Re: AU != was Re: DNS: DNS Governance

Re: AU != was Re: DNS: DNS Governance

From: Robert Shaw <§>
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 15:45:40 +0200
Adam Todd wrote:
> Robert, as much as all this is totally correct and spot on and really nice,
> the allocation of ccTLD's was created on a per country basis, especially
> regognising that the ccTLD must conform to the ISO country codes as defined
> by the ITU.
> The ITU derives these codes probably by tossing coins sometimes, but in
> basis, according to the countries name as identified by that countries
> Government.


I'd like to correct your misunderstanding how ISO 3166 codes are allocated and
their relationship to ccTLDs. The main basis are the names of countries as listed 
in the UN Terminology Bulletin which derives ultimately from the UN General 
Assembly. UN New York then informs the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (MA) in Berlin.

The 10 members of the MA consult with each other and then decide on codes which 
are then published as ISO 3166. The regular 5 members of the MA are UN Statistical
Division (New York), UNCTAD/UNECE (shared vote/Geneva), IEAE (Vienna), UPU (Bern), 
and ITU. In addition, there are representatives from the national standards bodies 
of the US (ANSI), UK (BSI), Germany (DIN), SIS (Sweden) and AFNOR (FRANCE). Note
that the ISO 3166 Standard is "Codes for the representation of names of countries
and their *subdivisions*". In the case of "subdivisons", these are allocated at the
request of the administration having sovereignty over the area.

ccTLDs are allocated by IANA on the basis of the ISO 3166 alpha-2 (2 letter)
code set - defined in RFC 920 (1984) and currently RFC 1591 (1994).

> Now the question arises.  If the majority of ccTLD's are now being
> administred at their top level by their governments, either directly or in
> participation with the public, does that not mean - or at least in TODAYS
> chain of events, not the historic - that AU should eventually be handled by
> a Trustee made up of AU Government - and at minimum AU citizens?

Governments have traditionally kept their hands off of ccTLD management in the
spirit of self-regulation unless there are over-riding public policy issues 
that must be addressed. That said, the related issues (e.g., competition policy, 
intellectual property issues) are obviously concerns of governments.

Now the especially relevant irony here is that nothing wakes up governments 
quicker than somebody claiming they are responsible for managing an ISO 3166 
alpha-3 (3 letter) code-based TLD.

Robert Shaw <;>
Advisor, Global Information Infrastructure
International Telecommunication Union <>
Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Received on Wed May 27 1998 - 01:43:35 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Sat Sep 09 2017 - 22:00:03 UTC