DNS: ADNA related meeting this Friday 4th - "is this haste unseemly"?

DNS: ADNA related meeting this Friday 4th - "is this haste unseemly"?

From: Simon Hackett <simon§internode.com.au>
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 1997 16:40:07 +0900
Dear DNS list members,

First, let me note that the following comments are made entirely as an
individual, not as a representative of anyone else. 

As I sit here, having paid for my airline tickets to Sydney to attend the
"DNS Forum" meeting, I find myself seriously wondering what the outcome of
the day can look like.

I find myself wondering this because the existence of a body such as is
intended in the draft proposals for the ADNA is, surely, critically
dependent on both perceived, and actual, support from the community of
interest related to it.

That community of interest has some crucial elements in it both in terms of
individuals and organizations of relevance. I will list a sample of some of
those here:

- AUNIC (implemented by Telstra Internet)
- Robert Elz (DN authority for .au and some important subdomains of same
including com.au)
- Geoff Huston wearing any of his multiple relevant hats (e.g. Telstra
Internet ; AUNIC; DN authority for edu.au and gov.au, etc)
- Michael Malone (asn.au DN)
- Peter Gerrand (ceo Melbourne IT, current com.au operator)

This is just a subset of the "important folks" I think need to be at the
meeting(s) and need to be able to speak freely in order to ensure that they
are able to both contribute to, and subsequently provide support for,
whatever ADNA turns into. 

But! All of the above people are effectively muzzled right now, due to the
existing federal court action related to the activities of Melbourne IT.
This court action is _expected_ to be settled soon. It HAS NOT been settled

Those who DO attend and DO say contentious things (a fairly reasonable
pre-requisite in order for us, as a group, to reach "rough concensus" IMHO)
may well be doing so at some considerable risk as a result, if they
represent parties named in that court action. Those who do not attend (and
I note that Geoff Huston, at least, has specifically said he cannot do so
for this very reason, and I don't believe Robert Elz currently is expected
to attend) will be very, very conspicuous by their absence from the
formation of that consensus.

I think in the end, what this means is simple: Whatever we do on Friday
can, and should, be work towards defining a structure which is a viable
proposal, but we should also be ready to accept that without a future
meeting where we really can get the currently muzzled parties into the
conversation, we cannot assert support from critical parts of the community
and we "just can't do this thing" until then.  Current discussions on
mailing lists about just where the ADNA slots into government and other
regulatory systems just muddy the waters further.

As a result, I ask people attending to think, before Friday, whether there
is any benefit to legally instantiating ADNA until those muzzled people can

I'm personally very interested in seeing the processes evolved to the point
where there can be competitors in the com.au domain space (both multiple
operators and multiple commercial name spaces), but there is a difference
between "reasonable haste" and "unseemly haste" here. 

To put this another way - I don't think ADNA can reasonably be brought into
existence without the support, or even any comments, from AUNIC and the
DNA's of at least 3 of the existing second level domains in .AU. We can and
should make plans - but we need to be really careful about when we turn
those plans into a real, live, legal company - or it stands a serious risk
of being a company with no purpose. If we can't get the DN's of all of the
existing 2ld's under .AU (and Robert Elz in dual roles) to agree that ADNA
is "a good thing" then we can't rationally claim it has community support.
We need to ask those people. We can't ask them all until the legal action
is over. 

Simon Hackett
a concerned individual.

Simon Hackett, Technical Director, Internode Systems Pty Ltd
31 York St [PO Box 284, Rundle Mall], Adelaide, SA 5000 Australia
Email: simon&#167;internode.com.au  Web: http://www.on.net
Phone: +61-8-8223-2999          Fax: +61-8-8223-1777
Received on Wed Apr 02 1997 - 17:34:30 UTC

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