[governance] Re: Burr & Cade: proposal for introducingmulti-lateral oversight of the root

Patrick Vande Walle patrick at isoc.lu
Wed Aug 2 02:08:53 EDT 2006

Peter Dambier wrote:
> Who needs a centralized root system?
> Telefone works without centralized root. Every country has its own.
True, but there still is a central authority, the ITU, which assigns
country code dial numbers.
Even in the telephone model, there is a coordination to make sure no two
countries get the same country code (+1 being the notable exception).
> Now every country can build their own independant root.
> Everybody can, if he is only willing.
The Internet model is very different from the centralized telephone
model inherited from the national telcos. Historically, there was one
telephone provider in each country.
>From the start of its privatization, the Internet evolved in a
competitive market, with numerous ISPs, each providing name to address
resolution to their customers.
I can imagine authoritarian governments forcing their ISPs to use a
common root. This is the open door to censorship, because from that
point on, one can also force the ISPs to not use the authoritative
servers for TLDs but expurgated ones.
> Build your own database manually. Update it only manually.
The average ISP installs the default Bind included in the operating
system on its public recursive DNS servers and runs a cron job once a
week to update the root hints file. This is basically free from any
maintenance cost. There should be a strong business or political
incentive to force them to invest into manually maintaining their own
root. Don't just discount the laziness factor and the fact that a
business needs to have a return on any investment in additional resources.
> you can include the daily changes decided by the TLD owners or
> countries. ICANN
> takes years to respect those changes. 
This is the whole idea behind the current e-IANA effort to automate the
RZF updates. It is true that TLD operators would like technical changes
reflected in the RZF in days rather than weeks.
That being said, in the current situation, it does not take years, as
you state.


Patrick Vande Walle
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