DNS: ADNA and proto-ADNA

DNS: ADNA and proto-ADNA

From: Kate Lance <clance§connect.com.au>
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 09:38:26 +1000 (EST)
Something needs to be made very explicit here: ADNA is not yet ADNA,
right now it's only a *proto*-ADNA.  

Proto-ADNA had one very big task to acomplish in the short window of
opportunity after it was formed:  it had to gain the *confidence* of
the existing registrars, the sectors they represented, and the Internet
community in general.  With the support of this constituency, setting
up an infrastructure to handle DNS would be trivial.  Without it, it's

KRE and the other delegates made it clear that no authority would or
could be handed over until proto-ADNA had accomplished this task.

You had several opportunities to start this happening:

Opportunity 1: ISOC-AU tried to help proto-ADNA because we appreciated
the hard work that had gone into it from many disinterested people, and
rather than just discard that work we tried to improve the basic
principles, to set up a bridge between the existing system and the
future one.  You stopped co-operating on this and threw away a chance
of gaining the confidence of a large part of the community.

Opportunity 2: You did well getting the trademark talks going.  You
then screwed up totally by (1) ignoring your own doubts about whether
or not that sector had understood the issues (2) and forging on ahead
regardless, to impose just what you wanted.  But you are not *yet* 
ADNA: you don't have the authority to make these types of decisions.  

You are a bunch of guys who gave yourself an ambitious name and paid
lawyers to draw up some boilerplate articles, articles that have little
relationship to the tasks of a real ADNA.  You regularly ignore the 
input of many of your own board members and invited observers, you have 
made internal threats of legal action when you disagree, and some of 
your arguments appear to be driven by blatant self-interest.

You don't understand your remit:  to be able to be the authority for
.au you need to show that you're *capable* of doing it, of carrying
on with the disinterested representation that the traditional delegates
have performed voluntarily for years.  

Your job was and still is to gain the trust of the community, *before*
you do anything to change the system.  Only an ADNA that has gained
community confidence has the right to implement new SLDs, or to
disagree with a sector recommendation.  You still don't have that right.

Below are some specific comments on your mail. 


Mark Hughes wrote:
 | But this now gives everyone a good opportunity to review
 | the ISOC-AU proposal, review the existing ADNA structure,
 | and evaluate what a better outcome would look like.
Remember that this was only submission 2.  A couple of weeks after 
this I went over many of these points with Peter Gerrand and Luke 
Carruthers.  I then produced amended version 3, which was supposed 
to be discussed by ADNA in December.  So in many respects your points 
below are dead-horse flogging.

 | In fact, I think the the ISOC-AU proposal is so inherently
 | contradictory that it would not be difficult for some people
 | to conclude that it was either deliberately designed not to
 | be accepted, or that it was deliberately designed to conceal
 | a hidden agenda by ISOC-AU.

Nice bit of mud-slinging there, Mark.  But I could suggest that for a
stalling tactic, you couldn't go past 5 months (4 Nov to 4 April) of 
not bothering to read the submission, could you?  But of course, I
don't think that :-)

 | That is not my opinion; I belive ISOC-AU is genuine in its
 | objectives.  But it has forced me to the opinion that the proposal
 | is, as I referred to it a day or so ago 'intellectually shoddy'.

You're clearly getting so much pleasure out of throwing that phrase
around I hate to interfer.  But I don't think I ever implied that this
was the Third Law of Thermodynamics.  It was a bunch of suggestions,
with frequent requests for ADNA feedback and input.

 | >- "Steward": A person or body appointed by ADNA who represents the
 | >  authority of ADNA over the policy management of the .au domain or a
 | >  Second Level Domain (SLD) within .au.  (We had discussed these as
 | >  "Appointed Delegates") -- this term suggests the public-trust
 | >  function of the role, and differentiates it from the Traditional
 | >  Delegate of the IANA delegations.  Note that ADNA itself would be the
 | >  steward for the .au name space, and also for whichever SLDs did not
 | >  require significant policy establishment.
 | First issue - this concept of a new level of entity - a 'steward'.  See
 | my more detailed comments below.
To cut to the chase, note the bit above about ADNA?  The 3RD version of
the submission made it clearer that Steward was the entity with policy 
authority, ie *ADNA* in almost all cases; the exception being
traditional delegates who hadn't yet transferred authority to ADNA, but
would do so over time as they gained confidence in the process.

 | A sectoral sub-committee is best placed to identify the
 | preferences of that sector.  But clearly, by definition,
 | they are biased towards that sector and by definition,
 | a sectoral sub-committe does not and never can represent
 | the total public interest.
 | This is one of two major inherent contradictions - fatal
 | flaws, really - in this ISOC-AU proposal.

But they can define policy for their *own* group: CSIRO, for instance
doesn't have to have a policy for the public interest, they have to
have a policy that suits CSIRO.  It's up to ADNA to make sure it
doesn't conflict with other groups, but there's no reason a group's 
sectorial needs can't be accommodated. 

 | >Currently there are five Traditional Delegates: Robert Elz, Geoff Huston,
 | >Hugh Irvine, Michael Malone and Peter Gerrand.  ISOC-AU proposes that
 | >they automatically have positions on the board by virtue of their
 | >roles as Traditional Delegates.
 | Here's fatal flaw number two.  After beating ADNA about the head for
 | eons about the conflict between policy and operations, you propose to
 | resolve this by adding more Registrars to the board??????  Increasing
 | their number to four?

Four out of the five people above get no financial or other benefit
from their registrar role, ie nothing that might influence their policy
decisions.  They would be on the board as Delegates, not as registrars.

In any case, don't you recall the ADNA board meeting you attended that
suggested 6 months or so as a deadline for delegates who were also
registrars to stop being both and become one or the other?  I certainly do.

 | Really?  That separates policy from operations? That's an improvement
 | on the existing ADNA structure where, like CORE, the ADNA associate
 | members (Registrars) elect two of their members to the board?
Yes, ONCE people had moved into either policy or operational roles, and
clearly separated or handed over their other interests.  We all agreed, 
you included, that it would need a little time.

 | >In either case, as Traditional Delegates pass their authority onto ADNA
 | >over time they will leave the Board, and a limited number of Full Members
 | >could be elected to maintain a broad level of representation, up to
 | >eight members (say) excluding the Traditional Delegates.
 | >Proposal (2) is ISOC-AU's preferred position.  It allows for complete
 | >separation between policy decisions at Board level and operational
 | >considerations at implementation level, and would prevent potential
 | >problems, such as the commercial objectives of Registrars outweighing
 | >the public-good objectives of ADNA.  

This was ISOC-AU's PREFERRED MODEL, I guess it's too reasonable and answers
you arguments above to get any comment.

 | You either have to accept that the higher level has the right not
 | to automatically approve a proposal that might not be in the broader
 | interest, or you remove the board's right to remove a sector advisor
 | in which case what on earth do you do if that sector advisor is
 | clearly not acting in the public interest?  Problem, eh?
Checks and balances, Mark.  All organisations have to deal with this
problem.  An ADNA with the confidence of the community could deal
with it.

(snip reasonable arguments about exact restrictions on registrars, as 
I said, it needed more discussion.)

(snip generally in agreement bits.)

 | ************************
 | 1. Major Issue one - Public Trust.
 | Here's a suggestion:
 | Ditch the concept of Steward, keep the Advisory Committee.
 | The Advisory Committee would be charged with providing
 | policy to the board on their sector.  The board then decides
 | whether the advice of that sector is or is not in the
 | public interest.
 | Include a proviso that if the board rejects a recommendation
 | from one sector, it can be put to the vote at a general meeting
 | and the board decision can be overuled by a 67 percent vote.
 | That ensures there's an avenue of appeal to the board's actions.
Yes, that's a reasonable suggestion. 
 | 2.  Major Issue Two - Separation of Policy from Operations.
 | The policy role clearly remains with the top-level structure.
 | Could any of those folks who are asking for further
 | 'separation between policy and operations' please respond
 | to the list with some details/examples of operational issues
 | that they think have a problem with the existing structure.
 | Examples of the problems may make the solution more obvious.
Example: PG's insistence that most SLDs are "commercial" because
customers want service performance, help-desks, etc.  This is an issue
for market-based registrars to deal with, it shouldn't be driving 
policy decisions about the scope of existing SLDs.

 | Board Structure & Registrars.
 | The options in the ISOC-AU proposal increase the number of
 | Registrars on the board substantially.  I think they are both
 | unsatisfactory.  Certainly they inherently contradict other parts
 | of the proposal.
It was suggested as a TRANSITIONAL arrangement, to bridge the existing
system into a new one.  There won't *be* a new one unless the traditional
delegates are involved with and have confidence in the board.

Kate Lance
Received on Tue Apr 07 1998 - 10:03:18 UTC

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