Bob Allisat (by way of Name.Space) on Sun, 28 Mar 1999 07:52:16 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> [IFWP] routing around CENTRAL AUTHORITY

 routing around CENTRAL AUTHORITY

 The critical failure point of an otherwise fairly
 robust network of computers is a kludged system of
 numbering, addressing and regulating various machines
 that attach to it. This system is susceptable both
 to undue and unjust human interventions as well as
 to simple failure and error factors. All as a result
 of it's extreme centralization and positioning as
 peak of a decending hierarchy. One that only scales
 up to a certain point we have long since overpassed.
 The top-down, centre controll then succeeds only in
 inhibiting and even restricting free and open
 communications among what are now hundreds of
 millions of machines. And people.

 The task facing us is to cleverly route around the
 central authority failure locus. By utilizing ingenuity
 and by exploiting the strengths, characteristics and
 weaknesses of the existing infrastructure as well as
 through the increasing sophistication of available,
 off the shelf machinery the task appears to be growing
 easier by the day if not by the hour.

 Gone is the day when we are limited, as individual
 elements of the network, to 8 kilobyte slivers of
 RAM, 10 meg hard drives, archaic code all driven by
 turtle slow processors and even slower 300 baud net
 connections. We are piloting computers capabilities
 and connectivity that *exceed* the performance of
 old-style, direct to backbone "mainframe" computers
 at prices that continue to tumble as standards
 continue to soar. A very positive situation.

 It is very clear the technical resources are at
 hand. What is lacking is the determination and
 resolve to sever our collective dependance upon
 central authority. Perhaps we require more in the
 way of abuse to encourage us towards a truely
 robust network. Perhaps we simply have to realize
 the benifits of *not* having to go, hat in hand,
 to any power structure to recieve identifiable
 number sequences for our machines and simple, easy
 to remember addressing methodologies. Not to
 mention confronting daunting hierarchies to have
 even the simplest innovation incorporated into
 standard practice and protocols.

 Connecting to the net, recieving a randomly
 generated, unique number code, and establishing
 on address should be AUTOMATIC, unmediated and
 certainly not subject to either exhorbitant
 fees or heavy handed "regulation". Likewise
 modifying protocols should be simple and
 relatively automtatic. It all should function
 pretty much plug and play. Each machine signals
 in, exchanges simple information and, presto,
 is *on* without delay or regulatory hoops and
 barriers to run through. Likewise new standards
 and practices. They work. And are adopted.
 Without a fuss, endless meetings and equally
 abundant opportunities for innovation to be
 suffocated or ambuscaded.

 These innovations - though they are by no means
 innovative - would render all of the current
 dissent and acrimony moot. There is absolutely
 no reason for any of the conflicts currently
 such the rage. If we introduce reforms to this
 network making it truely robust, completely
 controlled by the edges and periphery we will
 create something that can truely sustain us
 through the onrushing millenia, not merely
 choke along until the inevitable, massive and
 central authority inspired failure shuts it
 all down as unuseable or oppressive to the
 extreme (same thing!). Towards this end...

 Bob Allisat

 Free Community Network _ _


In line with the spirit of your proposal, Name.Space
has been working  toward an open and equitable
namespace since before we filed suit against NSI
on March 20,  1997.   I have stated publicly that a
win for Name.Space is a win for all. Our model is
a bottom up, inclusive one--the words that Ira Magaziner
used repeatedly in his public pronouncements, including
the one I witnessed first hand in Geneva in July of 1998.
Unfortunately Mr. Magaziner's words and resulting deeds
differ substantially (Witness ICANN, NTIA, etc.).
Fortunately for him, he retired before he was held
accountable for his (mis)deeds.  However, his successors
are accountable and must deal with his vision or lack

Many have falsely tagged Name.Space as staking
claims of "ownership" on hundreds of TLDs.  Most of
these false assertions have been made publicly or
privately by those who themselves greedily claim
ownership of what they term their "branded" TLDs,
including NSI, CORE, IOdesign, Iperdome, and someone
else who claims they own the entire English alphabet.
To say that these claims are outrageous would be
putting it mildly.

Name.Space seeks open and non-discriminatory
access to the root and TLDs.  Name.Space has
invested significant time, energy, resources and
capital to develop and implement realtime registry
technology and shared, decentralized root and
tld systems, unequaled by any other to date.

Name.Space has developed such tools as the
Smart Whois ( to simplify the
searching of domains from a single form, across
all publicly queryable whois databases.  This was
done by two people, in less time and for far less
money than the horribly failed "rWhois" project
that has languished over the past few years.

Name.Space fought the monopoly held by NSI,
to set a precedent for an open and non-discriminatory
and decentralized internet namespace.  The US
Government stepped in and re-structured their
relationship with NSI in order to protect NSI from
prosecution and enforcement of the antitrust laws
which they clearly are breaking.  This will not stand
for long--Name.Space will file its appeal shortly.
We intend to take the issue to the Supreme Court
if necessary.  The injustices and illegalities here
simply will not stand.

In his final analysis of the Briefs before the Court,
Judge Robert P. Patterson, stated that NSI's perceived
immunity from the antitrust laws made it "unnecessary"
for the Court to examine the alleged violations of the law
by NSI. In short, the Court looked the other way while NSI,
at the behest of the US Government, ran roughshod
over the public, otherwise known as the "marketplace",
using their monopoly power with impunity to unfairly
control the supply of TLDs, fix prices and exclude any
real competition.   It is clear that Judge Patterson took
the easy way out, rubberstamping the defendant's
papers in a political rather than a legal decision,
thereby relieving him of the responsibility of fulfilling
his role as a Federal Judge to understand the case
and make a decision based on law and not on politics.

For all those who have made the most *noise* on this
issue, but in fact have done little to nothing in terms
of actually running code and developing better services
and communications with folks big and small on the net
who need the basic services of DNS either actively
or passively, it is time to put up or shut up.

Paul Garrin
                   ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
                   -------cut here------


See also:

Business online:                       main site			smart whois service                                  value-ad resale of com.
org. and net.                login interface to PAM
(Portable Address Manager)

Law and Policy related:	              Index to litigation papers,
v. NSI/NSF             Opposition briefs and
declarations  Exhibits of correspondence                     Name.Space NTIA
Filing, 1998                    Statement to
Subcommittee on Science                        Petition to the
USDoC, 1997

New toplevel namespace related:               Registration template generator
for new TLDs          Online poll and population count
for new TLDs                    Client links                    Web projects in Name.Space
(http://black.hole)   Links to black.hole sites
(                 Instructions on switching to
Name.Space             DNS switcher applications                  Name.Space Server Information

>Ronda Hauben wrote:
>> So the U.S. government is setting up a body that *no* membership
>> or any other forms could check and oversee. To put such
>> fabulously rich public property as the domain names, the IP
>> numbers, the protocols etc into the hands of a private entity
>> under any condition is only an invitation for corruption,
>> conflict of interest and massive theft.
>Bob Allisat wrote:
> In these circumstances not even the most
> rigorous and open of membership structures
> will prevent massive abuse. This, combined
> with all of the other errors in compound
> that are known as ICANN inded sets up a
> more or less permanently exploitative
> body apparently set to occupy the entire
> governance of the Internet. Which pretty
> much renders this medium nul and void in
> the long term as an appropriate vehicle of
> open, free and public communications.
> Now on to a potential solution. Merely
> fighting for the dominance of good people
> or factions within a basically unfair
> hierarchical structure inevitably leads
> to the same cul de sac when those same
> folks are either compromised or pass out
> of power. So the struggle within the
> framework is doomed I'm afraid. Even trying
> to set up a parrallel or competing "good"
> hierarchy leads to the same slippery slope
> sort of slide. What then?
> We will have to resort to some solution
> that does *not* depend upon central authority
> and a "hierarchy scales" solution. Some route
> around and clever series of constructs that
> allows every citizen, community group,
> political party, company or what have you,
> an address, identity and localization
> minus all of the scrabbling for power and
> sheer craven profiteering. It is my opinion
> that this is far more easily accomplished
> by "dumbing down" the network rather than
> the current motion towards smarting it up.
> The whole idea is to simply plug and play.
> Removed from all of the tables and approvals,
> fees and master lists, bottlenecks and penny
> ante dictatorships. Plug it in and go. No
> more applying for this or allowing 24 hours
> of propagation time for that. Instant and
> universal connectivity without undue difficulty,
> hienous surviellance mechanisms or complex
> network architectures prone to catastrophic
> failure. How this will be achieved seems to
> be a matter of determination and ingenuity.
> Which is in abundant supply down here even
> if it rather scarce in the hallowed virtual
> halls of the high and bloody mighty "Internet
> Community". Do-able? Yessirrree Ma'am!
> Bob Allisat
> Free Community Network _
> _
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