamper a user's browsing experience."
My question is the broader Internet community awake out there?
- Does ICANN understand that Google is effectively aiming to replace ICANN without asking anyone for permission?
- Does the FCC or any other open Internet regulation proponents understand that a very non-neutral Google is essentially implementing an incremental engineering takeover of the Internet -- all in the supposed name of making it more "neutral?"