Re: DNS: DNS Governance

Re: DNS: DNS Governance

From: David Keegel <djk§>
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 19:48:27 +1000 (EST)
] Can anyone on this list give a reasonabley detailed summary
] of current DNS governance in the following areas?

Maybe I can give you something to keep you going in the mean-time.
] 1. the current so-called legacy ROOT

Is ``legacy'' is meant as a joke or is this just lifted from some
propaganda?  I'm not sure if I find it funny or derogatory (or both).

Presuming this means * (servers for the root domain
that I'm talking about here), I believe the situation is like this. is the `primary' NS for "." (or at least, the root
that most of us see).  In terms of day-to-day operations, this machine
is currently run by InterNIC (Network Solutions Inc,

It has ``a cooperative agreement from the National Science Foundation
to provide registration services for the Internet community''.  Its
funding now comes from charging registrants (applicants) for domain
names in the .com, .net and .org TLDs, and charging the NSF for domain
name in .edu (and in .gov until October 1997).

The charges initially started on September 14, 1995 at a level of US$50
per year, including 30% to be ``placed into an interest-bearing account
which will be used for the preservation and enhancement of the "Intellectual
Infrastructure" of the Internet''.  On April 1, 1998, this stopped and
fees reduced to US$35/year.

``This Agreement, effective January 1, 1993, shall include a
  three month phase-in period, a five (5) year period of
  operational support (commencing April 1, 1993), and a six month
  (no additional cost) flexibility period and shall continue
  through September 30, 1998.

There are a dozen other root name servers (named "b" up to "m" in the domain) run by various organisations around the world.
These are effectively secondaries of "." from

The root domain is managed by the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers

`` The IANA manages the root of the Domain Name System (DNS) to promote
   stability and robustness. This role is primarily one of making minor
   technical decisions about the location of root nameservers, the
   qualifications of applicants to manage country code top level domains,
   and evaluating any additions to the established generic top level
   domains which are proposed by the community.

So IANA chooses who runs the root nameservers, but does not run the
actual nameservers operationally.  The IANA authorises additions and
other changes to the root domain, which are then implemented by NSI.

] 2. .AU and its subdomains

The IANA has delegated responsibility for .AU to Robert Elz (kre).
Kre has in turn delegated and to Geoff Huston,
to himself, to himself (although * is delegated to upto
nine actual registries, which is where the work happens) is delegated to Hugh Irvine (who has an arrangement with to operate the domain, perhaps a little bit
like the IANA/NSI relationship above for the root servers), and is delegated to Michael Malone of iinet.

Melbourne IT run the operations for the registry (under a
non-exclusive license from kre).  It is not clear to me whether kre
or Melbourne IT is currently the delegated authority for
(in the sense that Hugh Irvine is the delegated authority for,
that is the person with ultimate authority to change policy, and the
right to choose who looks after operations).

There are a few other minor or special purpose domains in .AU which
aren't really important here.  See
for the full list.  AUNIC has good information about .AU dns in general.

ADNA (Australian Domain Name Administration,
is trying to set itself up in a role to take over some of these
responsibilities at a policy level in an orderly manner, or at least
to make recommendations for reform which are accepted by the relevant
existing delegated authorities.

At this stage, ADNA is not the delegated authority for anything.

] 3. the alternative domain spaces

I don't know a lot about this area, except that alternative domain spaces
are not recognised by the IANA, and therefore in my view are not official
domains for general public use on The Internet.

Of course anyone who wants to is free to set up their own domain, and
to agree with other people (generally on a case-by-case basis) to
use that domain name, at least presuming it is not in use for some
officially recognised domain name.  Like private IP address space
(eg: RFC 1918, 192.168.*.*).

As long as all ISPs recognise that domains granted through a hierarchy
leading back to the IANA at the top are valid, then DNS customers can
expect other people on the Internet to be able to resolve their domain
as long as it was approved through this chain of authority back to IANA.
Of course some ISPs may choose to recognise other hierarchies as well.

] The summary should mention:
] (a) authority for registration and administration
] (b) any hierarchy/chain of command involved
] (c) technical requirements for the domains
] (d) administration requirements for the domains

I don't think I've covered all those points, but hopefully enough 
to keep you interested until someone can cover the other points.
 David Keegel <djk&#167;>  URL:
Cybersource P/L: Unix Systems Administration and TCP/IP network management
Received on Sat May 23 1998 - 20:59:38 UTC

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