Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace
Milton L. MuellerISBN: 0262134128; 9780262134125;
In Ruling the Root , Milton Mueller uses the theoretical framework of institutional economics to analyze the global policy and governance problems created by the assignment of Internet domain names and addresses. "The root" is the top of the domainname hierarchy and the Internet address space. It is the only point of centralized control in what is otherwise a distributed and voluntaristic network of networks. Both domain names and IP numbers are valuable resources, and their assignment on a coordinated basis is essential to the technical operation of the Internet. Mueller explains how control of the root is being leveraged to control the Internet itself in such key areas as trademark and copyright protection, surveillance of users, content regulation, and regulation of the domain name supply industry. Control of the root originally resided in an informally organized technical elite comprised mostly of American computer scientists. As the Internet became...