Who controls the Internet?

    Image Source: Farnell

    Have you ever thought about who runs the internet?

    Who controls the internet worldwide?

    Maybe you could think that the internet provider companies like Jio, Airtel, and BSNL control the internet, but this isn’t true because if one company stops providing it, there are other companies present. Then you’d think maybe our government controls it, but that isn’t true either. At most, the government can remove 2-3 Facebook posts or block websites, but they can be bypassed easily, and this does not amount to control over the internet worldwide. Then, maybe you could think that companies like Google, Facebook, and Youtube control it because they have the largest amount of data. But that isn’t true either because you can build a website of your own and these companies would not be able to interfere with it. So the question is, when you are building a website of your own, who is providing you with the space to create the website on the internet? Is there a website that can tell you which websites you can build and which you cannot? No worries I’d like to tell you about the internet. Because the internet is an important tool in maintaining freedom and democracy worldwide, Countries like China keep their citizens blocked completely from certain websites like Google, Youtube, and Facebook; these are permanently blocked there. Because the Chinese government wants to brainwash its citizens in a particular way, therefore, I think it’s essential to understand how the internet works and what it is.

    www.youtube.com This is a URL/link; “youtube” here is called a domain name, and the “.com” is called the top-level domain. If you want to build your website, then you will have to buy your domain name; some websites sell domain names as their job. For example, GoDaddy.com You need to go to GoDaddy.com if you wish to buy a domain name for your website. Now the question is, who gave GoDaddy the authority to sell domain names? Who does GoDaddy sell domain names to?There must be someone who gives assent to GoDaddy to sell domain names. And if there’s no one, then GoDaddy has become the boss of the internet in a way. That is, it would be the one to sell domain names as well as decide who can own which website. But this isn’t so. There is another authority above it. The name of this authority is ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This is a non-profit organisation based in Los Angeles. You could say that this is the top-level authority regarding the internet. It has the power to authorise websites like GoDaddy.com to sell domain names. This is the authority that decides which websites can sell domain names. This is the highest level of authority that determines which domain names can exist.There could be.com,.in,.info, or.gov extensions.All of this is decided by ICANN. For example, we may make a website with.gov in its name. We may build domain names with.com in them. Although it is a non-profit organization, it sells top-level domain names to the rest of the companies by bidding on The companies that it sells to are called “registries.” You can go on the website of ICANN and see which companies have bought the different top-level domains. The American Automobile Association, for example, has purchased AAAA.Below the registries are the registrars. Companies like GoDaddy.com can sell both top-level domains and domain names to people. So, is ICANN the God of the Internet? This cannot be said because the internet is a very decentralised network. You could consider it to be akin to a neutral system; the mobile phones and computers that are connected to the internet make up the internet. You could call it a “server.” Your mobile phones and computers are data centres and servers that are connected through wires. Huge underwater cables have been laid worldwide across the continents that connect the computers that make up the internet. Now, you could ask, if my mobile phone isn’t connected to any cable, then how does the internet work on it? Mobile phones operate through mobile towers and (offer) 3g, and 4g which do not have an extremely wide range Only when you are close to mobile towers do your phones receive 3G/4G signals.But if you move a little further away, then the signals (on your phone) won’t show up. So the towers of the mobile phones are connected to wires, and they are eventually connected to those wires that are connected worldwide. A big wire came to India via Mumbai. From the point of Mumbai, wires spread out in different directions and reached different areas in India, due to which the internet reached different parts of the country. So, in a way, you could say that the company that laid down these wires wields enormous power because it provides internet to numerous locations.Secondly, you could say that the companies that lay down cables on land help the internet reach every household by connecting these wires to the main cable and connecting your computers to the internet worldwide. They, too, wield considerable power.They are called Internet service providers (ISPs). These would be companies like Airtel, Jio, and BSNL that supply internet to your homes, and yes, they do hold significant power. Because these ISPs can block certain websites upon the direction of the government if the government says so, but they do not hold sufficient powers to control a lot of things. Because VPNs can be used to circumvent ISP blockages.Just like every mobile phone has a number from which you can call another mobile phone, likewise, every device that is connected to the internet has an IP address. Be it your computer, your smartphone, or any other server like a data center, if it’s connected to the internet, it will have an IP address. Each website, too, has an IP address. For example, if you make a phone call on a number, the call goes to another phone, which you can talk on. Similarly, when you type an IP address in your browser, it goes to another server, and you are able to view the website of that server on your own computer. Now you could say that you type the domain name, not the IP address. The domain names are connected to the IP addresses. Actually, humans cannot read the IP addresses because they are written in digits and numbers. So the domain name is a human-readable form of an IP address. When you type the domain name of a website in your browser, the thing that converts the domain name into the IP address is called the Domain Name Server (DNS). Sometimes the Internet Service Providers block certain websites from the DNS, so that when you type the domain name, it is not able to link it to the particular IP address. So the DNS of the Internet Service Providers blocks you from reaching certain websites. For this, you can simply use a public DNS. For example, the DNS of Google is You can go to your mobile settings and change your DNS. You can go to your computer’s settings and change your DNS to begin using the Google DNS. Then the blocked websites will get unblocked using the VPN. So let us revert to our original question. Who controls the Internet? To whom does it belong? The correct answer to this would be that it belongs to nobody and belongs to everybody because the internet runs only when it is a decentralised system, and if you wish to own a part of the internet, you can only do it when you build a website of your own. How can you build a website? Buy your domain name. Then you’d need to purchase a server to host your website.Now you could point out that I stated that your mobile phones and your computers could also be servers. Yes, they could be, but it does not have enough processing power or space to store an entire website. Also, neither your computers nor your phones run 24/7. Only when they run 24/7 will your website be available to users 24/7 on the internet. So what people generally do is that large companies set up their data centres and huge servers, which are very secure. You could go buy a server there to store your website. Then you will have to link your domain name to your server and publish your DNS. Now, think about it. You own a website. What if you’re able to use this website like you use your hard drives or pen drives at home? Because the website provides you with server storage space, whenever you’re somewhere else (you could)merely open up your website on the internet, and you’re able to view the documents on the website just like you view the documents stored on a hard disc. The difference being, the world would not be able to access this website. Only you would be able to access it because it would have a username and password. So you get your website, which you can use like a hard disc.




    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here