Another threat to the Net…

…is creeping re-centralization and control of bottlenecks by a few
gatekeepers.  We’re seeing this in broadband, where the phone and
cable companies that own the physical infrastructure of the last mile
want regulatory dispensation to dominate broadband and voice over
IP.  And we’re seeing it from Verisign, which wants to leverage
its control of the .com registry and other key leverage points to
dominate the “logical layer” of the Internet.  Ross Mayfield reports on Versign CEO Stratton Sclavos’ comments to this effect at the Red Herring conference this week.

Stratton is a smart guy and a good businessperson.  I don’t think
Verisign is evil, and they make a reasonable argument that no part of
the Internet should be immune from innovation. However, they still
don’t seem to understand that the way they went about implementing
SiteFinder was an affront to the basic tenets of Internet
architecture.  And if Stratton thinks Verisign’s best strategy is
centralization of the Net with itself at the middle, he’s going to put
his company on a collision course with most of the Internet industry
and community.