Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
ccTLD cold war with ICANN gets hot

By Arkady in News
Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 09:26:56 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

The operators of the country-code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) have finally fired the first shot in their ongoing feud with the American Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).


The ccTLD operators have been in conflict with ICANN since the U.S. Department of Commerce first created it, but the rhetoric started heating up last fall, when the possiblity of breaking away completely was first publicly raised (see the Register's coverage for this, as well as more background on the conflict). Peter de Blanc, from the Virgin Islands, called this the "nuclear" option at the time.

Well, the war's heated up, though they stopped just short of nuclear yesterday, when the ccTLD operators voted to withdraw from ICANN's Domain Name Support Organization (DNSO). While the full nuclear option would be to withdraw completely from ICANN and form a new indpendant root, they have pulled out of ICANN's processes while still participating in its operation and maintaining their TLDs as components on the ICANN/U.S. Government root.

The coverage of this goes from tech press to mainstream (and we can expect it to spread):

and, of course:

Those of us who use or work with the independant DNS roots (as I work with The OpenNIC) naturally support this move by the ccTLD operators. In fact, many of us think that they need to go further and fully seperate themselves from ICANN as a completely seperate root operator themselves. By participating in ICANN, all of whose actions must be approved by the U.S. Departmnent of Commerce, they are placing themselves under the U.S. legally and functionally; not a wise move for the operators of domain names reserved for use by other countries.

So, come on folks! Take it all the way and get the U.S. Government out of the second most important protocol on the Net!

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Which DNS system do you use?
o ICANN/U.S. Gov. 37%
o OpenNIC 15%
o AlterNIC 0%
o Pacific Root 0%
o Name.Space 0%
o ORSC 0%
o I don't know 24%
o I don't care 22%

Votes: 53
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o ZDNet
o Slashdot
o the Register's coverage
o The Register
o ZDNet [2]
o Slashdot [2]
o The OpenNIC
o Also by Arkady


Display: Sort:
ccTLD cold war with ICANN gets hot | 34 comments (26 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
Poll (4.00 / 2) (#6)
by Delirium on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:29:03 PM EST

I use whatever system the sites I want to visit provide as a way to access them. Since the vast majority of sites provide only an ICANN method of doing so, I use ICANN nearly all the time. I'd like to use OpenNIC more, but at the moment it's nearly useless - I can't even access sites like k5 from it. Since you'd probably expect a site like k5 to be one of the first to adopt a new DNS system, it's pretty obvious that if I can't even access this, I certainly can't access the New York Times, CNN, or most "mainstream" services through OpenNIC.

Wrongo (4.00 / 4) (#8)
by Arkady on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:36:19 PM EST

OpenNIC provides resolution for the ICANN names as well as the ones we operate ourselves. I access K5 through OpenNIC's name servers (as does Rusty, by the way ;-), so I can assure you that it does work.

OpenNIC's own namespace (.null, .geek etc.) are published as a superset of the names available in the ICANN/USG root.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
How good is yo service? (3.00 / 7) (#13)
by Funk Soul Hacker on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 04:58:49 PM EST

Cuz man, mine be givin' me shit, I couldn't get to thehun.net fo a while, and I eventually had to add their authoritatives to ma main lookup list. If opennic's list is pretty compra-hensive I might just point my resolva in your general direction.


--- Right about now, Da Funk Soul Hacker
[ Parent ]
i suppose (4.00 / 1) (#16)
by Delirium on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 09:53:00 PM EST

Well yes, in fact I did that for a while (I haven't gotten around to setting that up on this computer though, since it didn't seem of much use to me). But that's really just using the ICANN system - OpenNIC when used that way is serving as nothing but another nameserver, not much different from the one my ISP provides me. I was talking about actually using a separate namespace from ICANN; if I'm gonna be using only ICANN domain names anyway why bother using the OpenNIC servers?

[ Parent ]
Not just another nameserver. (5.00 / 2) (#21)
by tankgirl on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 12:50:20 AM EST

I'm not sure why you see it that way. OpenNIC resolves for multiple namespaces (formally with AlterNIC and PacRoot) as it supports the view that all DNS roots should be working together cooperatively.

I was talking about actually using a separate namespace from ICANN; if I'm gonna be using only ICANN domain names anyway why bother using the OpenNIC servers?

Our namespace is separate, we simply support legacy domains, too. That's our whole point, the net doesn't need to be fragmented by ICANN's absolutist view. When you load only ICANN legacy root files, you're choosing to view the Internet their way and supporting a monopoly. Why limit yourself to that? There are tons of sites on alternative DNS systems that you're missing out on. Such as access to all our peers or Name.Space The Internet is a global community of networks connected via peering sessions between network providers. There's no technical reason the DNS root can't be managed the same way.

Come enjoy a full view of the Internet, it's fun :-)

regards,
jeri.
BTW, I'm a member of the OpenNIC and run an OpenNIC enabled nameserver for a small worker owned ISP in the Bay Area.

If this signature were six words shorter it would be seven words long.
[ Parent ]
hrm (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by Delirium on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 01:00:33 AM EST

Well yes, I see that, but my point was that if all the sites I want to visit have ICANN-provided names anyway, I'm not missing anything by just using my ISP's nameserver. I had thought the main point of OpenNIC and similar efforts was to provide an alternative to the ICANN system, and if everyone has an ICANN name anyway, how is it really an alternative?

[ Parent ]
I thought it would be obvious by now. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by tankgirl on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 01:56:40 AM EST

I can go buy Coca-Cola anywhere. It's the same product at Safeway (CA), Duane Reed (NY), Seven-Eleven (everywhere- in the US at least, I think), but where I shop denotes my support for their organization. Where your DNS resolution query goes denotes your support, too :-).

My site, www.tankgrrrl.net is also accessible via www.tankgirl.geek. Why not resolve that through an alternative cooperative DNS system instead of a monopolistic, corporate backed system that wants to control your Internet experience?

I think that's an obvious answer.
:)
jeri.

"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]
stuff (5.00 / 1) (#26)
by Delirium on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 02:07:05 AM EST

My site, www.tankgrrrl.net is also accessible via www.tankgirl.geek. Why not resolve that through an alternative cooperative DNS system instead of a monopolistic, corporate backed system that wants to control your Internet experience?

See, stuff like that is useful. If I can resolve through a non-ICANN name (even if an ICANN name is available for now since switching right away is difficult), there's some use. But if none of the sites I visit regularly have non-ICANN names, then pointing computer to the OpenNIC nameservers is really no different than pointing it to my ISP's nameservers.

Which is a roundabout way of saying I'd like to see a non-.org way of accessing k5.

What does seem strange to me is the way the com/net/org domains are treated by OpenNIC. Why, for example, do they not appear in this list of alternate namespaces? They certainly are an alternate namespace, and while I can see opposition to ICANN attempts to make them the only namespace, I don't see any reason to deny that they are and will remain a namespace. They're not "legacy" any more than AlterNIC is "legacy."

[ Parent ]

OpenNIC resolves ICANN? (none / 0) (#27)
by Tachys on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 03:46:50 AM EST

I didn't know that I thought I had to use OpenNIC in additional to a "normal" DNS server.

So I thought it was to much hassle.

You need to make this more clear on your website.

[ Parent ]
yep, and thanks (1.00 / 1) (#28)
by Arkady on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 02:30:30 PM EST

I should put a blurb on the front page stating that "by using the OpenNIC name servers you can resolve names in the ICANN/USG, OpenNIC, AlterNIC and Pacific Root namespaces", or something like that.

Thanks for the suggestion; I've got quite a few changes I need to make, so I'll add this to the list. ;-)

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
English is better than geek (4.00 / 1) (#29)
by Sunir on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 06:36:10 PM EST

I think it would be better to say that, "by using OpenNIC, you can transparently resolve not only the alternative sites, but all the sites you'd normally use."

Or something to that effect. Basically something that non-geeks would understand. You could make a small rider that explains it in acronymese for the more bits-'n'-bytes types if you want, but the ultimate key to setting up an alternate root is ease of use (and understanding) and enough personal value to motivate the switch.

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
[ Parent ]

BTW, today is OpenNIC's birthday (4.40 / 5) (#7)
by Arkady on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:32:13 PM EST

I don't think I'll put this in as a seperate article, since this one is also on DNS politics, but The OpenNIC formed here on K5 exactly one year ago today!

The article from which it grew was posted here on June 1, 2000; my first ever K5 article. The K5 community provided the first admins and members of the OpenNIC and has continued to be quite open to and supportive of our ideals.

I want to thank you all for the initial response to that article, which inspired us to actually try it and for helping us grow (as in this K5 article asking for K5's input on planning for OpenNIC). The K5 community provided the inpetus and support for building OpenNIC.

Cheers,
-robin


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


well, yesterday (3.00 / 2) (#11)
by Arkady on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 04:08:27 PM EST

Actually, it was yesterday; (I just don't pay much attention to the calender. ;-)

That just makes the ccTLD timing even better, of course.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
DNS is for babies... (3.66 / 3) (#10)
by theboz on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 03:45:50 PM EST

Oh please...all of this wouldn't matter if people just started using IP addresses instead of domain names. If all of you people out there can't remember something as easy as 209.208.150.45 instead of kuro5hin.org you should give your computer back to HP.

Maybe I'm just jealous because DNS doesn't seem to be working 75% of the time with my ISP and have to put everything into the host files on my computers.

In any case, I think alternative DNS is good for geeks and such, but I don't really see ICANN losing power, unless someone like Microsoft makes them invalid.

Stuff.

IP6 (3.50 / 8) (#12)
by Funk Soul Hacker on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 04:51:11 PM EST

Yo, yo. You might like kickin' it wit dem dotted quads, but man, have fun with those colon seperated eights, four times the info. Ain't no one gonna be 'membering those.

Man, dis DNS stuff be wack, yo.


--- Right about now, Da Funk Soul Hacker
[ Parent ]
easier than phone numbers.. (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by Platy on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 06:11:09 PM EST

Though DNS works for me most of the time i know more IPs than phone numbers.. it's always a good feeling to be dependent on as few things as possible, in my opinion.
J.
--
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, I.
[ Parent ]
virtual hosts (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by enterfornone on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 06:48:32 PM EST

using IPs breaks name based virtual hosts.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
great.. (3.50 / 2) (#14)
by Platy on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 04:59:07 PM EST

one step to make the net a bit more independent from just one country.
In my opinion control over things like that should be given to already existing international organisations - what a pity the UNO is dead in fact. ( In general I really like their goals - but obviously their methods werent the right ones)
I never thought about making i new dns system (probably not the technically correct term.. is "new dns root server system" better? whatever...). But in fact it's quite easy, isnt it?
J.
--
Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, I.
The Purpose of ccTLDs (3.00 / 1) (#19)
by dave920 on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 10:02:07 PM EST

Two things need to be looked at here when analyzing this situation. The first is the reason why ccTLDs exist at all.

They were implemented to give each nation a place on the Internet. Some nations have decided that their ccTLD is a great commercial asset (e.g. the small country of Tuvalu has granted permission to the dotTV Coproration to sell its .tv ccTLD like a .com), while others have stricter regulations (like the United States, in fact, which provides .us domains only to "public/government enterprises," such as schools, senators' offices, and libraries).

Since ICANN has granted each country to do as it wishes with its ccTLD, I feel that they should be able to choose how they want it implemented in DNS. However, there is a counterpoint to my own argument: the Internet needs to work, which is the second item that needs to be examined.

If a couple nations here and there choose varying systems, then the chances of everything working smoothly become slimmer. I think the end result will depend on what I brought up first: each country's decision. I doubt dotTV is going to drop ICANN, since its revenue base depends on its .tv domain names being able to be accessed and become as popular as .com's. In the same light, more independently governed ccTLDs are more likely to branch off and use an alternative to ICANN.

Delegation of .us domains (3.50 / 2) (#20)
by sigwinch on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 10:48:25 PM EST

[Other nations] have stricter regulations (like the United States, in fact, which provides .us domains only to "public/government enterprises," such as schools, senators' offices, and libraries).
According to www.us, .us domains can be delegated to just about anyone:
All state and local governments (city, county, township, parish, village), K-12 districts and schools, community colleges, technical schools, museums, libraries, organizations, businesses, and individuals can register under .us.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

I stand corrected. (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by dave920 on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 01:42:23 AM EST

It seems that using the .us ccTLD was a bad example, as further investigation at www.us shows that you are correct: pretty much anyone ("individuals") can register a .us name. Thanks for correcting me.

[ Parent ]
however (none / 0) (#30)
by enterfornone on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 06:47:49 PM EST

You can't just create microsoft.us etc. You have to fit in to the geographical tree.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Time to share... (none / 0) (#23)
by tankgirl on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 01:30:12 AM EST

If a couple nations here and there choose varying systems, then the chances of everything working smoothly become slimmer.

First of all, what makes you think it's working smoothly right now? Also, the 'fragmentation argument' is just a scare tactic. It would simply decrease ICANN's monopoly over the Internet and encourage them (in a forcible manner) to peer with other DNS roots. Which (many of us think) is a good thing. And there's nothing technically impossible about it.

I doubt dotTV is going to drop ICANN, since its revenue base depends on its .tv domain names being able to be accessed and become as popular as .com's. In the same light, more independently governed ccTLDs are more likely to branch off and use an alternative to ICANN.

I'm pretty sure the ccTLD admin's see the importance of the 'strength in numbers approach', and they're generally frustrated by the lack of say regarding their own domains. I can just imagine the American people petioning ICANN to peer with an alternative ccTLD root, because Joe Schomo wants to reach seinfeld.tv :-) That's not the end of the world, that's cooperation.

Since ICANN is no longer the only kid in the sandbox, I think it's time to learn how to share.
jeri.

"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]
dns fragmentation (none / 0) (#32)
by hag on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 10:32:38 PM EST

Also, the 'fragmentation argument' is just a scare tactic.

Actually, it isn't. Once we cease to agree on what a name means, we have a semantic problem.

You send me mail from your @tankgirl.geek address. How do I reply to you, given that I know nothing about .geek?

Multiple people (and administrative domains) use DNS. Unless we all agree that a name means something, we can't communicate about it. Multiple roots mean that we don't agree.

When people like me say "no multiple roots", what we really mean is that a name must mean the same thing everywhere.

OpenNIC would be a perfectly workable idea if we didn't already have the problem of two groups claiming to own .biz . Which .biz do you believe, and how do you convince everybody else to do the same?

[ Parent ]

on .biz (1.00 / 1) (#33)
by Arkady on Tue Jun 05, 2001 at 02:28:07 AM EST

"Which .biz do you believe, and how do you convince everybody else to do the same?"

Since everyone _except_ ICANN use the "prior, continuous use" criteria, there's no problem convincing anyone (except ICANN and their pet .biz folks).

The point on fragmentation is that it's _ICANN_ who are bringing up the first major conflict between the DNS systems, not Atlantic Root, and it's ICANN who are claiming that merely by virtue of having the largest user base they should be treated as being the "one true root".

They are, quite unabashedly, the Microsoft of the Net.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
_ICANN_ is causing DNS framentation... (none / 0) (#34)
by tankgirl on Wed Jun 06, 2001 at 01:03:45 PM EST

You send me mail from your @tankgirl.geek address. How do I reply to you, given that I know nothing about .geek?

The same way I'd get anywhere I'd never been, by trying to find out the path :-)

When people like me say "no multiple roots", what we really mean is that a name must mean the same thing everywhere.

Having multiple roots doesn't mean that a name can't mean the same thing everywhere. We have multiple networks on the Internet, and everyone still knows how to get from point A to point B. That's because of the peering arangements between networks. It seems like we both want the same thing- cooperation. It's ICANN that won't cooperate and play nice, that's why I can't support their root.

Just my point of view- it's ICANN that's breaking the net because they're unwilling to share. We saw the same senario play out in 1984 with the divestiture of AT&T. In fact, the same(see the eighties) 'confusion/framentation' argument was used then...same battle, different Goliath.

jeri.
"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]
ccTLD cold war with ICANN gets hot | 34 comments (26 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!