(c/o Scott B) Snipped from: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113763907007950547.html?mod=todays_us_page_o ne
In Threat to Internet's Clout Some Are Starting Alternatives By CHRISTOPHER RHOADS Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL January 19, 2006; Page A1 More than a decade after the Internet became available for commercial use, other countries and organizations are erecting rivals to it -- raising fears that global interconnectivity will be diminished. German computer engineers are building an alternative to the Internet to make a political statement. A Dutch company has built one to make money. China has created three suffixes in Chinese characters substituting for .com and the like, resulting in Web sites and email addresses inaccessible to users outside of China. The 22-nation Arab League has begun a similar system using Arabic suffixes. "The Internet is no longer the kind of thing where only six guys in the world can build it," says Paul Vixie, 42 years old, a key architect of the U.S.-supported Internet. "Now, you can write a couple of checks and get one of your own." To bring attention to the deepening fault lines, Mr. Vixie recently joined the German group's effort. Alternatives to the Internet have been around since its beginning but none gained much traction. Developing nations such as China didn't have the infrastructure or know-how to build their own networks and users generally didn't see any benefit from leaving the network that everyone else was on. Now that is changing. As people come online in developing nations that don't use Roman letters -- especially China with its 1.3 billion people -- alternatives can build critical mass. Unease with the U.S. government's influence over a global resource, and in some cases antipathy toward the Bush administration, also lie behind the trend. "You've had some breakaway factions over the years, but they've had no relevance," says Rodney Joffe, the chairman of UltraDNS, a Brisbane, Calif., company that provides Internet equipment and services for companies. "But what's happened over the past year or so is the beginning of the balkanization of the Internet." You are a subscribed member of the infowarrior list. Visit www.infowarrior.org for list information or to unsubscribe. This message may be redistributed freely in its entirety. Any and all copyrights appearing in list messages are maintained by their respective owners.