Re: DNS: April 4th ADNA meeting

Re: DNS: April 4th ADNA meeting

From: Luke Carruthers <luke§magna.com.au>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 11:42:39 +1000 (EST)
> So can you explain what the SMA mean, and this reference to "addressing" means,
> in this context Luke? If it means "names" then it should refer to "names"
> If it means some legalisting concept of address which is not an IP address
> then by god, its obfuscatory. I am unable to understand why its in this
> document unless its internet related, and I am unable to understand why the
> SMA has a role in defining it if its not a technical matter similar to
> spectrum management, and given the past history of FUD over "the IPv4 address
> space is running out" my suspicions that this relates to IP addresses is
> not abated yet...

The reference to the SMA is actually mistaken - the relevant body will be
the ACA, which will be made up of the SMA and Austel.  My mistake - I 
continued to reference the SMA after making that distinction earlier.  The
body doing most of the work in this area currently is Austel.  The 
legislation wasdrafted a while go, without substantial reference to that 
muc maligned group 'the industry", and thus takes many of its terms and scope 
from the ore general telecommunications industry.  In this area, addressing
refers to issues such as phone numbers.  The legislation is broad enough
in reference to the Internet to cover issues such as IP addressing as well
as the DNS, but I think that Austel realises that their regulatory powers
are better left unexercised in that case, and that it is really an issue
for the constituent networks to resolve amongst themselves.

> I find the continual reference to "the industry" very depressing. The internet
> is not "an industry" although there are those who seek to make it so. The
> internet is a NETWORK. Some parts are sold, some parts are run not for profit,
> some parts are research. This is not a meaningless distinction, because it
> lies at the heart of the issue I have with commercialization of all levels
> of activity relating to the network. I do not believe commercial imperatives
> should dictate policy at this level, and I do not believe continual reference
> to "the industry" is appropriate in discussing matters of public policy. The
> choice of sub-domains and policy issues surrounding them are not industry
> matters, but public interest matters. 

You assume that the phrase "the industry" rules out partcipation by academia,
governent, consumers, etc - this is not the case.  All of these are elements
of "the industry", and all have their chance to make their views known.  In
this context, and especially in an area as new as the Internet still really 
is, referencing the industry is a wise move by public policy makers. 

Saying "the Internet is a network" ignores the potentially more important
issues of the Internet as agent of social change, the Internet as vehicle 
for globalisation of markets, the Internet as distributor of government
information - i.e. all the higher level issues that really determine what
the public policy approach has to be.  I think this attitude not only 
convinces regulatory authorities that "the industry" cannot be self-regulating,
but that it is immature enough to need shepherding through its development.

>   Perhaps you could elaborate further on where you perceive this weekness,
>   and how it could be corrected?  I believe the intent with respect to
>   the domains which do not sustain as much traffic (such as gov.au, edu.au, 
>   asn.au) is to enable them to retain their current status (i.e. not being
>   charged for, being run by people appointed to the task) with an "if it
>   isn't broken, don't fix it" philosophy, and indeed allow new domains to
>   be created with similar criteria.
> 
> If the intent is to permit new domains along non-commercial lines to be
> created and maintained, then the document needs more explicit mention of
> the criteria which relate to non-profit domains. In particular the conditions
> of levy will simply not be appropriate, nor might the requirement for financial
> bond posting and other controls. If anything, there should be an explicit
> requirement for public-interest domains to be funded in infrastructure terms
> from the levy on more commercial domains such as com.au.

There is explicit leeway in the current documentation to remove any financial
levy upon these sort of domains (I won't label them non-profit, as there are
many examples in areas such as asn.au, edu.au, etc that are very much for
profit), at the discretion of the Board of ADNA.  If upon incorporation
the Board wishes a set of guidelines drafted outlining its criteria 
(something I personally think a good idea) then they will do so, but I think
determing those criteria in advance will both tie us down in endless detail,
s well as pre-empt any thoughts the Board may have on the issue.  Because of 
the nature of these domains, i.e. not truly non-profit I think mandating
funding for them goes too far.

> The document requires a preamble much as the MoU has to define the public
> interest goals and to declare the basis upon which the ADNA intends to address
> them, and ensure domains are run to the public interest, and not soley
> as a matter of revenue or profit for any agency.

An explicit part of the structure requires that ADNA itself not make 
a profit.  Given its role in guiding the policies applied to each domain,
this ensures a certain amount of public policy focus.

I think a preamble such as you describe is an excellent idea - would you like
to draft it?   Please contact me directly regarding this if so.

> The document needs to cross reference to appropriate other documents in
> wider contexts. It might need to reference to the definitions of internet
> recently passed in the US federal domain for instance. It might want to
> cross reference to the appropriate trademark and related bodies and their
> intent to respect the process at hand (one of the big wins with the IAHC
> is the involvement from day #1 of bodies such as WIPO).

Also an excellent idea.  Some of these are not appropriate to the current
situation, and may need some degree of modification to increse their
relevance, but their inclusion will certainly add to the document.  I'm 
sure these sort of references could be added by the April 4 meeting.

> It certainly wants to demonstrate an understanding of the wider issues of
> DNS and show some involvement in the current international processes. I am
> interested to know who apart from Geoff Huston has had any involvement in
> wider DNS matters? Has Intiaa or any other participant any role in the
> regional Internet bodies and processes? Have you canvassed any similar issues
> in other countries? Sure, we expect to own and run .AU and in the final
> analysis its a matter for Australia only, but equally, we're not THAT different
> to other countries, and I'd like to know whats being proposed here is
> meeting current best practice worldwide.

Observation of the activities happening internationally is certainly
occuring - while they have largely a parallel relevance, I don't think
anyone could honestly say we can't benefit from the collective resources
being focused on these issues.  Many parts of the process, incuding areas
such as dispute resolution, have been developed in conjunction with 
similar bodies internationally.

> I look forward to that problems resolution. I would appreciate clearer
> indication that the DNA for csiro.au edu.au oz.au asn.au net.au gov.au
> have acceptance of the ADNA proposals and see adequate representation for
> their sector of the internet in the management body proposed. To date, most
> of the acceptance seems to come from Intiaa and other "industry" bodies. I 
> don't see the wider community support.

I'm hopeful that we will have a resolution within the next few days.  I
will say that of the DNA's you mention (which incidentally I can't see 
as representative of the wider community) three are members of these
industry bodies, as well as having involvement in the drafting of the
current documentation, and the other has participated in the process
since the beginning.  I see wider community support in the participation
in the public meetings of the DNS task force and this mailing list by
all those interested.

>   There is provision in the structure for appopriate bodies to apply and be
>   accepted for membership.  
> 
> Yes, but this begs the question who is capable of meeting the criteria and
> what it does to substantive control of the .AU space in the meantime.

As stated in the structure document, associations whose charter has relevance 
to the Internet.  As this covers all areas from commercial to consumer, I
can't think of a better group to exert substantive control over the .AU
name space.



Luke Carruthers
Magna Data
Internet Solutions Provider
Received on Fri Mar 21 1997 - 12:01:28 UTC

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