MediaFilter on Fri, 27 Jun 1997 10:35:09 +0200 (MET DST)

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Re: <nettime> Jobs in Cyberspace 1/2

Dear Andrew,

you wrote:

:)In brief, independents have no fully functioning way
:)of using the Internet unless their rootservers are sanctioned by Internic's
:)Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).  In effect, the administration of
:)top-level domains--the bureaucratic center of the Internet--remained in the
:)grip of the military-industrial complex, with its infamous tangle of
:)interlocking directorates.  In April 1997, the self-appointed International
:)Ad Hoc Committee of the International Telecommunications Union recommended a
:)series of new global top-level domain names, such as .FIRM, .WEB, .ARTS,
:).NOM, .STORE, and others.  The IAHC recommended  ending InterNIC's monopoly
:)of name registration.

Some significant facts were left out of this timeline (which you may not
have known):

The IAHC plan was killed in May after US Secretary of State Madelaine Albright
sent a confidential memo to the ITU ordering them to stop all action
related to the IAHC MoU.  The only signatory nation of the ITU to actually
sign the
Memorandum was Albania--nearly all the others vehemently opposed the IAHC
plan to introduce (LIMIT) 7 new tld's.

In March, 1997, owned by pgMedia, Inc. of New York (my company)
sued Network Solutions, Inc. in US Federal District Court for Anti-Trust
and conspiracy to commint anti-trust (
The case seeks inclusion of the nearly 400 new toplevel names served by, and proclaimed to be in the public domain, in the ROOT.ZONE
file which lists the names, ip numbers and addresses of the servers
carrying each of the toplevel domains.  NSI admited that there is no limit
to the number of toplevel domains in a report presented to the Federal
Networking Council in D.C. (

Under the law, the file is an essential facility, and NSI has
ultimate control over that file...they (have admitted) are the ones who
actually edit the file which runs (on the now) 13 rootservers on the internet
determining which toplevel names are globally recognized.  NSI's contract
with the National Science Foundation does not state that NSF has any
authority over
NSI (or NSI's parent comapny, SAIC).  NSF has stated that it does not intend
to renew its contract with NSI/SAIC when it expires in Spring of 1998. seeks also to create a shared and decentralized toplevel
namespace and has developed a protocol and software (freeware called IDSD)
to enable secure, dynamic updating of the nameserver database by all registries.
All of the available (and expanding list) of toplevel names are served by
any registries who wish to serve them.  Rather than selling "brand.names" at
premium prices, all names are served for low fees as a service...not
focusing on one particluar descriptor or another, but all descriptors.
After all, dns is simply a directory service, and it must grow to
accomodate the increased number of users and thier sensibility to create
addresses that suit them and not be bound to a pre-determined set based on
a militaristic hierarchical model
and constrained by monopolistic greed.

The Shared and Public model is in sharp contrast to the model advocated by
NSI in the report to the FNC in which NSI states that toplevel domains
should be owned and marketed as "brands". The idea that an individual or
corporation could own a dictionary word--some have ever claimed ownership
of the letters A through Z-- is absurd.  This leads to the utter
privatization of language and is abhorrent.

I would be interested to hear your comments.

Best regards,

Paul Garrin

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