DNS: Re: Stability of the Internet & IANA

DNS: Re: Stability of the Internet & IANA

From: Jeff Williams <jwkckid1§ix.netcom.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1998 05:15:25 +0100
Dave and all,

Dave Crocker wrote:

> At 12:14 AM 6/25/98 -0700, Kent Crispin wrote:
> >There will be no selection process.  Instead, there will be what is
> >called a consensus.  (If there isn't a defendable consensus the WP
> >punts to plan "B".  Plan "B" is the "null plan".) That is, the WP does
> >not contemplate or address any alternative to consensus, and
> This point is fundamental and, as such, makes clear that the White Paper is
> not a "plan" but, rather, a community "directive".  It says to the
> community "go forth and do good deeds... but do them TOGETHER".  In other
> words, it is a plea, not a plan.

  This is total mischaracterization of what the White Paper says and is not even
roughly related to the subject of this thread, that being, "Stability of the

From the White Paper, to Wit;

"The U.S. Government is committed to a transition that will allow the private
sector to
take leadership for DNS management. Most commenters shared this goal. While
organizations may provide specific expertise or act as advisors to the new
corporation, the U.S.
continues to believe, as do most commenters, that neither national governments
acting as sovereigns nor intergovernmental organizations acting as
representatives of governments should participate in management of Internet names
and addresses. Of course, national governments now have, and will continue to
have, authority to manage or establish policy for their own ccTLDs.

The U.S. Government would prefer that this transition be complete before the year
2000. To the extent that the new corporation is established and operationally
stable, September 30, 2000 is intended to be, and remains, an "outside" date.

IANA has functioned as a government contractor, albeit with considerable
latitude, for some time now. Moreover, IANA is not formally organized or
constituted. It describes a function more than an entity, and as such does not
currently provide a legal foundation for the new corporation. This is not to say,
however, that IANA could not be reconstituted by a broad-based, representative
group of Internet stakeholders or that individuals associated with IANA should
not themselves play important foundation roles in the formation of the new
corporation. We believe, and many commenters also suggested, that the private
sector organizers will want Dr. Postel and other IANA staff to be involved in the
creation of the new corporation.

Because of the significant U.S.-based DNS expertise and in order to preserve
stability, it makes sense to headquarter the new corporation in the United
States. Further, the mere fact that the new corporation would be incorporated in
the United States would not remove it from the jurisdiction of other nations.
Finally, we note that the new corporation must be headquartered somewhere, and
similar objections would inevitably arise if it were incorporated in another

  So as anyone can clearly see that Dave Crocker is yet again up to his usual
"Doctor Spin" Spin doctoring or the actual INTENT of what the White Paper is
really all about as it relates to the IANA and the "Stability of the Internet"
  Mr Crocker is still attempting to see the MoU/IAHC idea and mix it into the
specifics of the White Paper in that direction.  It was that effort (IAHC/MoU)
that prompted the GP and now the White Paper to begin with.

> The only thing about it more than a plea is a statement of intent to
> approve the result of the cooperative work.  There is plenty of basis for
> challenging the US government's formal authority for such approval, as
> there is for its entire effort to control this evolutionary activity.
> Still, there's benefit in having a somewhat detached review of a process,
> looking for its legitimacy.

  And as we can yet again see here that more "Spin Doctoring" is attempted to
characterize where and what direction Internet Governance, Dave would have you
it should go rather than what has been mandated by the USG and the Majority of
commentaries to the GP.  This in deed a sad thing to see in that it shows Dave's
lack of actual grasp and scope of that evolution.

> In this case, we see that the US government actually CREATED the current
> problem, through inappropriate actions with NSI, and then exacerbated
> things with the Green Paper.  In effect, they managed to take an extremely
> well-oiled operation, namely IANA, and cut its authority off at the knees.
> Not for the folks running the net, of course, but for everyone else.

  As the White Paper points out quite clearly, that IANA was allowed to run
unchecked and without proper oversight in some of its activities.  This is
in that we would not be in these discussions if the majority of the Stakeholders
the Internet community did not have some serious questions as to the IANA's
activities in the past and it's apparent lack of competency and understanding
of the influx of commercial interest in the DNS and the Internet in general.

> For all that, the philosophy behind the tone and style of the current White
> Paper -- as long as one entirely ignores history and likely underlying
> motives -- is to encourage a community process, and THAT is very much in
> line with Internet style.
> An essential question is what constitutes consensus?  The attitude in the
> IETF is that it is the predominant view.  It's just fine to have a vocal
> and unhappy minority, as long as the vast majority want the winning choice.
>  The current process looks like it will mimic the IAHC process, though of
> course many will disagree with my assessment.  The question, however, is
> how we will be able to distinguish the basis for approving the current
> process and justify rejecting the previous one.  And be careful with a
> facile response:  The IAHC process has more than 200 organizations that
> formally signed approval.  By that measure, the current IFWP coalition is a
> pittance.

  Well it is made fairly clear in what the parameters are that will be the
as to what constitutes a "Consensus" in the White Paper.  And this is vastly
different than what the IAHC/MoU process did.

From the White Paper, To Wit;

"The new corporation's processes should be fair, open and pro-competitive,
against capture by a narrow group of stakeholders. Typically this means that
processes should be sound and transparent; the basis for corporate decisions
should be recorded and made publicly available. Super-majority or even consensus
requirements may be useful to protect against capture by a self-interested
faction. The new corporation does not need any special grant of immunity from the
antitrust laws so long as its policies and practices are reasonably based on, and
no broader than necessary to promote the legitimate coordinating objectives of
the new corporation.  Finally, the commercial importance of the Internet
necessitates that the operation of the DNS system, and the operation of the
authoritative root server system should be secure, stable, and robust.

The new corporation's charter should provide a mechanism whereby its governing
body will evolve to reflect changes in the constituency of Internet stakeholders.
The new corporation could, for example, establish an open process for the
presentation of petitions to expand board representation."

> >It isn't a decision at all.  It is the clear implication of the number
> >one priority of the WP -- the continued stability of the internet.  I
> One of the most discomfiting aspects of the debate over the DNS and, more
> recently, IANA, is the many claims of concern for stability of the net.  In
> most cases, there was no substance forthcoming when the speaker was asked
> to detail the concern.  Early speakers tried the technical tact, but that
> didn't stay afloat.  After that there were only hand-waives.
> And now we see a process which is being put together by people who largely
> have no experience with IANA or the DNS and especially have no experience
> with the work over the last few years.

  Well it is really not necessary to have any experience with the IANA per se,
as they have really not done the job that should and could have been done.  This
has been made evident with the RSC's already up and running for over two years
now.  There is indeed no substitute for experience in the operation side but
there has been plenty of that experience developed over the past several years
to go around and many have been commenting and debating on these issues
on the various forums for most of that time.

> This is not a criticism of anyone's intent, only their background for the
> task.  Relatively few people on the IFWP steering committee have actually
> been involved in the workings of IANA, the DNS, the gTLD MoU, or the IETF.

  This is simply not a factual statement.  Can you document this Dave?

> Yes, a few also have highly questionable intent and styles, but that
> wouldn't be an issue if there were a stronger component of expertise in the
> steering group.
> and not as an exercise in design by a politicized or inexperienced committee.

  And that is we are sure what will transpire.

> >In any case, as far as I personally am concerned, any effort that
> >does not have the current IANA directly involved is a non-starter.
> >I suspect there are many who feel as I do.
> Of course there are.  The question is whether those claiming power, such as
> the US government, are aware of or care about such feelings.  To date the
> answer has been no.  Instead they have tended to dismiss the opinions of
> those actually running the net, listening instead to Beltway consultants
> and lobbyists for multinationals.  (No folks, this isn't sour grapes, this
> is a concern for ensuring that "stability" is a meaningful term.)

  There will be no doubt that if stability is not maintained that a new crop
of "Tech Heads" such as myself  and many others like me will step to the
forefront and arrest the situation should that occur.  The talent to do this is
readily known and available.

> d/
> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
> Dave Crocker                        US:                   +1 408 246 8253
> Brandenburg Consulting                                   675 Spruce Drive
>                                                   Sunnyvale, CA 94086 USA
> dcrocker&#167;brandenburg.com            MY:                   +60 19 329 9445
> www.brandenburg.com                                  P.O. Box 296, U.P.M.
> fax: +1 408 273 6464                Serdang, Selangor D.E. 43400 MALAYSIA

Jeffrey A. Williams
DIR. Internet Network Eng/SR. Java/CORBA Development Eng.
Information Network Eng. Group. INEG. INC.
E-Mail jwkckid1&#167;ix.netcom.com
Received on Thu Jun 25 1998 - 21:51:35 UTC

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