From: "David I. Lackner" <dlackner@MIT.EDU>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 12:12am
Subject: MIT ~ Domain Name Policy Analysis

Attached in Word 6.0 format : Comments on Discussion Draft on Technical
Management of Internet Domain Names

Thank you,
David Lackner

Analysis of the Domain Name System
Policy by a Private Institution

Improving Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses

Introduction

This paper is in response to the draft proposal issued on January 30, 1998 by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). In analyzing the relevant issues from the viewpoint of a private institution, we hope to enlighten the process of formulating and implementing the proposed changes to DNS policy.

Background

The Internet was not born in its present state. It grew into a diverse, open communications medium out of secret government projects. The US government funded the research that established the Internet with mostly military intentions. Like most innovations, the Internet pioneers did not fully grasp its potential uses and could not have foreseen the explosive growth in its popularity and applications. However, the backbone of the system remains in the hands of the United States Government and a select few who gave birth to the new international phenomenon.

Therein lies the current problem: The government is still in control of assets crucial to the operation and growth of the Internet. For instance, the federal government plays a direct role in operating over half of the world’s root servers, which are the computers that route Internet traffic to its destination. The original US investments have paid off for the initial purposes, but have also created a new commercial force. Therefore, as with a variety of analogous systems, it is time to take the Internet to the next level of development by privatizing it.

Privatization will lead to an even more open, yet robust, system. The first step on this road is to alter the method by which Internet names and addresses are managed.

Need for Change

There are several reasons that a policy shift is required: Domain name registration is currently a monopoly and domain names can be counted on both hands. Conflict between trademark holders and domain name holders has the potential to explode into an expensive litigation nightmare. There are questions as to jurisdiction in the cyber anti-trust and intellectual property realms. Commercial interests are calling for a more formal, robust management structure. Foreign stakeholders want a voice in Internet coordination. Internet names have become valuable property. Finally, it is obviously inappropriate for US research agencies to participate in an increasingly commercial Internet.

Analysis of the Proposal

This section seeks to analyze the actual proposal made by the NTIA in several parts. First, we will look at the coordinated functions of the management of number addresses, next the competitive functions, then the creation of new gTLDs, the trademark dilemma, the transition, and finally the registries.

The coordinated functions are necessary for the system to work seamlessly. We can agree that the proposal to put the root server network under coordinated management is a logical one. A single organization of Internet users will be given overall guidance and control of the TLDs and the root server system. The implementation of this will be through the creation of a corporation operating as a private entity. It is critical, however that this new corporation maintain universal connectivity on the Internet. We agree that the U.S. Department of Commerce should coordinate the U.S. government policy role and oversee policy for determining, based on objective criteria, which new top-level domains (TLDs) are added to the root system. Where we depart from the proposal is in the staffing. Although IANA has the expertise, we believe that this might appear like “old wine in a new bottle”. At the expense of some continuity, a new staff of carefully chosen experts (perhaps many from IANA will be chosen) should be selected to validate the new body and its fresh perspective. IANA might be hired as a consultant, in the interest of continuity. It is necessary, we would agree, to headquarter the new not-for-profit corporation in the United States for practicality – the functions it would be overseeing are, after all, located here. The international representation would be by a board of directors to whom the corporation is responsible.

Digressing for a moment to speak to the international issue, we would point toward the importance of the Internet the world over. It is a vehicle for thought, communication, and exchange unparalleled in world history. It ignores national boundaries and gives almost anyone access to the biggest “soap-box” in the world. This said, we strongly support basing a representative international management system in the United States. Issues of freedom of speech, morality, politics, etc. will inevitably be present in any debate about the Internet, so it is imperative that when we make policy, it be the most open and free ideologies that are its confines and not the most oppressive, because they will satisfy the most people. Our proposal here is that the United Nations have a seat on the board and have an international political dispute resolution protocol similar to the one described below under “trademarks”.

The decision making process within the corporation should follow democratic principles and should have a requirement for super-majority. With this system, the body will be able to be effective, but will be protected from capture by a self-interested faction. As a standard setting body, we support that the new corporation will be under antitrust liability, thus discouraging domination by a few leading competitors.

The competitive functions are the system for registering second-level domain names and the management of the TLD registries. We strongly encourage completely open and free competition at the registry level. We believe, as stated in the proposal, that, as in almost every other industry, this will lead to improved efficiency and quality of service at lower prices. However, this creates the problem of “lock-in”, where there is not a truly equivalent “piece of cyber-estate” that would serve as an alternative if a customer wanted to escape price gouging. The solution we propose, rather than experimenting with limited registries, is to allow as many registries as the market is willing to create, but regulate prices, as is done in any number of industries. The regulation method for registry charges could be as simple as a fixed yearly ceiling. A more complex pricing scheme that we would advocate developing would allow the registry to prosper, the little guy to have access and the big corporation to be protected from lock-in: very simply the price charged would be based on the number of “hits” received per cycle (month, year,Ö). Another option, which may be more difficult to implement, would be to share authority to register within a TLD so that users could port their domain name across competing suppliers.

The creation of new gTLDs should be advocated because it will add capacity while diluting the trademark issues, since there will be many customized URLs. Assuming that there is some reasonable limit, based on the technical complexity and constraints of the root server system, this seems like the most sensible solution. As for the user’s convenience, we doubt that there will be any popular revolt against using cocacola.soda as opposed to cocacola.com. The five proposed new registries will probably not be enough to further the goal of creating competition among registries and will definitely not be enough to alleviate the trademark wars.

The debate also extends to national TLDs, which we assert should be slowly eliminated to be replaced exclusively by gTLDs. The gTLDs are more serviceable semantically, permit price competition and added-value services, and are more suited to unbounded basis of the Internet.

There are concerns that the Internet will not be able to handle the number of gTLDs that might be introduced. We hold that rather than restricting the amount of new registries, more work has to be done to create a robust backbone for the Internet so that is will not destabilize. Again, there should be a sensible limit, but five is simply too restrictive. Over time, directories will enable users to find the sites they seek just as easily as today.

The trademark dilemma is one of the most potentially damaging subjects in this discussion, and although disputes arise very rarely on the Internet today, it must be handled with extreme care. Expensive litigation can be avoided, for the most part, as in the physical world. Basically, if trademark were provided the same physical protections as they receive in other forms of media, along with a special Internet conflict mediation system, the problem could be adequately held in check. We concur with the applicant requirements proposed by the NTIA designed to protect trademark holders. Furthermore, we strongly support the on-line dispute resolution, although the methods need to be formalized and given some credence before anyone will trust their decisions.

The legal questions remain, however. We suggest that the burden of proof fall on the domain name registrant. This would require that a domain name registration be suspended indefinitely until the registrant can prove that he/she is not adversely affecting the trademark holder. The trademark holder must file a petition within 30 days, which means that it might have to expend a certain amount of effort in monitoring the new registrants.

In the event of a dispute, jurisdiction would be in question because a person in Jordan can register in Hawaii for a company based in Guatemala. Thinking in terms of physical locations simply does not mesh with the concept of the Internet. Therefore, we suggest a rare and extreme departure from convention. The following mechanism we hope would develop into something more than just a dispute resolution mechanism. Because of the unique nature of the Internet, it is very awkward to attempt to impose current procedures on it. Like the old proverb, “forcing a square peg into a round hole” will eventually work, but not without splintering the board. The only way to properly construct a system that will work for the Internet is to emulate it. That is, to layer a system into the Internet. Jurisdictions are completely meaningless, so a dispute resolution system should be built into the Internet, and we might even go so far as to say that an entire legal system might eventually be founded. However, we must start on a smaller scale, so we propose an expanded resolutions system on the Internet, that resorts to the legal system in the jurisdiction of the “A” root server only as a last resort.

We also agree that studies should be performed every step of the way in order to determine the efficacy of all the above suggestions, since none are tested yet.

The transition schedule of September 1998 is sufficiently fast to be effective and gives enough time to retain stability. Under the transition, we respectfully suggest that IANA be disbanded while retaining their intellectual capital and valuable human resources in the newly formed bodies. Network Systems Incorporated has had a monopoly in this field for years, and therefore “leveling the playing field” for new competitors will be difficult. We suggest that the NSI agreement in the NTIA proposal be strictly enforced and that NSI be closely monitored for compliance. Furthermore, NSI should be made to bid, in a competitive environment for the registries it currently controls. Although, again, stability of the Internet should be the overriding concern.

Registries and new gTLDs should be auctioned in a fashion similar to the recent spectrum allocations for satellites. Artificial limits will hold the number down at first, especially when we can assume demand is high, at the beginning. The pool of applicants for registries should in no way be limited. It should be open to anyone, even though we recognize that those who have already invested in developing a registry business will have a distinct advantage. Those bidders would only be required to meet the technical, managerial and site specifications in Appendix 1 of the NTIA document. Since multiple bidders could select any number of gTLDs, users and producers alike would win from the resultant diversity and competition. It is expected that certain larger conglomerates might purchase gTLDs for their exclusive use. Thus, each TLD’s registry will not necessarily be equally accessible, but the ones that are, because they were acquired for sale, will allow registrants to choose competitively on the basis of price and service.

Conclusion

It has become evident that new principles and procedures for allocating domain names need to be established. This is especially true in light of the unprecedented legal, economic and political conflicts over property rights in cyberspace. Using the NTIA proposal as a basis, this paper attempts to comment on some of the needed reforms. Global domain names should be instituted, without limit as to who can act as a registrar or registry. There should be no limit to the number of gTLDs, except for strict technical capacity constraints, keeping in mind that the stability of the Internet is the primary concern.

The large gaps between price and value of domain names led to arbitrage, which is at the heart of the trademark issue. The only way to correct this is to expand the supply of names and rest assured that the “property values” and prices will reach an equilibrium, and that “squatters” will no longer have power over trademark holders.

The proposal includes actions that create governing bodies. In creating those new bodies, we feel that while it is important to preserve the expertise and knowledge of the current system, it is also crucial to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. For this reason, we suggest that those groups already in existence should have to compete at the same level as new entrants. This also implies that current organizations should not be simply renamed and handed the reins of power, but that a new order should be established.

Jurisdictional issues should be transnational in orientation and administration. They must reflect the structure and nature of the Internet. It is impossible to impose a system that was not designed for the medium and expect it to work. The system should begin with on-line dispute resolution, be carefully studied, and grow into a fully functional adjudication mechanism.

We are confident that this proposal will succeed in building an open, robust, commercially sensitive Internet domain name management system.

###

From: Mugo Kibati <mkibati@rpcp.mit.edu>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 2:36am
Subject: Response to Green Paper on DNS Proposal

March 16, 1998

The Honorable Clarence L. Irving
Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director,
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Department of Commerce - Room 4898
Washington, DC 20230

Dear Mr. Irving:

Permit me to convey my thoughts on your recent proposal on the DNS which
I consider to have been genuinely well thought out and imaginative.

As a Kenyan student at MIT, I believe I bring a perspective to this
deliberations that may not have had very visible representation and which
to many may not appear very relevant at the moment, but which to the
contrary I can assure you is very relevant. The Internet is one of those
phenomenons in which the weakest links need attention due to the high
level of international interdependence the future of the Internet
portends.

Attached in Word version Windows 97 form is a brief paper I have prepared
in response to your very commendable efforts to rationalize the DNS.

Thank you very much

Sincerely,

Mugo Kibati
Research Assistant
Internet Telephony Consortium
MIT

INTRODUCTION

Reaction to the proposal recently released by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on improving technical management of Internet names and addresses has been aptly reflective of the historical relationship between the key players in the Internet industry. It has spanned the entire spectrum of enthusiasm for the draft proposal, ranging from strong support to vociferous opposition. This paper endeavors to make a good faith analysis of the issues surrounding the domain naming system (DNS), some which have been raised in the draft proposal and some which may have been overlooked, without necessarily picking sides between proponents and opponents.

The issues as enumerated in the NTIA’s draft proposal are as follows:

However, this paper contends that within the context of the above-enumerated issues, other challenges arise which appear not to have been accorded due consideration in the proposal. These challenges pertain, both to specific aspects of the issues dealt with in the proposal, as well as to the entire initiative as a whole. Of these, two important challenges upon which this paper intends to focus include:

registration, and

This paper argues that an international DNS framework that promotes fair competition is necessary for the future development of the Internet. In addition, the paper also argues that national Top Level Domains should be adopted to the exclusion of generic Top Level Domains. However, at the sub-national secondary level, generic domains should be adopted in a coordinated fashion that would be worked out by an international DNS management regime. Finally, this paper urges that the formulation of the "next generation" DNS system be the culmination of a coordinated international effort of close and frank negotiations.

A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

The Internet developed during the, "Cold War" era, from the perceived need by the US Department of Defense for a redundant communications system that would guarantee communications even in the event of a nuclear disaster. Over the years, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other US research agencies iteratively managed and developed the Internet, away from the purview of the general public. Soon, it came under the near exclusive manipulation of the research community. As a result, the Internet acquired the informal, democratic and esoteric characteristics normally associated with the world of academia. It was in this climate that the domain naming system (DNS) developed. The DNS took its existing shape between 1981 and 1987. "The DNS linked domains to organizations and conceived of domain registration as a hierarchy of delegation among organizations…. These categories reflected the range of organizations typically encountered by the research community supported by the US government’s ARPA and DARPA: military (.mil), commercial (.com), governmental (.gov), educational (.edu)", (Mueller, Milton, The battle over Internet domain names, Journal of Telecommunications Policy, Vol. 22, 1998).

At the time of its creation, the DNS system was more than adequate. With time, however, the commercialization and global diffusion of the Internet imposed demands upon the system which had not been envisaged and with which it has now become increasingly evident the Internet as it is presently instituted will eventually be unable to cope.

THE CONTEMPORARY SITUATION

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), under the stewardship of Jon Postel, is responsible for assigning blocks of IP (Internet Protocol) numbers and top level domain names (TLDs) to regional registries. The regional registries are the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), the Asian Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) and (Reseaux IP Europeens). One is expected to be formed, soon, to represent the Africa region. These registries in turn assign IP numbers and domain names to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who in turn make assignments to the end user. There are two types of TLDs, country code TLDs (ccTLDs) sometimes referred to as national TLDs or (nTLDs) and generic or global TLDs (gTLDs). Each country has a ccTLD and IANA has simply adopted the two letter codes stipulated by the ISO 3166. The gTLDs include: .COM, .NET, ORG, and domains which are for general use, .EDU, .MIL and .GOV which are restricted to US registrants and .INT which is restricted to organizations established by international treaties between governments or Internet infrastructure databases.

In 1992, Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) was granted the exclusive right to register second-level domain names in the .COM, .ORG, .GOV, .NET and .EDU TLDs. In September 1995, NSI was authorized to charge $50 per year for each second-level name registration in .COM, .EDU and .ORG.

According to a domain survey conducted by Mark Lottor of Network Wizards, California in January 1998, the Internet consists of countless autonomous networks, with 29,670,000 "advertised" connected computers in 240 countries and territories. The annual Internet host growth rate is estimated at between 40 and 50 percent, with Internet host population projected to grow to 90 million by January 2000. Of the gTLDs, the .COM host is the largest, consisting of 8.2 million hosts (28 percent of the total). As a result, it is the .COM host that has been the greatest cause for concern as it appears that it lacks enough domain name space to satisfy the needs of private commercial enterprises.

The sum total of the prevailing situation described above is a tenuous co-habitation amongst the key players in the Internet Industry. Charges of monopolization of profits from a public good have been leveled at the NSI, while IANA has taken deliberate steps to protect itself from liability arising from trademark protection suits. Indeed a description of the entire range of controversial issues raised by the Internet today is beyond the scope of this paper.

THE KEY STAKEHOLDERS AND THEIR POSITIONS

1. The US Administration under whose auspices the NTIA has drafted the proposal under discussion:

The US government is driven by two principal forces:- managing the unwieldy transition to the Information Age which is already under way, and positioning both US firms and the general citizenry to take maximum advantage of any impending changes. The US administration sees for itself, a role not as micro-manager, but as the coordinator of the different facets and propellers of the transition. The draft proposal provides ample evidence of this and summarizes the administration’s plans for the DNS.

2. US based ISPs and possible candidates for the task of assigning domain names and managing the root servers:

Private industry in the US is keen to rest control of the DNS from the US government. Generally abhorrent of heavy regulation, the private industry is equally eager to rid itself of oversight from international agencies such as the ITU and remains apprehensive of any suggestions of an international regime of management however innocuous this may be. The industry has concentrated its efforts on lobbying various arms of government to privatize the DNS and allow free markets to reign.

3. IANA/The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF - the technical arm of the Internet)/The Internet Architecture Board (IAB - an IETF committee)/ Internet Society (ISOC):

As the historical custodians of various aspects of the Internet - ranging from setting technical standards, protocols, assigning IP addresses and domain names and the general development of the Internet - IANA, IETF, IAB and ISOC are naturally keen to retain their roles in any system that may develop. Together with the ITU, WIPO, and INTA, they formed the Internet Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) in order to develop a DNS administration plan. The result was the IAHC proposal which proposed among other things, the establishment of a non-regulatory policy framework, the gTLD DNS Memorandum of Understanding (gTLD-MoU) to be ratified by both the private and public sector; the creation of an additional set of seven gTLDs - .FIRM, .STORE, .WEB, .ARTS, .REC, INFO, .NOM; gTLD administration and management comprising multiple competing registrars, globally dispersed, under a Council of Registers (CORE), operating as a Swiss non-profit association; and many other proposals with regard to DNS and trademark issues.

4. Foreign Governments - most visibly, the European Union (EU):

Foreign governments and firms have expressed dissatisfaction with what they consider to be US-centric proposals and initiatives emanating from the US with regard to the future administration of the DNS and indeed the Internet in general. Of these, the European Union (EU) which represents the bulk of Internet activity outside the US has been the most vocal. "The Commission (European Commission) considers that it is essential for the European Union to participate fully in the decisions which will determine the future international governance of the Internet on the basis of the general objectives set out in the recent Commission proposals for increased international co-operation on global communications policy" declares the EU in its draft response to the NTIA’s proposal.

The EU demands:

governance";

July 1997, in the lines of IHAC’s gTLD-MoU;

5. International Agencies, particularly the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Trademark Association (INTA), and the World Intellectual Property Rights Organization (WIPO):

The international agencies have a stake in preserving international public interest and are apprehensive of the pervasive nature of the Internet whose ramifications no-one appears to be able to predict. As an integral part of the Internet, DNS portends serious implications for the traditional roles of these international agencies - roles that they are determined to maintain. With the gradual privatization of the Internet, the international regulation of the Internet has gradually moved from the ITU to the World Trade Organization, heightening the ITU’s desire to raise the prominence of non-trade interests. Indeed, a prominent official of the ITU recently remarked that "The only long-term possible solution is to completely break the economic interests that people see in gTLD ‘ownership’." INTA and WIPO are concerned about trademark and ownership issue which increasingly are a source of controversy within the DNS. These agencies were part of the IHAC initiative that produced the gTLD-MoU described above.

AN ANALYSIS OF THE ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

First, it must be stated that this paper concurs with the premise of the draft proposal that the issues it identifies as confronting the DNS are indeed critical to the future growth of the Internet. But as stated in the introduction, the focus of this paper revolves around two of the challenges facing these issues if an attempt was made to resolve them as proposed in the draft. These are:-

Mention has indeed been made in the draft section on "principles for a new system" of competition, private/bottom-up coordination and representation. Subsequent treatment of these concerns in the draft has however been insufficient.

1. Ensuring competitiveness and fairness in the expansion of the domain name registration and management:-

These should be coordinated by an international committee comprising of representation from the various regional registries, private industry from the various regions, and the ITU. The technical representation should be drawn from the regional registries and the IETF/IAB/ISOC consortium or their successors. The ITU’s role would be (cliched though this may sound) to represent the international public interests. The trademark issue cannot be merely glossed over. It is a legitimate sovereign concern - at least in today’s world - for we are not yet a "global village", the increased integration of the recent past notwithstanding. It is more feasible for the Internet to adapt itself to the existing trademark laws than for the trademark laws to adapt to the Internet. Much as the Internet has transformed society, there are limits to its powers to induce evolution. The Internet may succeed in breaking down purely economic barriers, but is likely to hit a dead end if it attempts to infringe on matters of national sovereignty. Although trademarks are economic instruments, they also encompass volatile sovereign issues. Firms pay taxes depending on where they are registered and obtain concessions also depending on where they are registered. Indeed the companies (including ISPs) lobby the US government on the strength of being US registered companies. The draft proposal itself acknowledges that "For cyberspace to function as an effective commercial market, businesses must have confidence that their trademarks can be protected."

It is for the above reasons, that this paper argues that national TLDs should be adopted to the exclusion of gTLDs. This would considerably lessen the trademark problem but would not in itself eliminate it. An internationally coordinated effort to harmonize a sub-national secondary level of generic domains would be required. Those who argue that such a system would be more cumbersome to the user than indeterminately increasing gTLDs should realize that there is a finite number of countries and even in the few cases that the national codes may not be intuitive experience would lessen the burden. This paper takes the position that an infinite number of gTLDs would be a lot less intuitive.

2. Acknowledging and adapting to the inherently global nature of the Internet:-

The globalization of the Internet and the importance of an international framework for the long-term organization of the Internet underlies the need to associate a wide range of international interests with future policy in this area. As in all initiatives that involve diverse peoples, it would be disingenuous to expect the rest of the world (outside the US) to cooperate and participate in a process if it felt excluded from the policy formulation aspects of the process. It is in the best interests of all concerned, including the US, to ensure that the entire international community has a stake in the success of whatever system is developed. Conscientious international consultations are imperative (tedious as they may be, the alternative is much worse).

Within very short measure, the self-governing structures of the Internet will have to accommodate the burgeoning interest of many other parts of the world as well. It would not be prudent to ignore the interests of the less developed parts of the world, simply because they have a feeble voice. That is only true for the moment. When these voices become less feeble, the powerful players of today will be glad of the fact that they listened. Furthermore, If the goal is to offer a really global registration service, it will be necessary to develop a TLD policy which is more clearly open to non-English speaking parts of the world in order to avoid fracturing the Internet. Both these concerns can only be allayed in the context of a truly international negotiation. The ITU is particularly well suited to represent the interests of both the non-English speaking countries as well as the under-developed nations, but especially the latter.

SUMMARY

The issues raised in the NTIA’s draft proposal (and enumerated in this paper’s introduction) are germane to the Internet’s DNS as it stands at a crossroads today, contemplating its next move. This paper concurs completely with the NTIA in the identification of these as the crucial issues facing the DNS. The paper attempted, not to rehash the issues, but rather to provide a perspective of the challenges that face the implementation of the solutions to these issues as prescribed in the draft proposal. The paper thus argued that:

At the sub-national secondary level, generic domains should be adopted in a coordinated fashion that would be worked out by an international DNS management regime.

###

From: Dewey <Dewey@Davis-Thompson.com>
To: Josh <TJEVKE@aol.com>
Date: 3/17/98 10:07am
Subject: A solution to adult materials online?

Hi.

I propose that we make a new domain called .XXX and put ALL adult stuff
there.
Then we won't need software that also screens out breast cancer info,
etc.

.XXX put porn in it's place!

---PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE!!----

###

From: <kurtred@canwetalk.com>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 8:18am
Subject: NSI's empire

Recently I came across a news article which disturbed me enough to
research what was going on in the domain name arena. I quickly came
across the Green Paper and was shocked at its vagueness. At this
point in the process, the vagueness surprises me.

The article read:

"Effective April 1, 1998, registering a new domain name will cost
$70 (instead of $100) for two years of registration service and
annual renewals will be $35 (instead of $50)."

Am I supposed to be happy about this?

This is still too much, as it costs NSI much less than this to
register the domain name. Why charge this much? NSI's monopoly is
too powerful already.

I thought the Green Paper was to introduce competition in the domain
system. Obviously this is untrue. It is merely to reward all the
corporations who hold .com names, and to reward NSI's established
monopoly.

"The elimination of the Infrastructure Fund portion of the fee at
this time also complies with the Department of Commerce's proposal
(known as the "Green Paper") entitled, "A Proposal to Improve
Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses," that set
April 1, 1998 as the scheduled termination date for the Fund portion
of the fee.

"Eliminating the Infrastructure Fund portion of the fee will have no
impact on Network Solutions' revenue and earnings, since it was set
aside in a separate account and was never included as part of our
revenue," said Gabe Battista, CEO, Network Solutions, Inc. ... this
just makes getting a unique .com identity on the Internet an even
greater value."

Ludicrously, the U.S. government is playing right into NSI's greedy
hands. The monopoly continues as Magaziner sits around and wastes
valuable Internet time.

The contract with NSI is set to terminate in March 1998. Please
don't pad Gabe's salary anymore. The time has come for the core
registrars to implement the 7 new tld's of .nom, .firm, .shop, .rec,
.arts, .info, and .web.

Ignoring the core proposal in the Green Paper is an insult to the
reputable organisations and citizens who have worked very hard to
establish it. Insulting all the signatories of the gtld-mou is just
plain ignorant. You may visit this site for yourself at
http://www.gtld-mou.org

You might even get some tips for your green paper there.

_________________________________________
Get your free vanity email address at
http://www.MyOwnEmail.com

###

From: <brianjericho@altern.org>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 4:33pm
Subject: Ira and his domain name system

I think core has come up with a better domain name system than the one Ira Magaziner envisions.

I have read the many comments, and they all seem to be pointing to the NSI monopoly as an example of what not to do. There is also the concern about other countries in the world not being part of the decision making.

This is not an Internet that the world will want to be part of.

Brian Jericho
Network Administrator

###

From: <benharness@yada-yada.com>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 8:31am
Subject: problems with the Green Paper

Dear NTIA:

Your proposal to reform the domain system has many problems. I
value the opportunity to share them with you.

-other governments cannot participate
-Network Solutions still has a significant position in the domain
name vending business
-nobody has agreed to the proposal (no other government besides the
U.S.)
-there will only be five names and we don't even know what they are
-there's nothing about trademark infringements and dispute
resolution
-there's no ethical considerations with regard to registrars
improperly charging ridiculous fees as Network Solutions did and
still does.

Unless these problems are rectified, I have no choice but to
absolutely oppose the Green Paper.

Ben Harness

_________________________________________
Get your free vanity email address at
http://www.MyOwnEmail.com

###

From: Darrell Greenwood <darrell_greenwood@mindlink.net>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 6:17pm
Subject: Comments re: Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses

Dear Sirs;

Thank you for the opportunity to read and comment on your draft
discussion paper.

My comments:

"TLD registries are monopolies."

As far as I can tell this fact is widely accepted.

"Monopolies should be run in the public interest."

This statement is not accepted by all.

Particularly it is not accepted by those wishing to own a TLD registry.

Most sadly it appears not to be accepted by the Green Paper:
Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses.

I cannot understand that.

To start a public US only process with the point of view that an
unregulated private monopoly is okay, draws disrespect to the
initiators.

The gTLD-MoU plan is an good one, with public oversight and input,
and should be allowed to proceed now to give immediate competition.

If further competition is needed, the US Government action should be
to develop another non-profit registry model with public oversight.
The US Government should not act to the advantage of the current
unregulated monopoly holder NSI to block the gTLD-MoU registry.

The US Government should not establish a highly anti-competitive
system of worldwide, unregulated private monopolies known as TLD
Registries. Locked-in customers will suffer if this is allowed and in
the case of NSI's locked-in customers, have already suffered as shown
by NSI's history and comments by others in this proceeding.

Sincerely,

Darrell Greenwood

###

From: <allancrane@netlimit.com>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 12:53pm
Subject: Green Paper Comments

To The Department Of Commerce:

Recognition of the domain system problem is a feat in itself. The
Green Paper has attempted to deal with this critical problem, and
must be commended as a step, even though it has some critical
problems in itself.

At the risk of compounding problems, any solution must do the
greatest good for the greatest number- not have the whole community
at the mercy of a few registries.

The Green Paper does little to alleviate this problem of monopolies,
currently exemplified through the InterNIC. While at one point the
Internet was not a commercially-driven entity, it would be hard to
say it is not today.

I am worried that if IANA becomes a non-profit organization as
envisioned in the Green Paper, it will be completely toothless. The
registries of domain names will be the powerful contenders, and
registrars will be at their mercy financially. There is no ethical
standards so that 5 seperate monopolies won't eat each other up and
consume the registries, and keep the IANA as a showpiece.

I will not stand for this. I will not stand idly by and wait for
the U.S. Government to set up a framework that does more damage than
good. There are other proposals that have a secure direction for
the future of the domains, and I will support them. Please don't
make a serious mistake at the expense of the Internet community by
enacting the Green Paper solution. The implications of such an
action are staggering.

Sincerely,

Allan W. Crane
Netlimit Technology

_________________________________________
Get your free vanity email address at
http://www.MyOwnEmail.com

###

From: Don Heath <heath@isoc.org>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 7:34pm
Subject: Internet Society Comments on the "Green Paper"

The Internet Society is pleased to submit comments on the
Department Of Commerce, National Telecommunications and
Information Administration, 15 CFR Chapter XXIII,
[Docket No. 980212036-8036-01]:
"Improvement of Technical Management
of Internet Names and Addresses."

We have attached a copy in Microsoft Word for Windows 95,
Version 7.0a. In case of difficulties reading the attachment,
we have included an ASCII text copy below.

Comments of the Internet Society

in regards to the

Department Of Commerce

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

15 CFR Chapter XXIII

[Docket No. 980212036-8036-01]

Improvement of Technical Management

of Internet Names and Addresses

("Green Paper")

17 March 1998

I. Introduction

The Internet Society (ISOC) wishes to thank the members of the team that produced the referenced document ("Green Paper") for their diligent effort against a formidable time constraint; and, for bringing forward several of the issues that are critical to the continued evolution of the Internet. We are confident that an international open process with no undue influence from any one entity to discuss and resolve these issues will result in conclusions and actions for the best interests of the Internet.

II. Executive Summary

The development and evolution of the Internet has been in process for a number of years. In all those years, it has employed principles of self-governance, out of which has emerged the concept of "rough consensus." Rough consensus is reached through a rigorous, openly vetted process that produces the best of alternatives; it does not mean unanimity, but it does mean broad based acceptance. Cooperation amongst the Internet stakeholders produces rough consensus and has brought the Internet to its present successful and robust state. The Internet Society encourages the continuance of this proven concept.

There are several key issues presented in the Green Paper for which ISOC has special concern or interest:

Central Authority - The Internet Society supports the concept of a central authority for the management and administration of: Internet address space, other protocol conventions essential to the use and operation of the Internet, domain names, and the root server system. We note the similarity between the proposal in the Green Paper for this central authority, and that proposed by Dr. Jon Postel of IANA <http://www.iana.org/iana/iana-plan-980113.txt> as developed through the normal process of consensus building which has been employed for the many years of Internet evolution.

The Internet Society expresses support for the proposal of Dr. Postel, and believes there are common grounds upon which these two proposals can coalesce. We believe it would be beneficial to the continued health of the Internet for rough consensus to result on this issue and we encourage all interested parties to commit to supporting the concept.

Registries - A registry is the database repository for one or more gTLDs. A registry is a monopoly. This is an unfortunate fact that exists, at least for now, due to technical limitations. As a result, a registry must operate under different guidelines than a normal business. The potential for abuse through price gouging, once registrants become "locked in" to the gTLD through the proliferation of its URLs, is significant.

Because of its unique situation, the registry function is a service function for the Internet and should be administered on a non-profit basis utilizing shared database technology. This allows multiple registrars to access and utilize the databases in the exercise of registering second level domain names. There should be no "ownership" of gTLDs, and they should be treated as an international resource, subject to the public trust.

There is no particular reason why there couldn't be multiple registries scattered throughout the world, each with a set of gTLDs having a shared database system with multiple registrars.

Registrars - True competition in the registration of domain names resides at the point where the user, or registrant, - the entity who ultimately requests the registration of a domain name - meets the Internet Domain Name System (DNS). That point is clearly the registrar function. Registrars may be located anywhere in the world; are independent businesses each competing for registrant business on the basis of price and value added service; and use the registries as a clearinghouse for assuring uniqueness in domain names. The registrar may certainly be a for-profit entity.

Dispute Resolution - As a result of the work of the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) and the continuing efforts of the many Internet stakeholders working with the POC/CORE/PAB, a truly remarkable set of instruments to facilitate the resolution of intellectual property disputes, efficiently, effectively, and inexpensively has evolved. ISOC strongly supports this capability and urges international recognition and acceptance of its offerings as an option for resolving intellectual property disputes.

Governance - The Internet Society asserts its strong belief that if the Internet is ever to reach its fullest potential, it will require self-governance. If any one entity attempts to control or govern the Internet, it is likely others would protest. It then follows: if consensus is not reached, the Internet could very well become fragmented and, accordingly, cease to exist as we now know it. While we find much in the Green Paper with which we agree, its attempt to define details that would be better left to the process of bottom-up consensus building, appears to go against the principle of self-governance. The US government would be well-advised to leave the details such as: how many registries, for-profit or non-profit; the number of gTLDs; the number of gTLDs per registry; to be defined in a self-determination process such as that described in the History section.

In the formation of the new IANA, the Green Paper calls for the creation of a new organization to represent the Internet user community. ISOC believes itself to be more representative than any other organization existing today. Equally important, it is composed of, and represents, a veritable who's who of the Internet. Regarding the broader issue of governance, while IANA has been funded by the US government, it is chartered by the Internet Society through the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) in RFC 1601 <http://info.internet.isi.edu:80/in-notes/rfc/files/rfc1601.txt>. While it has accepted US government funding, it has nevertheless operated without other US government involvement or intervention for many years. ISOC's stewardship in this matter is a matter of public record representing a shining example of responsibility in fostering Internet self-governance. As with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), IAB, and the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), autonomy of operation is preserved.

Finally, ISOC believes it would be prudent for all stakeholders to agree to proceed under the authority of the current IANA, with the plan presented by the POC/CORE system. This does not preclude other systems which would conform to requirements established by IANA form being implemented, but consistency should be maintained. This action would be consistent with the aims of the Green Paper and provides a robust means to gain controlled experience along the lines proposed in the Green Paper.

III. History

There may be arguments about how old the Internet is, but certainly during the 1990s, the Internet has incurred tremendous growth and transformation. It has emerged from the academic and government environment, primarily within the United States, to a truly international network of tens of thousands of interconnected independent networks. It works because these networks cooperate; they agree to use standards, such as the TCP/IP protocol. The standards were developed through a grass-roots, or bottom-up process in an open forum where only the best ideas emerge.

The Internet reached its present robust state for many reasons: a brilliant protocol; an early founding period wherein the participants were virtually unnoticed; an environment extremely conducive to cooperation among and between the participants; the freedom to experiment in an uncontrolled environment; an open forum using a grass roots approach to standards development; indeed, a self-regulating and self-policing culture. It was from this background that the concept of "rough consensus" emerged. Rough consensus is actually derived through a very rigorous process that weeds out the weak proposals and encourages the best. It does not mean unanimity, but it does mean broad-based acceptance. This is the mode of operation for the IETF, the dominant standards body for the Internet.

Take away cooperation, and the dynamic, innovative Internet that we have come to know and admire will go away.

In the tradition of what made the Internet the phenomenal success that most agree it is today, the Internet Society, in response to a proposal by the IANA, initiated a process to enhance the Internet Domain Name System through the introduction of competition and an efficient, effective, and inexpensive system for dispute resolution between domain names and intellectual property owners. A committee was formed, the IAHC, with its members coming from a broad geographical spectrum as well as international, technical, business, and legal perspectives. Employing all the techniques learned from the history of the development of the Internet, the IAHC produced a plan which defined a structure and processes to achieve precisely what the Green Paper proposes to accomplish regarding domain names.

The IAHC plan, now known as the CORE/POC/PAB, or gTLD-MoU plan, is and has been open for modification and adaptation. It presents an excellent foundation from which cooperative effort, with the US government as one of the participants, could result in an international solution to the issues addressed in the Green Paper. It has the added benefit of having been produced in the traditions of the Internet and would be enhanced by wider participation as herein suggested.

IV. The Critical Issues

Among the most critical issues discussed in the Green Paper are:

1. The concept of a Central Authority for the administration of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and parameters, domain names, and the root server system;

2. The concepts of Registries; whether they be for-profit or non-profit; "ownership" of gTLDs by registries; and, the use of shared database systems;

3. The concept of competitive Registrars;

4. Dispute Resolution mechanisms between domain name holders and intellectual property owners;

5. The direct and implied issues of Internet Governance.

A. Central Authority (The New IANA)

The Internet Society expresses its support of the document <http://www.iana.org/iana/iana-plan-980113.txt> written by Dr. Jon Postel and as evolved through an international vetting process. We believe it is similar enough to that proposed in the Green Paper to warrant consideration as a basis upon which to arrive at strong international consensus.

ISOC does not believe it is necessary for the Green Paper to attempt to define the specifics of board makeup for the new IANA and that the board makeup should be determined through public discussion, electronic forum, and other iterative mechanisms to arrive at an acceptable resolution. The IETF has a long and successful track record of resolving complex and difficult issues through this kind of process and these deliberative processes can be used as a role model.

As the new IANA relates to TLDs, registries, and registrars, the Internet Society offers the following observations which have recently been discussed within the IAB and the IESG:

i) All TLDs, generic and country-code based, should derive their authorization and existence from the new IANA. The general rules of RFC 1591 <ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc1591.txt> would apply.

i) The special gTLDs of .mil and .gov should be treated, for historical reasons, as additional country code TLDs for the USA.

i) For generic TLDs, the IANA board would designate either one registry with responsibility for all gTLDs or several registries, each with responsibility for one or more gTLDs. The designation process would involve proposals and competition; the registries would be operated as non-profits clearly separated from any other components of the same organization; title to the data and databases would clearly remain with IANA (the registry would obtain no equity interest in the databases by consequence of assembling, holding, or operating them); and, the IANA contracts with registries would contain provisions for appeals, frequent review of registry operations, auditing and testing of ability to transition to other registry operators, and early termination of contracts for not operating the registry efficiently or in accord with the public interest. IANA should be able to require performance bonds and/or other mechanisms for ensuring appropriate behavior both during registry operations and in the transition from one registry to another.

i) In general and in the long term, economies of scale are likely to tend toward a single registry, operated as above, for all or most gTLDs. However, this is not a requirement; the IANA board may make other decisions and arrangements. For a short transition period (see vii., below), it is likely that the registry for the existing gTLDs would be different from that for new ones.

i) In general, all authorized registrars would be permitted to make registrations in all gTLDs, and it would be a contractual requirement on registries to accept such registrations. Final review of qualifications for registrars (and appeal from any delegated system) would rest with IANA and not with the registry. However, the IANA board may accept proposals for specific gTLDs with different rules about candidates for registration and registrars; as with any other gTLD, IANA shall designate an appropriate registry.

i) The operation of the root domain and corresponding servers and supporting services is, as outlined in the GP, an IANA responsibility. Should IANA choose to delegate day-to-day operational responsibility to an organization with registry or registrar responsibilities, sufficient contractual and organizational boundaries would be required to avoid any plausible possibility of abuse of the relationship.

i) For a transition period and in order to facilitate that transition, the US government is encouraged to contract with a qualified organization for the registry operation of any existing gTLDs (e.g. .edu, .gov) not handled elsewhere. Such a transitional contract should be short, should explicitly recognize IANA's oversight authority, and should contain the general provisions outlined above (specifically, non profit, public trust assumptions, IANA ownership of data, IANA appeal and audit, clear separation from any organization in the registry or root operations business - noting that several of these provisions are slight refinements on those proposed in the Green Paper).

i) In order to support the speedy transition that is generally agreed to be preferable to a long and extended process, the qualifications for registrars established in the gTLD-MoU should be taken as a starting point. The existing registrars authorized by that process should be recognized conditioned upon immediate re-opening of the application and acceptance process. Once the IANA board is established it may supplement those criteria, or, as suggested above, establish different criteria for new gTLDs as needed.

B. Registries

Principal stewardship for the gTLDs and related data will be seated in the new IANA which will authorize registries as executors of this international public trust. The registries do not own any of the data, any more than Trust Officers at banks "own" the assets they steward, or neonatal ICU nurses "own" the babies for whom they care. The fact that those professional stewards do not "own" the objects in their care does not at all diminish their moral and legal obligations to execute their charge to the best of their ability and with all due diligence. Further, the execution of that trust gives them no long-term claim on the objects in their care. They may be life-critical but are nonetheless transient caretakers.

The registries collect, manage, and keep safe, a data corpus which is the fundamental glue of the Internet, and their job is to ensure the accuracy and high availability of the data entrusted to their care.

It is the explicit, direct responsibility of the new IANA to execute this international public trust. In doing so, it may elect to delegate the operational execution of this trust to registries; but, the ultimate responsibility for the execution of that public trust cannot be delegated. To this end, the new IANA must maintain an absolute ability to secure the timely and accurate execution of that public trust, including the removal and reassignment of a registry.

Serving as a registry is a task of significant gravity and responsibility which must be executed with supreme professionalism and attention to the sole charge of the public trust: the safe and accurate stewardship of the data. Organizations who imagine serving as a registry should think hard about what they are signing up to do. This is serious, world-class, public trust computing where failures can not be tolerated.

Registries are not meant to compete, although having multiple registries throughout the world would not necessarily be undesirable. Certainly registries must conform to minimum standards of operation such as hours of operation, maximum turn around time for registration, etc., but their customers are the registrars and not the end user, or registrant. When one first registers under a gTLD, they pick the gTLD depending upon what most fits what they are trying to project. Thereafter, they will rarely change their gTLD, but may find it highly desirable to change registrars.

The ability to change registrars, which gives a degree of "portability" to a domain name holder, requires that registries utilize a shared database capability that assures uniqueness in the registration of domain names. As long as all registries have a shared database capability conforming to the requirements of the DNS, multiple registries could exist.

As the repository for the database for each gTLD under its stewardship, the registry is, in fact, a monopoly for each of the gTLDs it services. As such it must operate under a different set of rules than a normal for profit business.

If a registry could be "for profit" based, there is the risk of significant price gouging, once a domain name is registered. The nature of the Internet is such that domain names become embedded in countless URLs and other forms of notice. They get linked in cascading fashions which make it extremely difficult to change, once released. The switching cost, therefore, could become quite high and, thus, a for-profit registry could take advantage of that plight by raising prices significantly.

We recognize that there are significant costs associated with maintaining and operating a registry, but we also know that those costs can be identified and pricing to registrars can be established based upon those costs. Accordingly, it is clearly desirable that registries be non-profit, with a cost-based pricing mechanism to its customers - the registrars.

C. Registrars

Registrars are the interface between the end user, or registrant, and the Internet DNS. It is here where true competition that benefits the user community will be beneficial. With multiple registrars operating worldwide under a shared registry system, consumers have the ability to pick which registrar best fits their needs, whether that is based upon price, quality of service, language capabilities, hours of operation, convenience of registration, etc. The registrant is not confined to any particular registrar because each registrar can register domain names under the same gTLDs.

However, even in a system where there are multiple registries, it is possible that a registrant may be compelled to deal with multiple registrars if the gTLDs employed by the registrant are housed in different registries, and the registrar is not affiliated with the designated registry. Given that registries are a service to the Internet, and specifically to the registrars as a public trust, this concept would seem to strengthen the case for one registry.

ISOC does not take a position on whether there should be one master registry, or multiple registries; only, that if there are multiple registries, they must have shared database systems with multiple registrar capabilities and be non-profit oriented.

D. Dispute Resolution

The Green Paper does not define a specific methodology for the resolution of disputes between intellectual property owners and domain names, but suggests certain minimum standards. This is superficially appealing but is likely to increase the confusion in an already complex legal arena. Owners of global trademarks and major brand names are already protesting the complexity of dealing with national law differences and differences between various administrative systems for handling trademark-domain name disputes. The Internet Society strongly encourages the US government to look seriously at the results of the consensus building effort of the IAHC/POC/CORE/PAB - gTLD-MoU process that developed the dispute resolution mechanisms in conjunction with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

There is a robust set of procedures to efficiently, effectively, and inexpensively resolve disputes between domain name holders and intellectual property owners in the form of online expedited mediation, online arbitration, and Administrative Challenge Panels (ACPs) to allow preemptive prevention of the use of internationally famous trade marks in domain names by other than the rightful owner. More specific and detailed information can be found at the gTLD-MoU web site at <http://www.gtld-mou.org/>, or directly to the dispute resolution section at <http://www.gtld-mou.org/#dispute>.

The proposal in the Green Paper to let "each name registry" establish its own dispute resolution policy will introduce confusion and perhaps chaos into an already complex issue, and such a system might unduly favor one region compared to others. ISOC strongly encourages the US government to remove that proposal from the Green Paper. Instead, the Green Paper should contain a recommendation to adopt a specific, existing methodology for dispute resolution such as that referenced in the gTLD-MoU, as a basis upon which to begin. Allowing each registry to establish its own dispute resolution policy will create a situation where one of the criteria for the selection of a registry by a customer could be the type of dispute settlement to which the customer will be subject. This could, in turn, create a strong incentive for each registry to adopt a dispute policy that maximizes its business, namely a policy that is exclusively domain-name-owner-friendly, and trademark-owner-unfriendly, rather than adopting an effective policy that will intelligently balance interests and maintain a stable commercial Internet space for global electronic commerce.

The gTLD-MoU dispute resolution mechanisms do not impede or otherwise preempt or override national laws or court systems and always allow for participants to revert to those national systems at any time. Indeed, the procedures fit very well the criteria defined in the Green Paper for desirable systems and were developed by a wide body of legal experts, business interests, trademark experts, domain name holders, and interested parties of varying backgrounds, from around the entire world. The resultant system is a comprehensive and robust tool for Internet stakeholder use! We recognize that, beyond national court systems, there are other established and proven dispute mechanisms available.

E. Governance

As stated in the Introduction section of this document, the Internet Society is strongly supportive of the US government's desire to withdraw from any direct involvement in the development, operation, or management of the Internet. We have a concern that the Green Paper leaves the door open for continuing controlling involvement by the US government in the regulation of the Internet for as much as two years. That time period could be significantly reduced by the US government's support of, and participation in, the continually evolving gTLD-MoU, which resulted from the one-and-a-half years of consensus building within the international Internet industry.

We are similarly supportive of the US government proposal to assist in the creation of a new IANA that is non-profit and governed by a policy oversight board which must be open, transparent and accountable to Internet participants. We are compelled to point out that an effort to reinvent IANA has been underway for some time as a result of the anticipation that US government funding of the existing IANA would cease in the fall of this year. In keeping with the processes by which the Internet has reached its present robust state, that is, bottom-up consensus building, a proposal has been evolving that was written by Dr. Jon Postel, the current head of IANA. The most recent iteration of that proposal can be found at <http://www.iana.org/iana/iana-plan-980113.txt>.

ISOC recommends the involvement of the US government, as one voice among many, in the evolution of the Postel proposal and points out that it is similar to that proposed in the Green Paper. We believe that most Internet stakeholders would be eager to rally around a combined effort consolidating these plans and resolving any differences. This could be done fairly quickly via electronic forum and any appropriate public meeting forum.

While the US government has funded IANA for many years, it has not interfered in the operation of the organization nor in the decisions IANA has made. IANA has a sterling track record of responsible operation and is recognized for its impartial, fair, and consensus building methods in executing its responsibilities. Further, IANA has operated under the auspices of the Internet Society, in a fully autonomous mode consistent with the IAB, IESG, and IETF, as noted in RFC 1601 <http://info.internet.isi.edu:80/in-notes/rfc/files/rfc1601.txt>.

While we don't believe that it is necessary to wait until the new IANA has been duly constituted in order to begin adding new gTLDs to the root servers, we do believe that the definition of gTLDs, registries, numbers of gTLDs, and like detail should not be defined by the US government, nor by any one institution. This is counter to the principle of self-governance, for which the US government has so often expressed support. Once the new IANA has been created, its processes will be in the best position to make those determinations.

We do not see a need for the creation of a new membership association. The Internet Society has existed for approximately six years. It is more representative of the Internet user than any other organization. Any individual or organizational entities are completely welcome to join. We are open to new members, and democratically run. ISOC has a Board of Trustees elected by the world-wide individual members. It has a set of bylaws <http://www.isoc.org/isoc/general/trustees/bylaws.shtml>, a set of written rules and operating procedures, and (most importantly) a history of democratic operations. In addition to having thousands of individual members from over 150 countries, ISOC's over 140 Organization members make up a veritable who's who of the Internet. ISOC is also the organizational home of the democratically run IETF, IAB, IESG, and Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) - the standards setting and research arms of the Internet community with bottom-up consensus building through thousands of participants. ISOC has demonstrated leadership in many areas, including organizing the effort to introduce competition into the DNS, one that has garnered more industry support than has any other proposal.

V. Conclusion

Fortunately, the USG is not looking for industry unanimity in how the Internet should be governed, because unanimity is not likely to happen. If it is willing to accept rough consensus, then it should look towards the gTLD-MoU plan as the role model. That plan, which created POC/CORE, resulted from a robust process that was thoroughly vetted in multiple public forums, and was more publicly scrutinized than any issue ever introduced into the Internet. The gTLD-MoU has more than 200 signatories (there were 217 as of 24 February 1998; the list continues to grow) and there are currently 88 registrars established. CORE has plans soon to open the application process for registrars and 22 new potential registrars have already indicated their intent to apply.

Those who could not, under the gTLD-MoU plan, carve out a piece of the Internet to call their own will never agree to true competition that leaves the end-users in the driver's seat. But who should the US government look to benefit, if not the end-users? It is not the role of the US government to protect the vested interests of those who would turn the Internet into their private profit generator. Rather, the US government should support industry efforts such as the gTLD-MoU, to transition to true industry self-governance.

We are in full agreement with the stated goal of the US government: " . . . to seek as strong a consensus as possible so that a new, open, and accountable system can emerge that is legitimate in the eyes of all Internet stakeholders." We submit that to ignore the efforts of major Internet stakeholders, in the form of the gTLD-MoU plan, does not lend itself to attaining a strong consensus.

We agree that the US government should not " . . .cede authority to any particular commercial interest or any specific coalition of interest groups." However, we caution that the proposed new membership associations, while in the process of evolving, may wind up controlled by a handful parochial interests. We submit that the existing user and registrar groups (ISOC and CORE) should be assisted and strengthened.

Concerns have been raised about anti-trust litigation. We suggest that the US government in cooperation with other governments, quickly draft anti-trust assurances that will support industry self-governance supporting the will of the world-wide Internet community.

We believe it would be instructive and beneficial for the entire process to proceed, under the current IANA, with the introduction of the POC/CORE system. Specifically, this would mean the introduction of new gTLDs into the root servers, the implementation of the already developed and tested shared registry system of CORE, and the use of the now existing dispute resolution procedures developed in the gTLD-MoU process. We recognize the possibility that other systems which would conform to the requirements of IANA may emerge and this action would not preclude their implementation. We simply believe this step would provide a robust means to gain controlled experience along the lines proposed in the Green Paper.

Contact Information:

Internet Society
Donald M. Heath
President/CEO
12020 Sunrise Valley Drive
Suite 210
Reston, VA 20191-3429
TEL: +703 648 98 88
FAX: +703 648 98 87
EMAIL: info@isoc.org
http://www.isoc.org/

###

From: <bracasen@usa.net>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 11:11pm
Subject: Availability of Domain Names

Attention: Ira Magaziner
Department of Commerce

At this point in time there is not very many .com names left. More lucrative
names were certainly snatched up quickly at the beginning of the .com and .net additions.

If there were more names added to the root servers, there would be
more availability. At least, those who missed lucrative names in the .com or .net domains will have a chance to obtain the new .store, .nom, .rec, .arts, .web, .firm, .info names. More options for businesses will only contribute to the growth of the Internet.

Janine Bracasen
bracasen@usa.net

____________________________________________________________________
Get free e-mail and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com

###

From: "John R. Mathiason" <mathiason@mail.netstep.net>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 8:45pm
Subject: Comments on the Department of Commerce Discussion Draft Entitled "A Proposal to Improve Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses

After a rather exhaustive analysis of the issues arising from the
current controversy on the assignment of domain names, I have the honor
to place before you a paper that Charles Kuhlman and I are presenting
to the International Studies Association. This paper constitutes our
comment on the Green Paper. As can be seen, the Green Paper fails to
address the central international issues of Internet governance and is,
accordingly, fatally flawed. The paper is appended as a Word 6.0 file.

John R. Mathiason
Adjunct Professor of Public Administration
Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
New York University


[View attached document]

###

From: Pacha Vivian <vpacha@caramail.com>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 4:20pm
Subject: vague proposal

Dear Ira Magaziner:

I am appalled at the lack of clarity in the draft
proposal. It is much too vague. To base something so
important on a vague document disturbs me.

There are four issues I would like to call to your
attention:

1) How other governments of the world are allowed to
participate in the system you envision.
2) How splitting registry and registrar is confusing and
creates difficulty for small business and consumers of the
Internet.
3) How the GTLDMOU is nowhere to be seen.
4) How Network Solutions continues their ridiculous
monopoly to the dismay of just about everyone except them.

These are serious oversights with your plan. Anyone who
says that this plan is fine as it is currently doesn't know
what the Hell they're talking about.

Please address these issues or suffer the reprecussions
of the international community and the Internet community
in general.

These comments are my own and I have decided not to
attach them with my work as it could be misconstrued. My
employer agrees that these are my personal comments and
should be recognized as such.

Sincerely,

Tony Williams
Patriotic Clintonite American
firmly against the proposal for the above four reasons.

______________________________________________________
Boite aux lettres - Caramail - http://www.caramail.com

###

From: Pacha Vivian <vpacha@caramail.com>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 4:21pm
Subject: vague proposal

Dear Ira Magaziner:

I am appalled at the lack of clarity in the draft
proposal. It is much too vague. To base something so
important on a vague document disturbs me.

There are four issues I would like to call to your
attention:

1) How other governments of the world are allowed to
participate in the system you envision.
2) How splitting registry and registrar is confusing and
creates difficulty for small business and consumers of the
Internet.
3) How the GTLDMOU is nowhere to be seen.
4) How Network Solutions continues their ridiculous
monopoly to the dismay of just about everyone except them.

These are serious oversights with your plan. Anyone who
says that this plan is fine as it is currently doesn't know
what the Hell they're talking about.

Please address these issues or suffer the reprecussions
of the international community and the Internet community
in general.

These comments are my own and I have decided not to
attach them with my work as it could be misconstrued. My
employer agrees that these are my personal comments and
should be recognized as such.

Sincerely,

Vivian Pacha
Patriotic Clintonite American
firmly against the proposal for the above four reasons.

______________________________________________________
Boite aux lettres - Caramail - http://www.caramail.com

###

From: Pacha Vivian <vpacha@caramail.com>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 4:29pm
Subject: Tony Williams' email

Bonjour,

My name is Vivian Pacha. Tony Williams used my email
account to send his message, and substituted my name for
his. I do not endorse this letter and please do not
register his views as my own. These are not my views.

He did not consult with me about this issue, so his
are not my views and I do not condone his views.

Thank you,

Vivian Pacha
Tony Williams' ex-girlfriend

______________________________________________________
Boite aux lettres - Caramail - http://www.caramail.com

###

From: <launch@LAUNCHMASTER.COM>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/17/98 4:28pm
Subject: Your Web Site Re-Launch

To: dns@ntia.doc.gov

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###