Ronda Hauben on 30 Mar 2001 19:51:00 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Silence surrounding creation of new NAS DNS study committee?

  "National Academy of Science Enters the DNS Controversy
   New Committee Established to Do Study for US Congress"

   "Considering [the]... background and the official role of the NAS 
   to advise the US government on scientific matters, what expertise 
   is needed to fulfill this request by the US Congress? Does the 
   definition of the problem and the composition of the NAS committee 
   demonstrate an understanding of the challenge? "
                                From article in Telepolis:

A process that made it possible to build the Internet was a process
that learned from what had been created toward determining what
was needed for future development. 

Is the composition of the new DNS NAS committee such that there is 
the expertise to learn the needed lessons from the current achievement 
of the Internet as a general purpose interactive and international 
human-computer-communications metasystem?

Judging by some of the biographies of the provisional members of the 
committee, there seems little indication that an understanding of 
the development of the Internet was the criteria for the selection 
of several of the members of the committee.

The public has 20 days from the date that the initial appointments 
were made to make comments on the selection of members. The initial
appointments were supposedly made on March 16. This would mean
that comments on the provisional appointments would need to be
submitted to the NAS by April 4.

In such a controversial matter, it seems a serious problem that there 
has been so little public discussion or awareness of the creation 
and composition of this committee thus far.

It would be good to see public discussion of the nature of the 
scope of the committee and its composition before the end of the 
comment period. 

This committee is charged with writing a report for the US Congress
which will serve as advice for the US policy toward the domain
name system development and its future.

This is an area of technical development that will impact all
users of the Internet, and yet a small group of people, a number
of whom seem to have limited knowledge of the nature of the development
of the Internet, are being charged with advising the US Congress on
the Internet's  future development.

It is hard to know how the public can have any impact on this process,
but one can predict what will be the outcome if the online community
continues to be excluded from the activity of the NAS in the formation
and workings of this committee.


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