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ICANN Updates 127

ICANN is meeting in Bucharest next week, which means they're floating all their usual smoky-room schemes just prior to the meeting. leto writes "The three RIR's, ARIN, APNIC and RIPE-NCC have just released a joint statement that basically tells ICANN that their Evolution and Reform plan is unacceptable, and tells ICANN to go play elsewhere, and leave the address space in the hands of the well working bodies." An interesting mailing list debate has been going on between ICANN's critics and ICANN's extremely well-paid and extremely sleazy attorney: critic, attorney (sleazy!), critic again, another critic, attorney again, critic's response, still other critics. And finally, note that the .org TLD is up for bids - the New York Times has a story, Newsforge has another.
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ICANN Updates

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  • Back and Forth, Back and Forth...Commercialization...Disputes...Greed. Once again, the road to Hell is paved with Good intentions.

    I'm taking my internet and going home.
  • I'm not sure I understand fully.

    If a .ORG domain name is not affiliated with a true non-profit organization, and the ownership runs out, it can NOT be re-purchased?
  • This makes me almost start to believe the US government actually could do a better job running ICANN...but then again I doubt anyone would stand for it...
  • What has ICANN done in 4 years that actually trickled down to internet end users?
  • politics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OpenMind(tm) ( 129095 ) on Friday June 21, 2002 @12:54PM (#3744417)
    We also know that a purely private organization, without the support and
    involvement of governments from around the world, will not be able to carry
    out thes mission assigned to ICANN (if you believe that mission requires
    the agreed participation of all the relevant infrastructure
    providers). ICANN has no guns, and no soldiers; it has no coercive

    Something tell me before too long we can expect to hear dark rumors of ICANN building a droid army to deploy against the shining republic of the IETF.

    Seriously, though, it is shocking how poitical they can try to make a system whose entire job is to associate names and numbers. For something that is essentially a hack (put the fate of the internet on the backs of a handfule of individual servers, yeah, good idea), they sure seem intent on turning it into the basis for a UN-scale political swamp.

    • I confess, I didn't read the article, but guns? Whose commentary was that? This is The Internet, what the fuck do we need guns for?
    • Hey now, be fair. You cut the guy off before he finished:

      ICANN has no guns, and no soldiers; it has no coercive
      power. It can succeed only if the relevant portions of the community
      voluntarily agree that they want to participate and make it succeed.

      He's just saying that ICANN ultimately depends on the support of the community (at the least, we have to point our nameservers at ICANN's root.) He goes on to argue that this implies that we should support them even though they're actively abusing that support, of course, but he's not saying he needs a "defense" budget.
  • "Perhaps ICANN, which controls the whole domain name schmear, will listen, although there's no way to be sure. ICANN's record of listening to the voice of the general Internet populace is, at best, spotty. "
    Wow. I must admit I am impressed. That statement is rather politically correct, even for NewsForge. Last time I checked, the official Keiretsu opinion of ICANN was "Incompetant Callous And Nothing New" .... but I may stand corrected on that one. (yeah...the bacronym is my own creation, but its a nice summary)
  • Good idea, Michael, call an attorney sleazy on a public forum. I'm sure he won't mind, especially if you're right.

    Next, we'll spear some bulls and wave red flags in front of them.

    Feel free to delete this comment when you fix the story, to keep Slashdot out of court.
    • What is your point? That we should all self-censor for fear of the almighty lawyers? Why?
      • Because they'd be happy to sue you out of house and home. If you're independent and broke, go for it.

        Just because the system is broken doesn't mean you ought to ignore it.
    • Well if he's right then your lawyer shouldn't have a problem with it, should he?

      Now you kids play nice or I swear to god I'm going to turn this car around and there will be no DisneyWorld for anybody!

      • You can't prove to a judge that he's sleazy. You can prove he's engaged in certain acts that some people would consider sleazy, but the term is derogatory per se.

        • You can't prove to a judge that he's sleazy.

          Sure I can.

          "Your honor, he's an attorney. I rest my case."


        • You can't prove to a judge that he's sleazy. You can prove he's engaged in certain acts that some people would consider sleazy, but the term is derogatory per se.

          ...which means that you don't have to prove it to a judge. At least in the USA, a statement of pure opinion cannot constitute libel or slander. It has to be a false statement of "fact.


    • Re:"Sleazy Attorney" (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > Good idea, Michael, call an attorney sleazy on a public forum. I'm sure he won't mind, especially if you're right.

      "Sleazy" is not libelous, it's an opinion. Slashdot's OK here. You have to state a deliberately known false assertion of fact to be libelous.
  • by Jay Maynard ( 54798 ) on Friday June 21, 2002 @01:06PM (#3744487) Homepage
    Once again, we have much wailing and gnashing of teeth over ICANN and the control of the DNS.

    <garfield>Big, fat, hairy deal.</garfield>

    Really, who cares? As long as people can register domain names, and have them appear in the DNS servers, the rest is just three-year-olds arguing over a toy.


    Fundamentally, it makes no difference what domain name a site has. With the advent of the search engine, it's all moot anyway.

    Really, folks...there are a lot of good people putting in lots of time and effort on something that's basically a triviality. Why not work on something that means something?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, money is a big fat fucking hairy deal.

      It might not make a difference what name something has, but it still needs a name ... you dont want to tie your site to an IP. If it moves IPs not even search engines can find it anymore, till the links to it have been updated. This is hardly an option.

      So we need domain names, and the bigger ICANN grows the more expensive it will get for us in the end.
    • Quoth the parent:

      Well, that's not exactly true... sometimes domains are for exactly what they name, and are used to make a point. Take for instance a group of extremely bitter RPI students. Such people might register (no, there's no content there... I have yet to set up vhosts) to make a point.

      And as for the triviality of a domain name... good, common words domain names can generate hits on their own. I remember that (which has no real content) generated a couple thousand hits per month. That's all based on people thinking "hey, maybe there's something good at".
      • "good, common words domain names can generate hits on their own."

        This is why we're in the mess we're in. Hostnames and URL's were meant for a time when the Internet was in the hands of the techies. When business and legal interests completely overwhelmed the purpose of the Internet, nothing better stepped in to supplement the current naming system.

        We basically need a new directory service: one that maps legal entity names to DNS domains. Legislate this with all of the intellectual property crap you want, but leave DNS itself out of it. There's no reason users need to really see DNS domain names, and little reason they'd even need to see URL's for that matter. What percentage of the general public understands http:// and ftp://?

        I should be able to tell my Internet browser to go to "IBM", and it should be able to consult a directory of entities, find a list of legal entities that have the name "IBM", obtain a DNS domain name from that directory (, do an SRV lookup for the HTTP service at, make the request for / at this server, and boom, you're at the "IBM" organization's home page. A TLS/SSL certificate at this point could validate the organization's identity (it should match the original directory entry), for those looking at security. Nowhere in this process do I have to guess that is IBM's home page. The hostname in this case ceases to be such a valued commodity, outside of vanity uses.

        We no longer see companies registering a hundred 2nd-level domains for every service mark and product they sell. For that type of thing, RealNames or similar services would (and do) work fine.
  • Domain names (Score:1, Insightful)

    by OmniVector ( 569062 )
    Why is it that extentions are regulated in the first place? I think the whole concept of restricting mypage.* to a set of only 10 choices (excluding those strange 3rd world country names) just to create pseudo scarcity hurts the general market.

    To make things worse, they sell the names at an absurd premium on some extentions (such as $10,000 USD to purchace, or whatever they want for it by now)
    I for one would like them to release the market so i can score www.www.www :P
  • Oh, Joy. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by osgeek ( 239988 ) on Friday June 21, 2002 @01:37PM (#3744654) Homepage Journal
    ICANN's extremely well-paid and extremely sleazy attorney

    I credit the Slashdot editors for aggregating most of the topics that I find interesting -- however, I don't think that I'm going to be accusing them of jounalistic integrity any time soon.
    • Re:Oh, Joy. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Danse ( 1026 )

      Slashdot doesn't pretend to be unbiased. IMO, that's better than most of the rest of the journalistic world, which does pretend.

  • Okay, OKAY (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2002 @01:42PM (#3744674)
    And finally, note that the .org TLD is up for bids - the New York Times has a story, Newsforge has another.

    Oh, alright. I'll do it. I guess.

    I mean, if someone has to, and no one else wants it, i'm not really doing much else this month and i've got some free time. I swear though, you people.. seems sometimes like if you wanna get something done around here, you have to do it yourself. :shakes head:

    Uhh.. do I have to set up BIND now, or something? Hm. Could anyone point me to a HOWTO..? I'm running slackware, so i can't do an RPM install..

    --super ugly ultraman
  • Most systems that involve policy making bodies and implementation bodies seperate the two logically to allow some checks and balances - that is, in a system of governing, it makes no sense to consolidate the law makers and the law enforcers. But, from their own 'Mission and Core Values statement':

    ICANN's Mission lies in the nexus between ICANN's technical coordination role, its operational role, and its policy role []

    Why isn't ICANN structured this way? How can they be a group that decides policy AND a group that implements policy? Doesn't this create an room for conflict of interest that ultimately leads to abuse of the system?

  • by kindbud ( 90044 ) on Friday June 21, 2002 @02:24PM (#3744937) Homepage
    The notion that not enough happens at ICANN in public, and that the answer to ICANN's problems is more transparency, illustrates a profound lack of understanding about what ICANN really does, and how it really does it.

    Did it ever cross anyone's mind over there in East Timbuktu, or whatever remote jungle ICANN is meeting at this month, that if ICANN were more transparent, people wouldn't have so many questions about what it does and how it does it?

  • Repeating myself (Score:5, Informative)

    by catfood ( 40112 ) on Friday June 21, 2002 @02:35PM (#3745011) Homepage

    Nobody's yet explained why it takes a raft of lawyers, eighty million dollars, and meetings all over the world to accomplish what Jon Postel did in his spare time on his office workstation.

    The Internet has gotten bigger, but damitall, IP addresses are still IP addresses and DNS is supposed to be a hierarchical, delegated system. What's the big problem? Jon just ran a root server and kept backups like it was the most obvious and natural thing in the world. What else is there to do?

    • My point: internet is a business haven, to reach a vast amount of customers at a silly price. How to be seen? With a catchy-short-easy-to-remember name. Whoever deals with attributing those names is trying to split a huge money pie among too many people. Hence politics crap and ultimately, ICANN.
      IP attribution is technically far more complex, still it's operated smoothly because there's no big cash involved.
      Another example, SSL certificates. A wildcard one is sold at least 5 times the price of a single name, and it's the very same thing at the end (1 certificate). Just because you can do more things with it, technically speaking.
      TLDs should be dealt with like usenet groups. Users want them, users have them.
      • by Fastolfe ( 1470 )
        DNS names were never intended to be commodities (at least not to the degree they are today), any more than Java class name hierarchies or SNMP MIB organizational identifiers are meant to be commodities. DNS names have become commodities because there is presently no directory that associates legal business names to DNS domains. DNS is being warped into serving two purposes at once here: the association of names to IP addresses, and the association of legal business entities to an IP address for a web site.

        What we need is to return DNS to serving its original role: to provide an easier-to-use addressing mechanism for Internet hosts. The role of associating legal entity names to Internet domains needs its own service (e.g. X.500 or LDAP). A "keyword" lookup service for product names or other service marks would need a third service a la RealNames.

        We need to desperately curb the use of and to start enforcing DNS delegation like it was originally designed.

        My two cents.
  • by BranMan ( 29917 ) on Friday June 21, 2002 @03:16PM (#3745226)
    Perhaps the time has come to employ the philosophy behind that phrase. ICANN keeps whining on and on about how "hard" their job is.

    How about just find the individual - and I'm sure there is one - who can just say "What? this? just do 1, 2, 3, 4.... there - done." - and give them ICANN's job? Given enough DNS experts, ICANN's job MUST be shallow.
  • Look at em go.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ironpoint ( 463916 )
    ICANN is an organization which wants to control the internet.

    ARIN and the other RIRs is an organization that wants to control the internet.

    Both charge outrageous fees to dole out ones and zeros in the form of IP numbers and DNS entries.

    I particularly like ARINs approach to IPv6, which still costs thousands for a block of numbers even though there's essentially limitless identifiers.

    I also like ICANNs policy of "give us 50k and maaayybeee you can run a tld, but probably not, and, oh yeah, its nonrefundable."

    Lets face it, without these internet inhibitors there would be no artificial scarcity of either IP numbers or domain addressess. These scams only drive up the costs for internet users. IPv4 blocks are not reclaimed, IPv6 blocks are virtually limitless. New TLDs don't require any sort of voodoo magic, and can be handled the same way, and with the same hardware as the old TLDs.

    It sounds like these organizations, built on greed, are getting carried away with each other.
  • Was where he tried to reinvent history and describe the founding of the Net and the Web and redescribe the "role" of ICANN.

    Some of us were there in the beginning. Some of us even predate CERN's role in popularizing the World Wide Web (that nasty www thingy).

    In fact, some of us grew strong in the UseNet Flame Wars ... which would make the current ICANN board shudder to hear the tale.

    It all makes me wonder why bureaucracy has so much troubles with democracy and true representation.

    It's just a technical problem, after all ...


Thufir's a Harkonnen now.