From: Einar Stefferud <Stef@nma.com>
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 4/20/98 11:34am
Subject: Organization of an Interim Internet Administration Board of Directors (WAS: Re: instrumentality )
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 01:44:37 -0700
From: Einar Stefferud <Stef@nma.com>
Subject: Organization of an Interim Internet Administration Board of
(WAS: Re: instrumentality )
Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
My comments on the proper structure to be employed for organization of
proper management of the required coordination of the DNS ROOT
Service, the coordinated addition of new TLDs to the DNS ROOT Service,
and proper management of all the other aspects of the required central
coordination of Internet Infrastructural Administration, should be
organized bottom up, in the model of a Customer/Producer Cooperative.
These ideas have been consistently proposed before, in my NOI
comments, in my NPRM (Green Paper) Comments, and in many contributions
to the Open Root Service Confederation discussion group. The concepts
proposed here have been successfully used in various Universities and
Companies to deal with complex issues related to sharing critical
resources across major organizational boundaries.. Here I am
particularizing it to the present situation.
The primary problem we (of DNS and the Internet) are facing is a
market structure failure which has led to an undesirable case of
monopolistic behavior. I propose that we consider that the correct
meta-problem to solve is one of finding the right market-structuring
administrative system to nurture market structuring evolution. And I
posit that this will best be found in the Producer/Customer
Cooperative model which naturally flows from, and follows from, market
structures that arise naturally in any open markets in question.
In our case, we can easily identify a large number of distinct parties
and groups that should have a voice in global internet administration,
as well as a voice in lesser lower level Internet administration
For example, starting with DNS:
1. ROOT SERVER Operators, who might form a Confederation.
2. TLD Registry Operators/Owners, who might form a Confederation.
3. DNS SLD Registrars who offer value added retail service, who might
form one or more Trade Associations. CORE is one association.
4. DNS Resolver Server Operators/Administrators at ISPs & other
places who might form one of more associations.
5. End users who might be organized into any number of membership
associations. The ISOC is one such small "user" organization.
6. Other associations might find a need to assert themselves in some
Now, this only deals with the DNS aspect of the current mess.
Similar structures should be organized for IP address allocation, for
support of standards processes, including the IETF Secretariat, the
IAB if still needed, and any other administrative activities that need
some kind of centralized coordination. Each should determine their
own best means for selecting and appointing their own representatives
to higher level boards of whatever kind might evolve.
Then, all of these organized entities should form a top level
governing board to provide the functions that the Green Paper proposes
for the New-IANA Board of Directors.
This of course requires too much elapsed time to be done by next
September, per the GP calendar, so we need something else in the
interim. Naturally, this leads to the notion of an Interim Internet
Administrative Board of Directors, whose responsibility is to fill the
gap while the naturally arising free and open market structure
develops and the various natural market segments form their
association constituencies, which would each provide elected
representatives to the New-IANA Board of Directors. The charge to
this Interim Board should be to see to the restructuring of the Open
Internet Marketplace which now in the process of organizing itself
very nicely, thank you, without much help from anyone in particular.
My suggestion is that this all be allowed to proceed according to the
"Method of Successive Approximations" starting with an appointed
Interim Internet Administrative Board Of Directors, with the initial
representatives selected to represent the as yet unformed open market
segment associations, along the lines outlined above.
Then, over time, all this can successively better approximate the
intended goal as associations form themselves in response to the need
for them within the open market structure, and they take their places
in selecting representatives to higher level boards, which might serve
as aggregators of associations.
What scars me about the New-IANA Board concepts presented in the GP is
that it could easily be constructed to have all members of the board
chosen according to present thinking about what constituencies should
be represented, and drawn from the model of our currently failing
market structure. This could lock us into going forward with an
ill-fitting structure based on our 20th Century past, and not on our
21st Century future.
I submit that we do not yet know enough about our unknown and
unknowable future to rigidly structure a proper representational
New-IANA Board of Directors, and that it is critical to thus proceed
in a Method of Successive Approximations Process that will unfold
according to the structural evolution of a free and open Internet.
No one among us all is smart enough right now to decide what will be
the best representation arrangement of all the players six months from
now, let alone 6 years from now, or 60 years from now.
PS: Those who know me will no doubt recognize that this model fits
best to what we know as a Common Private Trust model for the
Internet taken as a whole. That is, the Internet simply
consists of a massive set of private networks interconnecting via
a privately arranged and privately funded nexus of IP Routers.
No single entity or nation "owns" the whole Internet, any more
than any single entity or nation "owns" or controls the whole
global economy, or the international "informational" monetary
standard. All of these "things" are merely aggregations of
private trusts, which are organized to function through mutual
cooperative self interest, even while avidly competing with each
The trick in organizing this kind of thing is to structure the
market to incentivize people to apply their tendencies for greed
and avarice to the processes of open competition in open markets,
combined with the need for cooperation with others in everyone's
own best interest.