Interview with Nominet's Willie Black [updated]
Date: Monday March 10 2003, @08:52PM
Topic: The Big Picture
The Demys news service runs a short (two-page) interview with Nominet head Dr. Willie Black, in which he talks about the bid for .eu, the historical contrast between open and closed standards development for internetworking. [Demys has added a third installment in the interview.]
In light of his recent criticisms of ICANN's performance of, and even relation to, the IANA function (see our coverage here and here), his brief remarks on the ITU and ICANN are notable:
[Y]ou've got to think of the scale of the problem here. The governance of the domain name system is very hierarchical and at the root level there is basically only a few hundred entries. Whereas, the whole design of a protocol communications stack from the physical voltages on the wires up to the complex applications that you might run on top of it, was a lot more difficult to engineer!
But, one assumes, isn't.
So I agree with the commentators' view that the ITU didn't prove itself very well in the past, in that it wasn't doing something that was practical and lightweight and able to put us all forward but rather got stuck into the dinosaur. But, on the other hand, the problem that we're facing now is a governance issue it's not a technical issue. It's really a governance issue. And, I think that's where we shouldn't immediately condemn the ITU.
In fact, the problem is that the ITU is deemed by most people to be dominated by government and therefore, if for example, the industry through the form of Nominet wanted to go in and make a big submission into the ITU, it would have to do so behind the flag of the UK Government, maybe through the Department of Trade and Industry or something like that. Whereas, with ICANN it's basically industry-led and ought to be better! It ought to be!
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