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 in it So the question is, when you are building a website of your own, Who is providing you the space to create the website on the internet? Is there a website that can tell you which website you can build and which website you cannot? In this educational video, 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 off completely from certain websites Some websites like Google, Youtube and Facebook 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 This is what I’d like to tell you in this video 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 own website, then you will have to buy your domain name There are some websites that sell domain names as their job. For example, GoDaddy.com You need to go on GoDaddy.com if you wish to buy a domain name for your website, For example, I had to buy Dhruvrathee.com, so I went to GoDaddy.com to buy it Now the question is, who gave GoDaddy the authority to sell domain names? Who is GoDaddy to sell domain names? 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 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 Internet Corporation For Assigned Names And Numbers- ICANN This is a non profit organization based in Los Angeles You could say that this is the top level authority regarding the internet It has the power to authorize websites like GoDaddy.com to sell domain names This is the authority that decides upon which websites can sell domain names This is the top level authority that decides upon which domain names can actually exist There could be .com, .in, .info or .gov 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 it Although it is a non profit organization, it sells top level domain names to the rest of the companies by bidding 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 For example, .aaa has been bought by American Automobile Association Below the registries are the registrars. Companies like GoDaddy.com that can sell both top-level domains as well as domain names to the people So, is ICANN the God of the internet? This cannot be said because the internet is a very decentralized network You could consider it to be akin to a net All the mobile phones and computers that are connected to the internet, make up the internet You could call it a “server” Your mobiles phones and computers are data centers and servers that are connected to each other through wires Huge underwater cables have been laid worldwide across the continents That connect the computers worldwide to one another which make up the internet Now, you could ask that my mobile phone isn’t connected with any cable, then how does the internet work on it? Mobile phones operate through mobile towers and (offer) 3g, 4g which do not have an extremely wide range Your mobile phones have the 3g/4g signal only when you are close to the mobile towers 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 actually connected to wires And they are eventually connected to those wires that are connected to the wires connected worldwide You can easily understand this in the map 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 internet reached different parts of the country So, in a way you could say that the company that has laid down these wires holds a huge amount of significant power because it is supplying internet to many different places Secondly, you could say that the companies that lay down cables on land to help internet reach every household by connecting these wires to the main cable and connect your computers to the internet worldwide They too hold a huge amount of significant power They are called internet service providers- ISPs These would be (companies like) Airtel, Jio, 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 you could use VPNs to overcome the blockages of the the ISPs Just like every mobile phone has a number from which you can call another mobile phone, Similarly, every device that is connected to the internet has an IP address Be it your computer, your smartphone or be it any other server like a data center if its 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, then the call goes on 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 it is 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, then the thing that converts the domain name into the IP address is called 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 188.8.131.52 You can go to your mobile settings and change your DNS You can go to your computer settings and change your DNS to begin using the Google DNS Then the blocked websites will get unblocked Obviously using the VPN is another way So let us revert to our original question Who controls the Internet? Whom does it belong to? 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 decentralized system And if you wish to buy a part of the internet if you wish to own it, You can only do it when you build a website of your own How can you build a website? Buy your own domain name Then you’d need to buy a server where your website can be stored Now you could point out that I had stated that your mobile phones and your computers could also be servers Yes, they could be But it does not have enough processing power and space to store an entire website Also, neither your computers nor your phones run 24/7 Only when it runs 24/7, will your website be available to the users 24/7 on the internet So what the people generally do is Large companies have set up their data centers 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. If you’re able to use this website like you use your harddisks or pen drives at home? Because the website is providing you a storage space, which is on the server Whenever you’re out somewhere (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 disk 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 own website which you can use like a harddisk Houm.me is a website/app through which you can create your own website and you can use your website like a storage space In the words of this app, you can create a “digital home” Now you could ask how is this different from a Dropbox? It is very similar to a Dropbox and Google drive The difference being, a company does not handle your work That is, the documents that you upload can also be accessed by Google The same thing applies to Dropbox The difference in Houm.me is that no one else would be able to access it because you get to create a new website