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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)


     
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    Did Neustar Try to Shaft Competing Roots? | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 20 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Did Neustar Try to Shaft Competing Roots?
    by dtobias (dan@tobias.name) on Thursday March 28 2002, @07:24AM (#5618)
    User #2967 Info | http://domains.dan.info/
    I was around at the time, reading various online forums about domain policy, and while there was a whole succession of proposals and trial balloons regarding how to add new TLDs, some of which may have received tentative approval of Mr. Postel, I don't think there was ever anything that could be said to be a general consensus in favor of going forward with any of them (including, of course, the ICANN system that eventually did come about). In the traditional Internet method of getting things done in the pre-big-money days, the emphasis was on "consensus and running code." The prospective .biz registry from that old scheme did have running code, but did they have consensus? The way I recall things, from about 1994 to the present it's been impossible for anybody to propose anything regarding domain policy without precipitating a firestorm of controversy, with heated flame wars developing and sometimes a few lawsuits too. There are too many people and companies with vested interests in different aspects of the system, some in favor of keeping out new TLDs and some in favor of adding them, for any possible system to satisfy them all, so the only way anything actually ends up getting done is basically by the fiat power of whoever is, de facto, in charge, which presently seems to be the U.S. Department of Commerce, which has in turn delegated much of the power to ICANN (though they could pull this back given what's happening these days). The "alternative" .biz registry, even if they at one point had the ear of people in charge, never actually got final binding approval to be added to the root, and hence they have no standing in the system.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Did Neustar Try to Shaft Competing Roots? by dtobias
    Re: Did Neustar Try to Shaft Competing Roots?
    by Anonymous on Thursday March 28 2002, @07:58AM (#5622)
    You're right, and you're very wrong.

    During the original Postel plan, all proposed registries had consensus near the end. Even Mr. Denninger (.biz) capitulated. There was an unprecedented agreement among all players at the time. This was in the October, 1996 time frame.

    At that time, Jon Postel informed all involved that his RFC was on track, and he would be forming the ad-hoc committees that his RFC proposed, for the purpose of evaluating applications. Dr. Postel made it quite clear that the registries with running code were first in line to prove the concept.

    Unfortunately, the entire process was derailed when Don Heath injected ISOC into the picture, convincing Dr. Postel that he needed legal protection. Heath offered to convene the ad-hoc committees for evaluation, under the legal protection of ISOC.

    Postel agreed.

    Heath then formed a single ad-hoc committee, and declared that the entire process needed to begin anew. Postel had no choice at that point, as Heath convinced him that without the legal protection of ISOC, Postel would be sued. Image Online Design didn't help matters when, a few months later, it sued, making Heath's FUD a reality.

    From this process we got the IAHC and CORE, which begat the U.S. Government clampdown on the process, which begat the green paper, which begat the white paper, which begat the IFWP, which begat ICANN... and now here we are.

    Which, as I stated, leaves us in a position where we've had a number of spectacularly failed attempts to finish the process that Dr. Postel started in the first place.

    For the first time, however, the government seems to understand this. A loosely-regulated free market plan with open access to the root and a purely technical body doing purely technical coordination is exactly what the U.S. Government is looking to create this time around. And it's about time.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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