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September 30, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

The US Department of Commerce, the part that now handles issues concerning the domain name system (DNS) is expecting to receive a new plan for the non-profit corporation to run the DNS this morning. The DoC says it will come from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and names (ICANN), which is the name given to the would-be entity by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and Network Solutions Inc (NSI) in their previous draft. Becky Burr, senior policy advisor at the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) within the DoC confirmed that the plan would be coming from Internet Assigned Numbers Authority director Jon Postel and his main lawyer, Joe Sims. She says that by the time the plan is submitted, ICANN will have been incorporated in California. The DoC also says that it understands that other proposals may be submitted as well which is a tacit admittance by the government that it considers the IANA plan to be ahead of the pack. After it receives the proposal the DoC will begin a ten day public comment period – the process needs to be brought back to the public, says Burr. The plan will include recommendations for the 19-strong board of directors, the identities of which are still are closely-guarded secret. The Boston Working Group (BWG), which had already prepared extensive revisions to the previous IANA draft, produced another revision to the most recent IANA draft, the fifth one, yesterday and submitted it to the government. Burr says she expects at least one other draft, this time from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which also produced its own revisions to the fifth draft last week. In the end what we want is one [draft], says Burr. The fourth draft refers to the one issued jointly by IANA and Network Solutions Inc (NSI) on September 17 and the fifth is the one from IANA alone, published September 28. The one tomorrow, presumably will be called the sixth draft. Meanwhile, the DoC and NSI have signed a week-long extension to the agreement for NSI to run the internet registries for the .com, .net, .org and .edu top-level domain names, which Burr says are quite independent of the whole ICANN issue, which may be stretching things slightly (see separate story). The proposal should be up at today.

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