[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

FW: Esther Dyson Report (1of3)

  From: 	Ken Freed[SMTP:kenfreed@media-visions.com]
  Sent: 	Tuesday, November 18, 1997 11:05 AM
  To: 	Ken Freed
  Cc: 	karl@cavebear.com; cook@cookreport.com; dcrocker@imc.or; 
  Jay@Iperdome.com; JimFleming@unety.net; ken@media-visions.com; 
  pres@domains.org; perry@piermont.com; carl@oppedahl.com; usdh@ccnet.com; 
  pvm@software.com; pvm@software.com; erony@marin.k12.ca.us; amr@ngi.org; 
  andy@interactivehq.org; rsexton@vrx.net; shaw@itu.int; rshu@inetnow.net; 
  bobr@dprc.net; dstein@travel-net.com; dont@netsol.com; susanc@netsol.com; 
  at@ah.net; avc@netnamesusa.com; wnoxon@nsf.gov
  Subject: 	Esther Dyson Report (1of3)
  Dear Dyson Report Participants:
  Thanks for participating in this report to Esther Dyson.
  You may agree or disagree with what the others have said,
  but I believe you that will find this report worthwhile,
  if only to see the divergence and convergence of views
  from a representative sampling of DNS debate players.
  This report is too long to post to the lists, I've realized,
  so I plan to post it on my website within a day or two, and
  invite list subscribers to read the report there. Please let
  me know ASAP if you have any objection to being included in
  that web posting, which the public will be able to read.
  Thank you again for your fine spirit of cooperation.
  If only we could resolve DNS conflicts so easily...
  Ken Freed
  Media Visions
  18 November 1997
  Esther Dyson
  Release 1.0
  EDventure Holdings
  New York, New York
  Dear Esther,
  Hope you are well where ever in the world this finds you.
  Enclosed is the promised bundle of material on DNS
  and Internet management, compiled from more than 100
  pieces of email generated by requests for information
  on your behalf (emailed directly to 18 known leaders
  of various factions and posted on three key listservs).
  Think of this report as a sampler from the "Committees
  of Correspondence" before the American Revolution,
  a snapshot of the daily evolving DNS conversation.
  In this total bundle can be heard 21 diverse voices
  representing the main factions and independent views.
  In consideration of your time, I tried to cut each to
  three or four paragraphs, but I've occasionally broken
  that policy where deletions were not obvious or would
  dearly cost meaning. I've aimed to stay impartial, and
  so the folks below are presented in alphabetical order.
  The reading time is 35 minutes at 250 words a minute,
  yet I hear you read faster, which makes me feel a little
  better about the length. So, enough preamble. Please let
  me know if this report is useful and informative.
  Thank you again for inviting me to help.
  P.S. All words below in [brackets] are from me.
  Ken Freed
  Media Visions
          > > >  REPORT CONTENTS  < < <
  (Part I of 2)
  Karl Auerbach - CaveBear
  Gordon Cook - The Cook Report
  Dave Crocker - Internet Mail Consortium (IAHC)
  Jay Fenello - Iperdome
  Jim Fleming - Unir Corporation
  Ken Freed - Media Visions Webzine
  Duane Little - American Assn of Domain Names
  Perry Metzger - Piermont Information Systems (IAHC)
  Carl Oppendahl - Oppedahl & Larson
  Steven Page - Internet.A-Z.Name Registry
  (Part 2 of 3)
  Ellen Rony - Alexander Works
  Tony Rutkowski - Next Generation Internet
  Andrew Sernovitz - Assn for Interactive Media/OIC
  Richard Sexton - VRX Network Services
  Robert Shaw - Int'l Telecommunications Union
  Richard Shu - Universal DNS Confederation (uDNS)
  Dan Steinberg - Attorney
  Donald Telege - Network Solutions Inc. (InterNIC)
  Adam Todd - AURSC/Ah.Net (AuNIC)
  Antony Van Covering -- NetNames USA (IAHC)
  Richard Zare - National Science Board/NSF (InterNic)
  (Part 2 of 2)
  Newdom (archive)
  News Articles
  Original Essays
  Law Reviews
  InterNic Agreements
            > > >  THE VOICES  < < <
  [Karl Auerbach works at Precept Software developing
  Internet audio/video products, and he runs CaveBear,
  consulting and product development. Since the 70's,
  he's worked on network protocol interoperability.
  He produces "Dr. Watson, the Network Detective's
  Assistant" for TCP/IP networks.]
  Short summary [outline] of what is happening with
  the  NSF, NSI, and the domain name system. A crisis
  in the domain name system *is* at hand....
  1. The domain name system may start to float without
      clear control as of April 1, 1998.
     a) April 1 may be the Internet's Black Wednesday.
     b) The DNS system may not fall apart on that exact
        date, but it will start to deteriorate, balkanize,
        and then become inconsistent.
  2. NSF is abandoning all effective oversight of the
      domain name database.
     a) NSF has failed to comply with 5 USC 552a (The
        Privacy Act of 1974) with regard to [selling]
        the domain name database (including the "WhoIs"
        database and contact records.) This can cause
        major litigation (billions of dollars in
        statutory penalties) against NSF.
     b) NSF has not given NSI clear directions whether
        and how NSI should return the domain name
        database to NSF at the end of the cooperative
        agreement. (What happens to registrations
        received by NSI after March 31, 1998?)
     c) NSF has not indicated whether, or how, it will
        distribute copies of the database once it is
        returned from NSI.
     d) NSF has not indicated how registration fees
        covering periods which extend beyond
        March 31, 1998 are to be apportioned.
        (Issue of tens of millions of dollars.)
  3. Current policies of NSI give trademark holders
     extraordinary power over non-trademark holders.
     These powers are at odds with any traditional
     powers of trademark holders.
  4. NSI is an unregulated, worldwide monopoly.
     a) It has created this monopoly, a large revenue and
        profit stream, and a strong brand name using
        NSF's lack of oversight.
     b) When NSF allowed fees to be charged, it was
        only to recover costs NSI incurred due to the
        unexpected expansion of .com, .edu, and
        .org.  It is patently clear that the fees being
        charged go far beyond cost recovery, yet NSF
        has never revived their fee schedule.
  5. NSI benefits from continued uncertainty and
     appears to be actively contributing to it.
  6. The US Federal government is acting like a chicken
     with its head cut off. It's my feeling the NSF is acting
     to simply walk away from the situation, leaving it
     among the contestants, NSI being the strongest, to
     duke it out, to the pain of the network's users.
  - - - - - - - - -
  Carl Auerbach
  CaveBear Software
  Santa Cruz, California
  (408) 423-8585 (home)
  (650) 845-5223 (office)
  [Gordon Cook publishes The Cook Report on Internet.
  This is from a listserv posting, used with permission,
  plus contributed material at the end.]
  We followed up last night's post with a phone call to
  Ira Magaziner's office.  He returned the call about 90
  minutes ago. We stated our concern about allegations
  that the Interagency Working Group would be
  announcing policy tomorrow, and that according to
  Dave Crocker's conversations yesterday with Chuck
  Gnomes, NSI's front line manager for DNS, IANA,
  would very soon be asking for the inclusion of the
  seven CORE gTLDs in the root servers. That according
  to Crocker "there is nothing unknown about the
  request that will be issued, except for the precise date
  and we know that date is approaching quickly."
  We restated our concern about the harm that would
  come from such a disruption of the status quo adding
  that people who knew the Internet far better than
  Brian Kahin and Becky Burr and Mike Nelson were
  convinced that there was no crisis of any immediate
  nature that demanded any immediate action on the
  part the Clinton Administration to disrupt the status
  quo which we understood to be that the National
  Science Foundation had, with the full approval, of the
  Inter-Agency Working Group last summer instructed
  Network Solutions *NOT* to add any new gTLDs to the
  root servers.
  On record, Mr. Magaziner said that there are lots of
  discussions going on among lots people both inside and
  outside of government.  There is a lot more discussion
  and consultation that has to take place before any
  decisions are made about what the government should
  or shouldn't do, and that there is nothing on the
  immediate horizon that will in any way change the
  status quo.  Moreover these discussions are going to
  need to ripen and take place over the next weeks and
  perhaps even months before any decisions are made
  that disturb the current situation.
  >From Magaziner's statement we can assume that --
  other press rumors to the contrary -- neither Kahin,
  nor Burr, nor Nelson, nor NTIA, nor DOC will have any
  new policy to announce on behalf of the Clinton
  Administration any time soon.
  Cook filed an October 7 Freedom of Information Act
  request for communications between Mr. Brian Kahin,
  Ms. Becky Burr of NTIA, Dr. Mike Nelson (former OSTP
  analyst and currently at FCC) and any other relevant
  government officials, trying to establish their dialogue
  with media companies. Reply is pending. On November
  14, Cook published a leaked November 13 memo from
  Crocker about the CORE implementation schedule and
  governmental support, which said the US government
  "crew" (Magaziner, Kahin, et al) aren't getting "the point"
  that the "requirement" for adding seven new TLDs is
  "imminent," that other national governments are not
  "sanguine" about the US claiming DNS control.]
  [Addenda:] You might mention that last night's full
  report went out on Farbers IP list, which I am sure
  she gets. Also that the latest take is that they have
  given up on the idea of the seven gTLDs going in root
  for now.  I have gotten some anguished complaints from
  the other side about THAT! Because, of course, that
  means a lot of CORE registrars may loose some money.
  - - - - - - - -
  Gordon Cook
  The COOK Report on Internet
  Ewing, New Jersey
  (609) 882-2572 (phone & fax)
  New Special Report: Internet
  Governance at the Crossroads
  [Dave Crocker operates the Internet Mail Consortium
  out of Sunnyvale, CA. He is a principal ISOC/gTLD-MoU
  participant. The text below from his posting on the list
  "gtld-discuss" is used with permission. On request, he
  can email to you his latest Powerpoint presentation.]
  We are fast approaching a critical moment. The process of
  reaching it has been extremely public, so there will be no
  surprise when the event occurs. The moment is the
  request by IANA for addition of the new generic TLDs
  (gTLDs) to the root DNS servers. The request will be
  issued when the gTLD-MoU's CORE project plans require
  it for testing, prior to live registration operation of these
  gTLDs. Nearly 90 companies have committed significant
  funds and effort to this activity, so it's rather more than a
  theoretical exercise. It is a bottom-line matter for these
  NSI is in an unfortunate position of being faced with
  open competition by this enhancement and, at the
  same time, physically holding the master root server
  to which these new TLDs will be added. In some
  circles, having control over a resource which enables
  the creation of competition for one's organization
  would be called conflict of interest.
  So there is considerable import to the basis by which
  NSI chooses to claim that it can add ISO (national)
  TLDs (nTLDs) but not add others, namely gTLDs. As a
  constructive member of the Internet community, NSI
  surely wants to makes its position completely clear, as
  well as the basis for that position. [snip]
  Further, NSI has often cited the directive from NSF
  that it not add TLDs without approval from the US
  government, yet the text in that directive is not
  constrained and NSI has been continuing to add nTLDs.
  The directive does not distinguish gTLDs from nTLDs.
  Instructions to add nTLDs have been coming from
  IANA and the additions have taken place immediately.
  Is there documentation of NSF approval for each one
  of these changes? If there is not, then NSI has been
  showing selective interpretation of its instructions and
  is not merely the mechanical participant it claims.
  The moment that is approaching is the result of more
  than 1 year of open discussion and debate, including
  many individuals, organizations and countries all over
  the world. Ninety (90) companies are now engaged in
  producing fully competitive registration services. It
  will do the Internet community no good service to
  refuse to take a directive from IANA and thereby
  create an administrative crisis on the net.
  There is nothing unknown about the request that will
  be issued, except for the precise date and we know
  that date is approaching quickly. If NSI is planning
  to refuse that request, it is time to tell that to the
  community and explain the basis.
  - - - - - - - - -
  Dave Crocker
  Internet Mail Consortium
  Sunnyvale, California
  phone: 408 246 8253
  fax: 408 249 6205
  [Jay Fenello operates Iperdome for registering names
  under the ".per" TLD. Jay's been linked with AlterNic.
  He recently said that when IANA requests NSI to add
  their seven gTLDs, this will be the "line in the sand."]
  What I find truly ironic is the chaos the entire IAHC
  process has created in the Internet community. Their
  arrogance about their dominion over the root, and
  their claim to rightful ownership of such valuable
  properties like .com and .web have created the
  conflicts we are now experiencing.
  A fundamental question is why the IANA, a U.S.
  Government funded contractor, should be allowed
  to "give" seven new gTLDs to its self-selected
  representatives (especially when it negotiates
  behind closed doors, sets up a Swiss-based cartel,
  ignores prior Internet precedents, and is generally
  regarded as an inappropriate power grab). Why
  should the IANA be allowed to *exclude* already
  operational [alternative] TLDs and registries?
  Consider for a moment if Reed Hundt, as head of the
  FCC, had decided to allocate a portion of the radio
  spectrum to a group that he formed, supported,
  appointed members to, and had an ongoing and
  permanent role in. Imagine if this group met behind
  closed doors, came up with an impressive sounding
  plan, and got all of his friends and associates to sign.
  Imagine if this new plan took radio spectrum away
  from already operational entities, and excluded all
  other applications for radio spectrum. Imagine if this
  new organization was set up as a Swiss-based cartel,
  beyond recourse to U.S. interests. Well, this is similar
  to Jon Postel's arrangement with the IAHC. It was
  wrong when it was announced, and it is still wrong
  now. [snip]
  If the IAHC plan succeeds, much of what has made the
  Internet great will be lost. No longer will free-market
  competition drive new products and services. Instead,
  a great engine of change in our lifetimes will be
  relegated to the dark ages, where a small group of
  people who are accountable to no-one control major
  aspects of the Global Internet Infrastructure.
  - - - - - - -
  Jay Fenello
  President, Iperdome, Inc.
  Atlanta, Georgia
  [Jim Fleming at Unir Corporation worked on 32-bit
  addresses as a network identifier, and the C+@ (cat)
  programming language. Since a 1995, he's worked
  almost full-time on breaking the NSI monopoly.
  Jim also favors having thousands of TLDs.]
  Please send my regards to Esther Dyson and
  let her know that as far as I am concerned the
  IPv4 core transport is progressing about as expected
  and that the IPv8 frontier is the place where new
  expanded ideas will be allowed to flourish. She
  is welcome to explore those frontiers anytime
  and play with C+@ and other serious developments.
  I would point out to her that Affirmative Action
  and Money are the key topics to explore in the
  InterNIC and NSF situation. She might be
  surprised at what she finds.
  The past 20 years have been useful in getting the
  Internet to the level of DOS. It is now time to move it
  to the level of Windows or NT, and then beyond.
  - - - - - - - -
  Jim Fleming
  Senior Vice President
  Unir Corporation
  One Naperville Plaza
  Naperville, Illinois
  (630) 505-5801
  Also: Tortola, British Virgin Islands
  [Ken Freed is a writer and speaker specializing in new
  media technology and the social effects of interactive
  networks. He publishes Media Visions Webzine.]
  Cyberspace domains are a "fiction" that hold virtual and
  actual value only via a social contract. We find it useful
  to speak of domain names in cyberspace as akin to
  parcels of real estate available for development in the
  Old West. Once any DNS expansion plan is implemented
  (whether the system established is the IAHC proposal OR
  some global Internet constitution, as I prefer), look for a
  mad push to register domain claims that will make the
  Oklahoma land rush look like a calm Sunday cakewalk.
  The battle between gTLD-MoU and competing plans is
  the contest to become the land office collecting fees on
  every claim filed by the eager settlers of cyberspace.
  Because this land rush will effect each one of us here
  on network earth, we *all* qualify as "stakeholders."
  Those who control the DNS root control the Internet.
  Great effort is being expended to modify the IAHC
  plan to make their version of DNS governance more
  representative and more accountable. I believe this
  effort is misguided because the IAHC players have
  shown by goading arrogance how they crave power,
  absolutely, and their attendant corruption is evident.
  As it stands now, trying to make the MoU democratic
  is like trying to teach a goat to sing. It wastes your
  time and it annoys the goat. To reference another
  barnyard metaphor, dragging a horse to water is
  pointless when the critter has no thirst for truth.
  Because DNS governance has a direct influence on the
  character of the Internet, which increasingly exerts a
  strong influence upon our culture, and so upon our
  private and public lives, if we are to evolve any habits
  of responsible self rule growing from a global sense of
  our interactivity, we all need network democracy.
  - - - - - - -
  Ken Freed
  Editor & Publisher
  Media Visions Webzine
  Denver, Colorado USA
  303-830-2144 <Voice>
  303-830-2145 <fax>
  Our Visions Shape the Media as
  the Media Shape Our Visions
  [Duane Little, freelance computer consultant, runs
  The American Association of Domain Names, which
  provides information, advice and attorney referrals
  to domain name owners. ]
  Our position with respect to the gTLD MoU and its
  resultant organizations (POC/CORE) is that they are
  making opportunistic forays into law and Internet
  governance which are unnecessary to the essentially
  simple task of remedying the dearth of TLDs and the
  NSI monopoly. IANA and ISOC (who ultimately derive
  their status from the service of US Government
  contracts), by way of the IAHC, have created an
  alliance with intellectual property interests and the
  ITU, whose interests are obviously being unduly
  served -- in some ways to the detriment of the
  majority of Netizens, both commercial and individual.
  Under barrages of protest, they have backed away
  from a long series of overtly outrageous propositions.
  Surviving aspects of the plan continue to show a strong
  bias for trademark interests in particular, well in
  excess of existing legal standards.
  The MoU appears to promise that its organizations will
  honor national court decisions (even as they remove
  themselves from those courts' reach and contractually
  obligate domain name registrants and registrars to
  abide by their rules). There is apparently nothing to
  bind them to those promises. There's no reason to
  believe that when it is free of American legal fetters
  and in control of its own TLDs and registries, it will not
  continue to violate good sense and others' rights in
  favor of its exclusive members' interests.
  We have only one chance to do this right. A much
  better consensus can be readily had, and a far more
  balanced and representative approach can be taken
  with the time available to us.
  - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  Duane Little, President
  American Assn of Domain Names
  Lake Chelan, Washington
  [Perry Metzger, owner of Piermont Information Inc., is
  a libertarian activist and active participant for ISOC in
  Internet standards bodies. He is a key gTLD-MoU player.
  Speaking personally, and not in any official capacity, he
  asked for the item below to be sent to you verbatim.]
  Mr. Freed;
  Thank you, but no thank you. You've assembled a
  circus, including lunatics and at least one person under
  arrest for wire fraud. I'm not particularly interested in
  participating in an environment in which Ms. Dyson
  has no way to distinguish between the couple of sane
  people on your list and the large mass of con men,
  fraudsters and near convicted criminals you've put
  together. If you want to interview me and/or Dave
  Crocker on the subject by phone, thats fine, or if Esther
  Dyson would like a few minutes of my time, that's fine,
  but I'm not putting in effort to look like a fool. Ms.
  Dyson certainly deserves a better briefing than the
  one you are putting together, but if she doesn't get
  one, that isn't my problem. You are doing her a
  complete disservice, but that is between you and her.
  As for myself, I have more dignity than that.
  If Dave wishes to participate, that's up to him,
  but I discourage him from doing so either.
  - - - - - - - - - - -
  Perry E. Metzger
  Piermont Information Systems Inc.
  160 Cabrini Blvd., Suite #2
  New York, NY 10033
  (212) 927-5963
  [Carl Oppendal is an intellectual property lawyer with
  the firm of Oppedahl & Larson in Frisco, Colorado.]
  I'm not a special interest group, but instead a
  concerned member of the Internet community. I have
  seen, first-hand, harm to and destruction of dozens of
  businesses due to NSI's extremely flawed trademark
  domain name policy. I have published papers and
  given lectures in an effort to influence the situation, at
  first with an (evidently futile) desire to assist NSI in
  correcting the flaws, and now with the aim of averting
  monopoly control by NSI of the COM domain.
  The most important task facing the Internet community
  in the next half-year is doing whatever it takes to avert
  that monopoly control. COM should be a shared space, just
  like the space of North American toll-free numbers that
  are freely transferable between telephone carriers.
  - - - - - - - - -
  Carl Oppedahl
  Oppedahl & Larson
  Frisco, Colorado.
  [Dr. Steven Page, a part time optometrist who studied
  the intricacies of network architecture, was principal
  investigator in a DARPA study, "U.S. Data Highway."
  Steve disrupted "eDNS" dialogue through suggesting
  the use of single-letter A-Z TLDs. He's coined a term,
  "innerNET," to discuss DNS design for human benefit. ]
  DNS Governance is about language and freedom of
  expression. The present Internet's addressing system is
  immature, illogical, and non-sensical because it ignores
  the *structure* of language, which is stored in the brain.
  This structure influences one's ability to locate things in
  the physical world. Similarly, DNS' structure influences
  one's ability to locate things in the cyberworld. Therein
  lies the problem: The present DNS system is linked to a
  small vocabulary of suffixes (top level domains or TLDs)
  of the hierarchical addressing system called DNS, which is
  really structured as a *human brain*. DNS is to the
  Internet what language is to the human brain. The DNS
  structure represents a map or "blueprint" of all of the
  potential "virtual" street and apartment locations for
  people and businesses locating in the cyberworld.
  The DNS issue, at its heart, is an electromagnetic
  frequency freedom vs. control issue, applied to the
  economic "use of language" (which is an individual
  freedom issue), which is inter-related with issues of
  *evolution of systems*, applied specifically to freedom of
  expression (What do I call my identity?), and freedom to
  choose (Where do I locate my identity?) in the context of
  economic freedom (Am I able to do business?).
  Re: Eugene Kashpureff
  At the highest level, Mr. Kashpureff represents the
  antithesis of governmental control over commerce,
  which is most visibly represented by the IAHC
  process, controlled by the ITU. He represents self-
  organization, freedom of commerce, freedom from
  over-regulation, freedom to use language for
  commercial benefit (which is rooted in the precedent
  of individual freedom to own "marks" for commercial
  purposes). His arrest represents the frustration of
  anyone who values creativity and entrepreneurship.
  At the lowest level, he represents a person willing to risk
  breaking antiquated rules in order to push the Internet
  from its traditional "old boy network" system of doing
  business, under the cloak of rules sanctioned by the
  National Science Foundation's contracts, into the future.
  - - - - - - - - - -
  Dr. Stephen J. Page
  Internet.A-Z.Name Registry
  Pleasanton, California
  510-454-8624 (voice)
  510-484-0448 (fax)
  Principal Investigator: U.S. Data Highway (DARPA)
  Respondee to Dept. of Commerce' NTIA RFC on DNS
  			      (continued in part 2 of 3)