View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
August 26, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Last night at the forty-second meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in Chicago, Jon Postel, the director of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) was due to present the third draft of the bylaws for the proposed new non-profit entity to run the domain name system once IANA’s present contract expires on September 30. Postel and his team have had two stabs at producing a document that would represent the consensus feeling in the internet community about how the new entity should be formed, structured and managed. The first one was viewed by most as a good first attempt (07/24/98). However, the second one was vilified by almost everyone outside IANA and the Internet Society as having moved further away, rather than towards consensus (08/10/98). This one, says Postel, is intended to be the final version emanating from the IANA. The point of all this is that the US government, which awarded IANA its contract, as well as the one to Network Solutions Inc (NSI) to run the InterNic, only wants to be presented with one suggestion for the new entity, not multiple competing offerings. It says that if it gets more than one, it will lock the competitors in a room and bang heads until they reach a compromise. NSI recently offered up its own set of provisional bylaws and articles of incorporation, which were reasonably well received, even by opponents of NSI. Postel is likely to be among friends in the engineering community at the IETF, which is the technical standards body for the internet and some networking technologies. However, it is those beyond the Sheraton Chicago that he will be aiming to impress, and early indications are that this will be very difficult to achieve. For its part, IANA says it has responded to concerns by altering some of the bylaws to better reflect the consensus. The draft calls for nine directors to start with, followed by representatives from the three councils (three each), which makes 15 and there will also be a president. However, there is no indication of who the nine directors might be, or how they will be selected, which gives rise to suspicions that they will ’emerge’ from a combination of IANA and ISOC. The introduction to the third draft says the nine directors are designed to replace the fourth supporting organization, which was suggested in the first draft as a body to represent the interests of industry groups and internet users. Jay Fenello, president of Iperdome Inc, a private domain name registry, believes the issue of the appointment of the directors is the fundamental flaw in the IANA plan, designed to keep a small group of people in control. He says the directors would have such sweeping powers, they could easily throw out the bylaws and start again once appointed. NSI’s senior VP Don Telage that after an initial scan, the third draft looked like a lot of the same old stuff, by which he meant a continuation from the second draft. He said the new draft was telling the internet community what was good for it, an approach he described as communist. Other changes from the second to third drafts include ensuring that the supporting organizations – IANA-speak for the three councils (names, protocols IP address allocation) that will do much of the leg-work of the new entity – are open and inclusive, without specifying how that will be achieved. In addition, the IANA bylaws say that the three councils will be the primary, source of funding for the new entity, but not the exclusive source. In addition, IANA specifies that the new entity will be based in Los Angeles, which was expected. NSI’s Telage says he doesn’t think the company will produce a second version of its draft as the first one has served its purpose, namely to wake up the [internet] community. As usual, nobody at IANA was available for comment, but we are hoping to get some response from those at the IETF meeting. Some suggest that Postel is not the primary author of these drafts – at least not the second and third ones – and that critics of the draft should look to IANA’s current lawyer, Joe Sims of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, who is believed to be working on the drafts for free. Sims is based in Washington, DC and heads the technology issues practice at Jones Day, which is a large international law firm.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.