subject: US govt interference is a big deal, says Europe
posted: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 11:25:16 +0100

[What's all this about? The US govt controls 13 "root servers" which
provide authoritative information for the rest of the DNS. the
RestOfWorld does not like the fact that the US govt controls the DNS.
The US Govt was meant to be recinding control but they recently
backtracked (surprise, surprise) - and so now RestOfWorld is building
its own root. This is potentially the beginning of a schism that
will create two internets, which will not necessarily be able to talk
to one another. More internets could follow. The beauty of the
internet is its universal scope. Breaking the net into separate
"walled gardens" will be a calamity - imagine having to search five
different googles for the same information. Back in the olden days
we had to send email for Othernets, as they are called, via special
gateways with special addressing. If the gateway went down so did
all mail to and from the Othernet. Not to mention the security
implications for the Single Points of Failure that are created when
gateways are used to link disparate networks. The best that can be
hoped is that the US government permits its DNS to interoperate with
the new "depoliticised" DNS. If it attempts to deny the ability of
the RestOfWorld to operate its own root, there will be trouble for
all of us. - Stu]

US govt interference is a big deal, says Europe
By Kieren McCarthy
Published Monday 11th July 2005 08:32 GMT

European internet registries are preparing a fight-back against the
US government following the latter's surprise decision to keep
overall control of the "root zone file" that defines the internet's
basic set-up.

Despite an increasing number of newspaper articles - all from US
media organisations - claiming that the internet community is happy
to let the US government continue its role, a recent meeting of
registries from across Europe begs to differ.

Instead, those registries have agreed to build, test and install a
new automated system for changing vital infrastructure information,
thereby removing the US government's ability to meddle in the

The process is being pushed by Paul Kane, the head of CENTR - an
organisation representing the majority of the world's top-level
domains. Kane was quick to point out that the US government had done
an excellent checking function on the internet's "root" since 1998
(when it first unexpectedly staked its claim), but noted that the US
government's new "principles" state quite clearly that rather than
"check" the function of the root - as it does now - it will
"authorise" it.

He also claimed that the US' sudden change in position "has not gone
down well in European government circles".

Kane asked the floor at a meeting of worldwide top-level domain
owners whether they wished to have the ability to make changes to
their own domains by themselves. Half the room raised their hands. He
then asked who was willing to let the US government authorise those
changes on their behalf. Not a single hand went up.

The automation plan will use existing and proven technologies and
protocols to depoliticise the root by making it a purely technical
matter, Kane said. He added that 23 registries had already agreed to
run a test-bed for the new service, which should be up and running by
October this year.

ICANN's contract for running the root files (through organisation
IANA) ends in March 2006, by which point the world registries hope to
have a full report on their alternative, automated process.

A website covering the while process will be set up at www.shared- soon.

* Origin: [adminz] tech, security, support (192:168/0.2)

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