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The DoC and XXX
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The Fine Print:
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"service from multiple locations using a method called "anycast""|
There really are no root server operators.
There are a dozen IP addresses which, via consensus,
have become hard-wired into software as good
addresses to use to find TLDs.
Some of those IP addresses were backed up
by the U.S. Government but they are now hosted
local by your ISP.
They are on sub-nets tagged as "public address
space" [similar to 10.X.X.X].
Anycast means that anyone can broadcast for
those 12 IP addresses. As the ISOC points out,
this creates diversity and a "distributed
Your software can send a query to any of the
12 IP addresses and look at the results. It
could also send queries to 6 or 8 or all and
compare the results. Since your ISP or your
country typically hosts all 12 IP addresses,
the results should be the same.
Because of the migration to high-speed,
always-on broad-band .NET, your software and
systems can become more intelligent and
consider the distance [number of hops] to
servers commonly used. Some software is able
to take the 12 addresses and locate 3 or 4
that are "closer" or more reliable or more
The 12 IP addresses are really just boot-strap
addresses. In the example of .XXX, they are
not the location of the .XXX servers. Instead,
you can send queries to those 12 addresses
[or your closest ones] and ask where .XXX is
located. Some may be able to give a hint. In
the boot-strap phase, hints are what the
software uses. One of the 12 IP addresses may
result in a reply (a suggestion) to try a
different set of addresses for .XXX. At some
point, the software will find the .XXX name
servers, remember their location and then lock
on to them for future hints. The original 12
addresses are no longer needed.
.XXX is out there. Modern software finds it.
Many parents do not want to encourage their
.KIDS to go looking for it. Many employers do
not want to encourage their employees to go
looking for it.
Some countries or States do not want their
citizens to go looking for it. In some cases,
we see groups from one country willing to move
equipment to another country in order to host
one or more of the 12 addresses.
One solution is to block or control the access
and hosting for all 12 of the public addresses
used to find hints. The low-cost WIFI Routers
take this approach. They give parents all sorts
of controls for their family access.
Ultimately, in the .USA, the telco controls the
routing and access to the 12 addresses. The
telcos are under the .FCC regulatory regime.
The .FCC determines what can and can not be
broadcast or anycast from those 12 addresses
at least in the .USA on telco and cable nets.
Wireless is also under the .FCC because of the
need to avoid collisions when using the radio
spectrum. The .FCC performs "the IANA Function"
for the .USA, they help Americans avoid
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