Why Rush’s Internet email address now ends in .us

In the beginning was ARPA. Not looking forward to what the internet would become, several high level groups of internet names (generic Top Level Domains) were created – .com, .mil, .net, .org, .edu under the myopic perspective that the Internet was only a United States Network for Americans using English.

As the usefulness of the internet became apparent, other countries started to use the technology, the US-Only structure made no sense. If a car company in India wanted an Internet address, how would a US agency (Network Solutions) deal with customers that don’t understand English, can’t afford to call the United States, don’t have US style mailing addresses, have different trademark laws, etc

The rational solution was to allow each country to control its own portion of the Internet. Each Country was assigned a two character code, like .uk for the United Kingdom, .in for India, .fr for France, etc. This happened in 1985 – a decade before most people had ever heard of the Internet.

Each country could then decide how to hand out internet addresses to its own citizens, with ICANN setting only the general rules for internet names, but leaving the day to day operations to individual countries. The original ARPA names that were managed by Network Solutions (Verisign) were decentralized in 1998 to allow multiple domain registrars (like godaddy) to compete with each other within the top level names that are global (.com)

So what happened to .us? Why aren’t businesses that have no need for a global audience using .us? Why isn’t Zacks Hamburgers called zaksburgers.charlotte.nc.us ? Or Belks department stores at belks.com.us?

The answer is it was a major screwup. Because “the US ran the internet”, a .us address was confusing and redundant. About all that was registered were public high schools (.edu was only for colleges) and there was no agreement how the names should be arranged and who would manage them. Should there be a North Carolina subdomain? (.nc.us) and if there was, who would assign the names, handle payments, resolve trademark disputes, etc… so .us languished, essentially unused. The country ID applies to everything, not just the web. It can be used for email addresses – in theory Fred@gmail.us

So October 1st, when the “US gives up control of the internet to the UN!!!”, in theory if the ICANN board somehow capitulated to allow the .com rules to change so that China could revoke Drudge’s web site (OMG!!!), the .us domain will forever remain under the control of the United States domain registrar.

ICANN is a global agency, but not part of or accountable to the UN. Could that change in the future? Perhaps. Could China join the TPP after it is ratified? It might happen if they agree to follow the rules. Could North Korea explode an EMP device over New York City? Perhaps. Welcome to global reality. China owns 4 of the 5 largest banks in the world. There is no going back.

So is Rush now using .us to avoid being shut down by Russia or is he astute enough to realize that .us 🇺🇸 Is the new frontier and he is homesteading and staking out his territory? I suspect the latter.

Eibnet.us has a web server with nothing on it, running on OS X, the apple operating system. The domain is registered to neither Rush nor Premiere, but rather to a guy in New York with a PO Box. Is he a cyber squatter? An alias for Rush? A software guy who prescreems Rush’s unsolicited emails? No idea.

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