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RE: [ga] *IF* ICANN fails what about UN?
In my prior message, I should also have mentioned an article in the Berkley
Technology Law Journal that Jonathan wrote on the same subject -- expanding
in somewhat greater detail on the question of "What if ICANN Fails?"
I think I appropriately characterize this article to say that the
alternatives to ICANN all have serious risks and shortcomings. In
particular, of the possibility of an inter-governmental entity taking over
ICANN's responsibilities, he comments:
"... It is not clear to me that such an organization would make policies
that are any more in touch with the Internet community than those proposed
by a well-functioning ICANN. More importantly, as the historical context
suggests, the power of the root derives from the fact that a critical mass
of system administrators and “mirror” root zone server operators choose to
follow it. A drastic turnaround in the management of Internet top-level
functions—either through a sea change in favor of much more aggressive
government involvement, or one that purports to literally privatize the
whole system (imagine auctioning it off to the highest bidder)—could result
in abandonment of the network by the technical or user community. RealNames
might seem a more appealing alternative to addressing than it has to date.
Engineers who run the domain name servers (that in turn sub-scribe to the
root server for information about domain names) might simply point the
servers elsewhere. The web of contracts currently buttressing the natural
network effects (that auger only one predominant naming scheme) do not yet
reach to every Internet service provider. Universities, companies like
Prodigy or the Microsoft Network, and large corporations could cease
listening to Jon Postel’s “legacy root” for authoritative information about
<.com>, <.net>, and <.org>."
Surely there exist other scholarly commentaries on the subject, but I
unfortunately know of no others.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2000 8:16 AM
Subject: Re: [ga] *IF* ICANN fails what about UN?
On Tue, 22 Feb 2000, Ben Edelman wrote:
> When the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the US House
> Commerce Committee held hearings on the DNS system this summer, they asked
> precisely this question of those called to testify before then.
> Jonathan Zittrain, director of the Berkman Center, answered the question
> posted his response online. See
> <http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/zittrainqfrs.pdf> (question one, pages 1-2).
I've read the text on the URL above but it doesn't particulary well
address the issue of a new UN body addressing Internet issues. Do you know
of more views on the matter?
I think it would be wise to know what might happen if more and more
scholars leave the GA (for various reasons) and ICANN gains no support.
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