Gordon Cook on Wed, 25 Mar 1998 05:58:08 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> EEF Joins Looney Extremist Fringe with Vicious Green Paper Filing

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I have just read the EFF filings on the NTIA comments.  They are shocking.
The organization reveals itself as being utterly out of touch with Internet
reality.  The release reads like a CORE/POC/ MOUvement propaganda sheet.
The Internet Society's biased out of touch filing is a model of dignity
compared to the document that Shari Steele has set her signature to.  What
follows is some of the language which luminaries such as EFF board members
Dave Farber and Esther Dyson are allowing themselves to endorse.

But the deplorable quality of the filing is such that one wonders who the
current board is.

http://www.eff.org/pub/EFF/staff.eff  last updated June 9, 1997 gives board

I called and was given this current list.  Pieper was the only person for
whom they would give  a company affiliation.

Lori Fena	Chairperson
Esther Dyson
John Perry Barlow
David Farber
John Gilmore
Giles McNamee
Allen Morgan
Tim O'Reilly
Louise Velaquez
George Vradenburg III
Lisa Gansky
Dan Lynch
Role Pieper - Tandam
Brad Templeton

I find it amazing that either Farber or Dyson would allow themselves to be
associated with such diatribe. I have tried to contact Dave but so far have
not succeeded.  (I have both phoned and sent email.)  The EFF language that
follows descends to a level of viciousness that seems to me to be so
unprofessional that I can only ask someone like Dan Lynch, and Tim
O'Reilly, let alone Dave Farber and Esther Dyson whether they were given an
opportunity to read what has been sent out in their names.

I would also suggest that EVERY EFF board member read the filing very
carefully and ask if they are willing to endorse not only the viciousness,
but also the sloppy research and unsubstantiated allegations of Shari
Steeles essay.

EFF: The IANA is best choiceŠ.

EFF: The U.S. government should not attempt to exercise oversight or a veto
over a transition of the IANA to a new corporation; such oversight will be
carried out by Internet users.  The Internet community is much more likely
to trust a new corporation to manage Internet administration if it is
clearly derived from the IANA and continues the same personnel and general

Cook:  For the past two years the Internet has as a whole shown itself to
be utterly unwilling to support the policies of IANA which has lost the
support of many key Internet figures most of home will not speak out
publically against IANA for fear of the kind of attacks recently seen on
the IETF mailing list.  One key person who has publically expressed his
concern over the IANA's loss of touch with reality is Einar Steffferud.

EFF:  Network Solutions Cannot Be Trusted With Any Public Resource

EFF is very concerned that Network Solutions is attempting to convert its
five-year contract into a permanent monopoly.

Cook:  Anyone who expends the intellectual effort to read the Green Paper
and various other filings should realize that this is a false statement.
NSI is having a permanent monopoly over nothing.  If EFF means complain
that the US government will not expropriate the business that NSI built up
in .com - that is correct.  But is NSI allows others to register into .com
that is in no way a permanent monopoly!

EFF: EFF believes that the National Science Foundation (NSF) made a mistake
by failing to control this for-profit company to protect the public

Cook:  Anyone who reads the public record will see that the NSF acted
perfectly properly.  EFF had better make clear what its definition of the
public interest is.

EFF: Though the fundamental mistake was made by NSF, it was compounded many
times by the arrogance of Network Solutions' management.

Cook:   NSF made no mistake.  Yes SOME of NSI's management was arrogant and
thought they could ignore the Internet community when it complained on mail
lists Š..now they are paying the penalty.

EFF: Yet, the DoC proposal gives Network Solutions continued control of the
.com, .net and .org domains.  EFF believes that the current management of
Network Solutions has shown a profound disregard for the public interest,
which should disqualify it and its parent company, Science Applications
International Corporation  (SAIC), from having any benefit or privilege
extended to them in the future management of the domain name system. They
made a deliberate, intentional and ongoing attempt to steal from the public
the resource they had a five-year stewardship contract to manage and

Cook:  An absolutely outrageous statementŠ.especially the last sentence.
Only the MOUvement, which I believe has now discredited itself in front of
a majority of Internet users, uses language designed to give Internet
management to the contol of the International Telecommunication Union.  But
now the EFF embraces the MOUvement.  Both EFF and ISOC seem to have no
problem with such an approach.  Damned unfortunate.

Perhaps Tony Rutkowski would like to debate Dave Farber on this subject?
Again define public interest.  Since when does the public interest say that
NSI has to divest itself off assets legitimately built up over five years
and hand them to an organization spawned by IANA who appointed the members
of IAHC which began the whole ugly mess we are in?

EFF: It is as if they got a contract to repair the stonework at Mount
Rushmore and ended up trying to own the national park.

Cook:  Vacuous hyperbole.  Lets say if Ms. Steele is wedded to this image
that what they did is more comparable tp building the stonework into a
national park where they propose to share the proceeds of what they created
with other registrars.

EFF: As a result, they should not be trusted with even temporary control of
any valuable public resource.

Cook:  EFF fails to define what a "public resource" is and insults our
intelligence by assuming that it can get away with such unsubstantiated
emotion laden hyperbole.

EFF: If Network Solutions or SAIC continue in the domain name business,
they must operate only in highly competitive parts of the business.

Cook:  Huh?  What competitive parts?

EFF:  In particular, neither Network Solutions, SAIC, nor any "nonprofit
organization" started by them, or with overlapping directorship, influence,
or control by them, should manage the root or any global top level domain

Cook:  So EFF thinks there is a proven business case for selling
competitive SECOND level domains!!  EFF is proposing summary divestiture of
a publicly held company and giving nothing more by way of a reason for such
a legally unwarranted taking of property than the emotional hyperbole of
unsubstantiated statements saying that it and presumably its board members
dislike NSI.

EFF: Any changes to the DNS must ensure that people will continue to be
able to register in the .com, .net, .org and .edu top level domains without
any involvement of Network Solutions.

Cook:  Would it be too troublesome to ask EFF board members how they
propose to replace the infrastructure built up by NSI and legitimately
owned by NSI?  Infrastructure capable of handling 50,000 help phone calls
per month and registering 120000 new .com domains.  EFF is proposing action
here that if implemented would be disastrous for nearly 2 million current
.com registrants.  Action that someone would have to pay for while
conveniently omitting to say who.  Or has John Gilmore promised to foot the
bill?  Besides not only do you need to have someone pay for it, it needs to
be up and working before one can claim it as an alternative.  EFF could
have done its home work.  It chose not to.  A shame.

EFF:  We were happy to see that the DoC proposal requires Network Solutions
to give the U.S. government copies and documentation of all data, software
and licenses to other intellectual property generated under the Cooperative
Agreement and to turn over control and management of the main root server
to the U.S. government. We are concerned, however, that the current wording
leaves significant loopholes that should be patched up.

Cook:  Shame on any organization that ostensibly is dedicated to the
preservation of civil liberties in cyberspace not recognizing the privacy
implications of what they are proposing.  The irrational hatred of NSI
expressed by this document they remind me strongly of the views of John
Gilmore, who of course is an EFF board member.

EFF: Network Solutions should be required to turn over all root servers
that it operates, not simply the "A" root server, and any separate servers
it  uses for the .com, .org, .net and .edu domains. Due to the difficulty
of changing the set of globally known root server addresses, Network
Solutions must relinquish the entire set of IP addresses delegated to  the
InterNIC, specifically, which contains both the "A"  and "J"
root servers. This should happen not "when the government  directs," as
indicated in the DoC proposal, but rather when IANA or the  new corporation
directs. Network Solutions should begin immediately  preparing for this by
moving other hosts off that network number, and  doing anything else
necessary to ready itself for the transfer.

Cook:  Absurd.  Also I believe that the assertion about the "difficulty of
changing the set of globally known root server addresses," is technically
incorrect.  In any case the US government has let Jon Postel know that he
is no longer free to do what you suggest he be able to do - properly so in
my opinion.  IANA authority must be institutionalized and can no longer
rest on the shoulders of a single fallable individual.

EFF: Furthermore, the requirement that Network Solutions turn over
"appropriate licenses to other intellectual property" is far too vague.
All intellectual property generated under the Cooperative Agreement is
work-for-hire, and the government owns it in trust for the public.

Cook:  Rubbish.  Cite the statute and CURRENT RELEVANT case law.

EFF:  Network Solutions has no ownership rights to any of the work it
created under that stewardship contract, so how could it issue licenses?
The government should explicitly put ownership of all such results into the
public domain, so they can be used by the public that paid for them. It
should then make the results accessible via an NSF web site and via Freedom
of Information Act requests. Please ensure that Network Solutions retains
no credible claim to any of the public's intellectual  property.

Cook: You really don't give a damn then for the privacy issues inherent in
any of this data?  You would really like to create the conditions that
would trigger Karl Auerbach's threatened suit under the privacy statutes?

EFF: No For-Profit Corporations or Governments Should Control the Root or

EFF: Domain name registration and the generic top level domains themselves
must not be monopolized by a single for-profit registry, treated as any
for-profit entity's intellectual property, or controlled by or from  within
any single governmental jurisdiction. These domains have become
international and should not remain a U.S. monopoly. They are a global
public trust and should not be exploited by profit-seeking companies or
for regional advantage.

Cook: Are you aware that you are asking for this to fall under ITU purview?
Are you aware of the incalculable dollar value of this to traditional
telcos which will be put out of business if they don't slow down the spread
of Internet technology? Consider Qwest as a company of which they should be
very afraid.

EFF: IANA Should Have Supervisory Control of All gTLD Registration Databases

EFF: IANA, acting on behalf of the public, should have supervisory control
of  the databases containing the registration data of each global top level
domain in the DNS, including the .com, .net, .org and .edu domains.   IANA
should determine when and whether to create new gTLDs, including
specification of the alphanumeric strings, the timing of introduction of
new gTLDs and the number of gTLDS. IANA should ensure that the data in
each database is freely available to the public, subject only to
international legal restrictions relating to privacy.

Cook: IANA tried to do this with the MOUvement and failed.  It has lost its
opportunity and credibility.


EFF: . This  proposed method would require oversight by IANA (under threat
of removal  from the gTLD delegation) to prevent disruptive or negligent
practices  by the registries.

Cook:  IANA's TSAR like implementation got us into this mess.  It is not
the way out.  Traditional bottom up self regulation as expressed in the
Open Root server coalition IS a solution compatible with Internet standards
and culture.

[SNIP] Trademark Section

[SNIP] two other following sections

EFF: Payments to the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund Should Be Returned to

EFF was pleased to see that the DoC proposal terminates the Internet
Intellectual Infrastructure Fund (IIIF) as of April 1, 1998. However, this
does not remedy the current problem of the illegal overcharges that have
already been made. The Intellectual Infrastructure Fund should be fully
returned directly to the users who paid in.

Cook: The expense to the fund to administer this would be absurd.  EFF, if
it believes this, should join Bode's absurd suit.  It should have offered
him expert testimony last week.

EFF: Such refunds should be returned to the users, so they can spend them
on any domain name registrar or on other things, rather than being applied
as credits for future domain name service from Network Solutions.

Cook: Where did the suggestion come from that NSI would give .com
registrants credits?  EFF can't be serious about this since it wants to put
NSI out of business.

EFF: Network Solutions  (which instigated the policy of charging users for
the IIIF)

Cook:  The statement that NSI instigated the charging for the IIF is
**false** and had EFF done adequate research it would have been able to
ascertain that this is false.

EFF -- not the public or domain name users -- should bear the costs for
defending against any lawsuits and administering the refunds.

EFF: No Transition Period Is Needed; Current IANA Can Make Decisions

EFF: The government's proposed transition plan is flawed in numerous ways.
It should not be adopted. Instead, the current IANA should determine the
short-term evolution of domain name administration, as it has determined
the long-term evolution. As the new IANA corporation is set up, this
function can be transferred to it by the old IANA.

Cook:  In its handling of IAHC/CORE/POC etc IANA has lost its credibility.
If EFF were listened to the big winners would be the traditional telco's.
The technical obsolescence of these giants is salvageable essentially by
one thing - government regulation or regulation by the ITU.  EFF ought to
have the intellectual honest to admit that this is where they are pushing


This filling by EFF is the most outrageous puerile RANT that I have seen in
some time.  Maybe Dave Farber and Esther Dyson and Dan Lynch, and Tim
O'reilly don't know enough about the facts and the law to appreciate what
they have just endorsed.  I hope they will study the matter and repudiate
this filing as an implicit expression of their views.

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