When I first got into this business I frequently wondered why the domain-policy mailing lists I was getting involved in attracted a lot of activist types.
Over the years it became apparent to me very quickly, that in an emerging era of global communications and transparency (what Anthony Wile calls "The Internet Reformation") - that "the name" (the domain name) along with the ability to "locate it" (DNS) was a central, all-important "secret sauce" to the entire internet.
But it was only gradually that I became aware that it would take centre stage politically and and become the battleground between forces for liberty, free speech and emerging civil & business models on one hand and entrenched reactionary, authoritarian, cronyist kleptocrats on the other.
Hence those passionate activist types (some of whom I used to tirelessly argue with) were getting so worked up over the high-intensity Orwellianism that they could sense coming somewhere over the event-horizon.
While the co-opting of this marvellous internet into an all pervasive surveillance apparatus is a paramount issue, it is outside the scope of this article. Consider it one side of a dual-pronged approach...