Nowadays the Internet community has a laundry list of things to be frightened about. In the Internet Governance Project’s new paper, we try to reduce that list by one. With the governments’ attempts to localize data, increase surveillance and curb freedom of expression, civil society especially is concerned with how the governance of IoT will play out. Since the ITU-T SG 20 meeting on IoT is forthcoming, we are receiving calls for civil society to fight against the adoption of the Digital Object Architecture as the IoT standard at ITU. But is this really an issue we should be worried about? Karim Farhat’s paper “Digital Object Architecture and the Internet of Things: Getting a ‘handle’ on techno-political competition“, provides a more realistic look at ITU standard setting for IoT devices.
The promise of vast new markets has created an array of alliances and consortia to develop competing standards and protocols for the Internet of Things (IoT). The ITU – DONA Foundation alliance is one such example. DONA’s Digital Object Architecture (DOA), a name-attribute binding service for managing distributed databases, presents itself as a potential solution for IoT challenges. But this proposed solution has been greeted with intense political opposition. Some have even called it an “Authoritarian Internet Power Grab.” This working paper aims to answer the question of why a 1990s-vintage technical proposal regarding naming and addressing has generated such polarization. Although part of a broader debate on critical IoT considerations, deconstructing the politics of the DOA debate will help uncover whether it is a viable competing technology for the IoT or, as its critics argue, a threat to multistakeholder Internet governance.
Citation: Karim Farhat (2017) ‘Digital Object Architecture and the Internet of Things: Getting a ‘Handle’ on Techno-Political Competition’; Internet Governance Project, Georgia Institute of Technology, Available at http://www.internetgovernance.org/wp-content/uploads/Karim_Farhat_IoT_IGP.pdf