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ICANN, new TLDs, and Congress? 172

Posted by Hemos
from the the-battle-slogs-on dept.
itchyfish writes "Looks like the fight on TLDs is going to be a long one. It seems as though Congress is going to get involved. Could be a long, long time before any TLDs see the light of day."
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ICANN, new TLDs, and Congress?

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  • Not exactly. The internet (arpanet) started in the US, and most of the companies controlling TLDs/DNS stuff in general are American, so under the jurisdiction of the American gov't. It does make sense that the UN should have an internet subcomittee (if it doesn't already) to assist in these decisions though...
  • by Silver A (13776) on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:34AM (#510876)
    Well, here we go, the government sticking their heads in where it doesn't belong. There are some things that the government just does NOT need to have its hands in and this is one of them. Why is this a US issue for one? Yes the DOD invented the internet but it is now public domain.

    Why is is a US issue? Because Congress created ICANN (essentially). There are a couple of ways that TLD allocation can be handled

    • the US government can set up an agency.
    • The US government could hand it over to a UN agency.
    • The corporations which run most of the big nameservers could create their own agency.

    In general, I prefer things being done by the private sector, but the corporate solution will likely lead to a monopoly for the benefit of the big corporations. The government and ICANN are doing things badly - name.space [name-space.com] has shown that there is no technical limitation to many gTLDs being created, but right now, the answer is to get Congress to force ICANN to adopt a better system, then figure out a way to get the government completely out of the picture.

  • An even better idea would be to have one TLD fewer. The real problem isn't a shortage of domain names, it's conflict between similar company names. The whole idea of DNS is to resolve this kind of conflict using a hierarchical structure.

    So what the Internet needs is to get rid of the TLD that has become generic, i.e. .com, and to become very sticky about giving out .net and .org. The main TLDs for businesses would then become the country codes (.us, .uk et al.). If a business operates in multiple countries, it can have multiple country codes (as is common practice anyway). This would resolve some of the conflicts. The rest would IMO be beyond the reach of DNS changes, and would need to be sorted out between the parties concerned, possibly in court under national trademark legislation.

    Of course this would upset a lot of people who have dug deep in their pockets to pay off .com domain name squatters, would give severe feelings of inadequacy to the types whose self-image relies on the equation "short domain name = big dick" and would lose ICANN nearly all its income ...

  • I don't know what to make of this, either, but there are plenty of TLDs that have been in operation well before Jan 1, 2000, that these e2p folks probably aren't even aware of.

    See the Top Level Domain Finder [pccf.net] and have fun searching...

  • Enforcement on an international scale is impossible. The "world community" can barely enforce a common morality with regard to mass killings, do you really expect them to forge unity on whether or not slashdot.org belongs in .com?

    Enforcement on an international scale is only impossible, if all the major players in the international field decline. And even then, to paraphrase Frank Zappa: "There's more of us little motherfuckers than you are."

    And about those responsible for mass killings, the international Court of Justice [icj-cij.org] seems to be doing quite well regarding the most atrocious killers of the recent Balkan war, even so, that some of them are freely going there, to await justice and get it over with.

    What we need a single, flat namespace that doesn't have any "distinctions." The distinctions are unnecessary, unmanageable and unenforceable. Multinationals will claim their name in all namespaces by carrot or stick. There's no shortage of domain names if you're willing to be clever. There are, however, a shortage of obvious generic name terms and trademarked names, but that would be true in any namespace.

    I agree, that the current three letter TLDs are not meeting needs or wants. For instance, where I work, we originated as an university computer center, and are therefore still not-for-profit, but we do have very commercial clients, for instance, the largest national newspaper, and a large publisher. Since only the US is hesitant about using their national TLD, this poses no problem, because we use the national TLD. But imagine, soon we will lose the not-for-profit status, and, in US terms, move from .edu to .com, and our acronym is a female first name,SARA [www.sara.nl]. SO, what to do, buy out some luscious girl or her pimp, who exploits a sara.com site? Or stress the educational part of our business with the more easily maintained .edu site? Since it's sara.nl, the question will never rise, unless at some time we grow so big as to contemplate sara.int, but I do not see that happenning for some decades. And by then, we could always choose a new name, more cheaply.

    But with a single namespace name collisions would take place more often, resulting in money destroying court cases, so let's not go there. Simply hand over the non-country-based TLDs to the UN, and leave the other ones to the countries involved.

    Stefan.
    It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

  • This thought has crossed my mind before, however this article provides an opportunity to share it. Why are we even allowing ICANN and the congress control the name space we use. Any name server can be set up to use two sets of root name servers. One for the ICANN / Network Solutions system and one for the GNU system. A simple plugin can be built for the M$ Windows users to access the system regardless of who the ISP is. As a community, the small ISP's and geeks can market the new namespace and make it the basis for doing business. Essentially rendering ICANN innefective. A good start would be to set up a domain .gnu and get some volunteer ISP's to set up a root DNS system. The community could make any software changes required to make this work, however, I dont think any are required. Now the GNU community could start using this domain for Open Source related content. This would help to encurage ISP's to include the new set of root servers in thier DNS systems.
  • ctually since we created the .NET and we control most of the servers and pipes, we get to make the rules.

    Perhaps it is time to create .bofh, if it's not already been done, and

    • maintain the following rules:
    • Any SPAM is automatically grounds to revoke your .bofh domain, whether it's with or without your knowledge. Proof of remedy will regain you your place.
    • Commercial influences are abhorred. We are an anarchy, and do not want anything we are not ourselves seeking for. If we want you, we'll find you, so don't bother us before that.
    • Although we uphold the Declaration of Human rights, you have no right to harass or humiliate some female, simply because she won't give you any.
    • We may be an anarchy, but we cooperate, and anyone disruptive is first excluded, then may make his case in his defense, which he should have done before the disruption. And the penalty for disrupting .bofh is harsh, but called for. We do not like our playground spoiled.
    • There is more, but we will write it down whenever we have time and energy to do so.

    Stefan.
    It takes a lot of brains to enjoy satire, humor and wit-

  • The only difficulty I see in making routers filter *.xxx... The routers would have to reverse lookup the IPs that pass through to see if they're in .xxx... Next we'll see rules that require .xxx stuff to have addresses in 65.* :)
  • Typical European... always barging in telling us how to run our country.... Did you people want to lift a hand to create the internet in the first place? Noooo.... but now that the Internet is the greatest thing since sliced bread you wanna take control.
    GRASSHOPPERS I TELL YOU! GRASSHOPPERS!

    (just kidding)
    -
    The IHA Forums [ihateapple.com]
  • Why must the US Gov stick its nose into any and everything? Do you think it will ever strike them that they do not own and cannot control the Internet?

    I guess they figure they built it, so they own it. It's not like they ever declared publicly they were giving it to the rest of the world.

    They can pass all the laws they want, maybe even laws banning certain goods to be sold online, but it wont stop it from happening

    Actually, it will. They created ICANN. ICANN is creating new domains. Their laws affect the internet. Point disproved. Just because you don't like something you can't pretend it doesn't exist.
    --
  • Some astute (possibly evil) fortune builder could make themselves an internet power by giving ISPs incentives to use their root servers. Pay them, give them free support, whatever. Meanwhile, offer any TLD not taken already for a fee. Embrace and extend.... (goodness, I hope no MS minions are reading this).

    Whether or not they've used it wisely (um, definitely not), Network Solutions has wielded
    a huge amount of market power. In part because they had exclusive rights to sell TLDs for a while, but in part because they have the root level nameserver.

    --
  • Here's a summary of what the letter says:

    Dear ICANN:

    We have taken control of the internet naming system. We have claimed ownership to any and all TLDs that didn't exist before January 2000. That's right -- we own words that haven't been invented yet and ccTLDs for countries that don't exist yet. Every permutation of the ASCII alphabet is ours. Furthermore, we have patented them all. Since we now own everything, none of the new TLDs you create will work, because they belong to us. You might as well close up shop, as you are now obsolete.

    Anyone can register a TLD through our organization. Naturally, we are willing to negotiate licencing for the TLDs you have recommended. For a small fee.

    SECONDLY

    We must protest that you cater to geeks, rather than to "Internet Business Modellers" such as ourselves. The New Media world is rough on business who just want to strike it rich off this Internet thing.

    Our organization hereby believes that ICANN sucks.

    We will 0wn you.

    Your sincerely,

    Anthony Harrison
    Director
    e2p Limited
  • If yahoo and ebay are American (USA), they should be somewhere in the .us structure. The fact that they are .com should mean that they are international in their focus. This is direct example of the USA's "cultural imperialism", which is probably caused by the mess that the regulators made of the .us domain. All TLDs should be internationally decided. The US should only have control over the one it is given, just like the rest of us.
  • Not if you really think about it. I may be wrong but I bet if any major country wanted to, they could add .xxx to their domain structure, and everyone else in the world will probably accept it, and that they are the controllers of such domain. Is it really america's fault that they we the first ones to come up with .com .org .net and control the root domain to them? And it seems as if we are comming up with more, I don't see whats stopping other countries from doing the same.
  • Try "host -v -l aq" - there are quite a few, e.g. scott.aq.
  • I think the $50,000 is more to weed out who's really serious about making a business commitment and to see who's just messing around.

    There are other, better ways to measure seriousness than money, like how effectively an applicant makes its case and whether or not the applicant's proposal is supported or opposed by others. $50,000 seems outrageous to me.

  • NO this ISN'T fucking America! It's the whole, goddamned world; and the US is less than 5% of that.

    Normally I can ignore the "US FIRST!!!" posts, but this is just over the top.

  • And what is more important, is current owners of *.com, etc will sue anyone getting *.shop *.web, etc. It's the Nissan.com thing all over again. So companies will steal, ahem, use the legal system, to take control and protect "their" Trademarks. And it means more domains Network Solutions can extort money from you, to protect yourself from some jerk putting a porn site on yourcompany.tv etc like nasa.com. Its a joke.
  • Another good point for having all sites be under a ccTLD, with only one international TLD: .int.

    Amen, brother, AMEN! If every little pissant government on the planet is going to muck with the system, give each country its own sandbox to soil as it sees fit. I'd even argue against the .int TLD unless some enforcable provision is enacted for resolving international disputes over it.

    So what if huge companies have to register a separate address in each country that they want an ePresence in? Let 'em register mcdonalds.fi, mcdonalds.ch, and mcdonalds.us. And if someone else beats 'em to mcdonalds.uz let 'em fight it out in the Uzbekistan courts.

    Of course, if a little island nation somewhere wants to sell their TLD for some extra capital, that's fine and dandy. Its their domain, they can administer it as they see fit. Long live Tuvalu!


    Chelloveck
  • ... how long before we see "www.slash.dot".

    Why don't you use http://slash.news/ [slash.news]? It works here.

  • Well, it would make a clear statement about how the owner feels about certain things. For example, www.nazi.pro (to take the French Yahoo thing a little further) would be a pro-nazi website and will most likely not be suitable for non-nazi lovers. Now will we have a .ant domain as its counterpart?
  • Why must the US Gov stick its nose into any and everything? Do you think it will ever strike them that they do not own and cannot control the Internet? They can pass all the laws they want, maybe even laws banning certain goods to be sold online, but it wont stop it from happening.

    The fact is, most computer experts dislike the Government, for whatever reason(crypto restrictions, privacy violations, etc...). The government therefore cannot get a highly skilled staff of computer experts to work for them. So in a nutshell, they will not be able to regulate the internet. Why cant someone think forward and realize that you cannot regulate the internet. There are too many variables, too many people, too much data.

    Id bet the only agency thinking forward is the NSA. And we all thought that Echelon was bad... I wonder whats next...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    1. Anything goes, ala Usenet
    2. First come, first served
    3. No squatting
    4. No trademark bullying

    Sure, these are generalized principles, but I think they pretty much cover all the bases. Rule #4 is of particular significance, as it eliminates the overwhelming power of money.

  • You should move to Yougoslavia. They've got far cooler domain names...
  • "Because TLD's are now international, not exclusively US'ian. It should be left to the UN to decide." Sure, let the UN decide. Let's see, since the US influences most of the UN decisions already, based on the inequity of military might, we'll have the US military once again in control of the internet. hmmmm...
  • Since no big population of business (small or big, but mostly big) care to reinvest in a whole new bunch of domain names, I don't think anybody will be driving hard to have new TLDs pushed through the process. If the big money cared, it would happen, but they don't, so they'll be quite happy for the process to drag out in bureaucratic minutiae.

    And since the US government is pretty firmly in the pocket of corporate interest, there isn't going to be a lot anybody can do about that. Sit back and wait, kids.

  • WTF does congress think that they should get involved. Lets move ICANN and all other internet governing boards to some island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Govern that one baby.

    Secret windows code
  • it's for professionals...
  • by dvk (118711) on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:47AM (#510904) Homepage
    ICANN's Articles of Incorporation (As Revised)
    at http://www.icann.org/general/articles.htm [icann.org] read:

    5.b. No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Corporation shall be empowered to make the election under 501 (h) of the Code.

    What i'm not sure about is, how can ICANN be "independent", if it falls under US Law jusrisdiction, seing how it is a non-profit corporation organized within the framework of US law.

    Regarding dispute itself, i'm somewhat surprized that ICANN acted this way (choosing submissions from some paying companies while refusing others), when their Bylaws, ARTICLE IV , Section 1: General Powers state:
    c) The Corporation shall not apply its standards, policies, procedures or practices inequitably or single out any particular party for disparate treatment unless justified by substantial and reasonable cause, such as the promotion of effective competition.

    I would say that granting some TLDs that benefit the companies which submitted them while rejecting others violates the above rule.

    #include IANAL.h
    #include disclaimers.h

    -DVK

  • Too bad you posted AC, because your point is the type that "get tha gummit off my college-loan-supported back" crowd misses. Domains only flow downstream to AOL because they choose to use the same root servers as the rest of the world. Should anyone as large as AOL screw with the DNS system, it dies a lonely, lonely death. And consumers get screwed. Don't like etoys.com now? Try liking them when you don't even know WHICH etoys.com you are looking at.

    In fact, them weenies who have been suing over spurious trademark claims (e.g. Madonna) have really created the strongest support the current root servers could have. Should anyone challenge the DNS system with alternate root servers, the legal groundwork for burying them alive has already been laid, and they have done it to themselves.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • I read lots of comments from geeks like us saying "F-ck ICANN lets just start our own root". And, while that's all well and good- it's not going to help your grandmother, or your neighbors, or 96% of the population of the US who is too stupid to set the clock on their VCR.

    Here are some of the main problems with ICANN:

    • There are no "checks-and-balances" to their power.
    • They are accountable to no one but the Dept. of Commerce
    • A bunch of scum-bags like Louis Touton, Ken Stubbs, and Joe Sims are pulling "double-duty" as both members of the ICANN board and paid consultants, lawyers, or board members of the companies who are getting rich because of ICANN.
    • There is no "bottom-up" approach; only "top-down" decrees.
    • They are funded by corporate interests

    If you really feel strongly about the issues you should go to The Committee on Energy and Commerce homepage [house.gov], click the link labeled "Feedback" and help to educate these members of Congress who may not fully understand just how badly ICANN is screwing the people on the Net.

  • ICANN reviewed 45 applications -- submitted with $50,000 each

    I guess this would be the #1 reason why there is no 'fair' process taking place... what a goddamn wonder - make the stipulation that "only profit motivated organizations with $50k to 'bet on the future' are allowed in this discussion. If you are not a business you dont fucking matter"

    Jesus fucking Christ - did they expect these proposals to be anything other than land grabs by $whores$? and the 'losers' to be gracious? Again - am I the only one not surprised?
  • Your point is well made. In fact if you read the article, it's not that they government cares at all about citizens or the internet, but some VC-backed lobbyists for DotTV stirred up this mess.

    That being said, it's probably a good idea to question ICANN's bias in making decisions.

    But while I personally have nothing against seeing another unaccountable institution sacked and burned, I have to disagree with all the ill-conceived cries to get government oversight out of this business altogether.

    If alternate root servers were chosen and the creation of new gTLDs created by anarchic, everyone-for-themselves choices, the result would be loss of globally unique web addresses. Worse, the people with the most eyeballs would get disproportionate power in creating order back out of the anarchy. In other words, the dot-biz folks would STILL be screwed, and AOL would create, administer, and own the EFFECTIVE dot-biz. You can see where this is going... AOL keywords or nothing, and... the DEATH OF THE INTERNET PREDICTED.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • "Here at Harriston investments, we have a top-notch, high-end online investing system. Just visit us online at http://clownpenis.fart.

    "Sure all the other 'good' domain names were already taken. But that doesn't mean we're not committed to having the best online investment site around. Clownpenis.fart."

    (Or was I the only one who saw that episode of SNL? :)
  • One of the many reasons we need an alternate root NS system...
  • > Or by insightful, did you mean that it gives us much insight as to what a narrow nationalist from the US thinks about their role in the world?

    Maybe they meant insightful as in 'insighting a riot' ;P
  • http://www.nic.us [www.nic.us] and if you look real close you can see the tagline:

    The US Domain Registry is administered by VeriSign, Inc.

    You know...Network Solutions: "The Monopoly People(tm)"
  • Congress shouldn't have any real jurisdiction here in the first place, but that aside, I figure anything that slows down and/or reduces the likelihood of new TLD deployment is good.

    Why? It doesn't really solve any problems, and is just a convenient way for registrars and lawyers to make more money. Consider: Who do you think is going to buy Amazon.biz, or Amazon.pro? Either Amazon.com will -- or some domain squatter will get there first, and then Amazon will have to go sue them.

    Besides, it just adds to consumer confusion. What if slashdot.org and slashdot.info pointed to two totally different sites with different purposes? What good would that serve?

    Adding .name seems logical at first blush, except it doesn't change the fact that there are still going to be a lot more people with a given name than there are domains that correspond to that name. So one lucky guy will get mikesmith.name, and the other 450,000 Mike Smiths around the world will still be SOL.

    And who on earth thought of .aero? By that logic, why not .space (OK, maybe mir.space, hubble-telescope.space would be kinda cool) or .sea?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Big companies are going to get all the cool domains anyway. Everyone else will be stuck with 'qjueoilder.ws' and/or other useless domains.
  • OpenNIC [unrated.net] already has a .oss TLD for open source-related material. Check it out at www.oss [www.oss] is you are using OpenDNS. Otherwise, go to the OpenNIC websie [unrated.net] and find out how.


    Claim your namespace.

  • A P2p DNS system would eradicate this bullshit.
  • I thought it was "h-t-t-p colon slash slash slashdot dot dot"?
  • by shaper (88544) on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:48AM (#510918) Homepage

    Exactly. And French and German governments should leave web sites outside of their own countries alone and not force them to abide by their own national (local) laws.

    America has yahoo.com and ebay.com and those are the ones that America should have influence over, not France or Germany. This is the sort of thing that gets European countries accused of cultural imperialism.

  • What do we need root servers for anyway? Secondary the root zone from the DNS provider of your choice and primary "." for yourself. Vote with your nameserver.

    http://support.open-rsc.org [open-rsc.org]
  • by algae (2196) on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:51AM (#510920)
    Frankly, I've stopped caring about the new top-level domains. Why? Because as things stand now, they won't make any difference to how DNS and name registration is run.

    At this point, we essentially have unlimited numbers of second-level domain names that might as well be top-level domains, because they're all followed by an irrelevant and arbitrary .com (or .net or .org). Unless there is going to be actual regulation by a multination organization with some clout over how the new TLDs are handed out, I don't see how they'll make any difference.

    To sum up: because there's no difference between .com, .net and .org anymore, we're essentially using unlimited TLDs followed by an arbitrary string. Unless the new TLDs are enforced in some way (which at this point I don't see happening), this isn't going to change. AOL/TW will promptly go out and buy aoltw.coop, aoltw.store and so forth.

    Unlimited TLDs aren't the answer, what we need are the equivalent of zoning laws.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why are .su domains still in use? Who will give Tibet a new domain when they split away from China? Why doesn't sealand have its own TLD. Why are there no sites in .aq?
  • Historically, congress hasn't been able to keep up with the pace of change.
    By the time congress actually does anything, the internet will be completely different.
    TLD may not even exist anymore (see this [cfp2000.org] for one of the many proposals that would make this issue moot.)
    any proposal which puts one person/company/country in charge is going to be bad.
  • by Srass (42349) on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:56AM (#510923)
    Well, were it up to me, I would've rejected .web, too. The problem with .web is that it doesn't mean anything, other than "It's for web pages." Well, duh. So's everything else, anymore. So what?

    All of the new domains seem to be attempting to further subdivide .com, to re-assign meaning to the top level domain.

    If we're just trying to create more namespace in the same mindset that rendered the difference between .com, .net, and .org meaningless, we may as well quit arguing about it and add nonsense domain names like .blorq, .argh, and .foom, and be done with it.

    Seems like another conflict between the techies (pro-meaning) and the marketroids (anti-meaning).

  • ICANN only looks after the interests of big business.

    .biz has been used so that it would conflict and delay the process again. They have been delaying all along - can you all not see that?

    They have been hiding the solution to trademark problems - it is on my site - http://WIPO.org.uk [wipo.org.uk] - not the World Intellectual Property Organization.
  • I wasn't aware NetSol had the right to sell any of their TLDs at any time©
  • (I doubt if that's an actual URL)

    Just wanted to suggest something that occured to me.

    Why don't we ensure that every country, or other place that will need one, has a TLD, and then allow them for general registration? Of course, we would have to set the fee rather high, or else they would all disappear practically instantly.

    But for $10,000, wouldn't someone register ".dot"?? I see no practical reason why this couldn't be done.

  • Are you insane? The conrinthians football (yes football, not soccar!) team is a commmerical venture, why should this individual get to keep a commerical domain name for a non-commericial website!!

    The original posters' point was that the TLD's are arbitrary and no one enforces them.
    While I happen to think that was the original spirit of the TLD guidelines, I was pointing out that WIPO disagrees with that premise, and their opinion actually matters, unlike yours or mine.

  • I'm against government intervention as much as the next guy, probably more so, but I have to view it as preferable to having AOL be the de facto dictators of the Internet.

    AOL says fuck ICANN, sets up own gTLDs, lets anyone pay, then next thing you know, the beast from Redmond buys "slashdot.org" for AOLs users and redirects the whole domain to MSN. That would be fair, wouldn't it.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Another good point for having all sites be under a ccTLD, with only one international TLD: .int. Decide on a couple good 2LD's, like .com, .net, and .edu for example. ? Then the laws can apply where they're supposed to apply, and that's it.

    This would probably work, but the problem would be getting the current .com, .org & .net users (over the last few years these have effectivly become .misc anyway) to accept this.
    Probably even harder then getting American organisations to use .us, ..us or ...us type domain suffixes.
  • I'd even argue against the .int TLD unless some
    enforcable provision is enacted for resolving international disputes over it.

    That's how I envisioned it, yes. Perhaps Coca-Cola feels they're too big to be merely coke.com.us so they want to register coke.com.int instead. They'd have to agree to some provision that they can't buy up their name in any ccTLD's because they've got the .int, and they'd have to agree to some external arbitration: disputes wouldn't be settled in US (or any other country's) courts. If they didn't like the sound of that, let them buy coke.com.<cc> for every country they feel they need to. And like you said, they can then fight in the courts in all those countries.

  • So what if huge companies have to register a separate address in each country that they want an ePresence in? Let 'em register mcdonalds.fi, mcdonalds.ch, and mcdonalds.us. And if someone else beats 'em to mcdonalds.uz let 'em fight it out in the Uzbekistan courts.

    They might well end up having to have mcdonalds.co.fi or such like. As well as having to fulfil criteria such as having an appropriate commercial presence.

    Of course, if a little island nation somewhere wants to sell their TLD for some extra capital, that's fine and dandy. Its their domain, they can administer it as they see fit. Long live Tuvalu!

    Problems come when a country, such as Canada or Ireland, changes policy after a period of time. Cahnging what had been a structured naming system into a free for all.
    The question should be if domian names are "mining rights" with a first come first served basis or are they the equivalent of postal addresses?
  • 'p2p DNS'...uh... write up a nice RFC and if it's worthwhile I'm sure it will get done. However, I suspect you're either trolling or have NO clue how/why DNS works the way it does.
  • Remember, .COM is reserved for Commercial enterprise, .ORG for non-comercial Organizations, and .NET for Network providers. It's only because the "zoning enforcement officers" don't have the backbone (or perhaps the ability) to enforce the rules that these three TLDs are defacto reserved for Commercial enterprise.

    It's more a case of was rather than is. A major part of the problem would be the likes of Network Solutions encouraging people who have foo.com to also get foo.net and foo.org.
    As well as treating all 3 as being .misc. Whilst there may be a need for other catagories (including a .misc) then the solution is to create these as appropriate.
  • Because they want .con ! Congress.con. All the senators and representatives can have their own pages..

    But having congress.gov.us might not satisfy their egos. Even though it would be kind of obvious that anything ending .gov.us refered to part of the US federal government.
    Also you probably don't want to use .con, at least not until Microsoft is dead and burried, since CON has special meaning to MS operating systems.
  • This is how politics work. Companies pad the wallet for the campaigns of both parties, then wait until someone won't kiss thier ass, then get thier buddies who they help elected to do stupid things in thier intrest. One great example of this process is DMCA. How do we fix it? We can't because the public is brain washed by the media, which are owned by these companies.
  • certain buses in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, CA are now advertising .la domains (.la is a country-specific TLD for Laos, in Southeast Asia.)

    Does this mean that parts of the US will now grab domains from anywhere they have bombed in recent history??
    "Ok Kosova you can be independant, you can't have your own domain name...."
    The Germans had better look out too, maybe Detroit wants .de

  • Are you insane? The conrinthians football (yes football, not soccar!) team is a commmerical venture, why should this individual get to keep a commerical domain name for a non-commericial website!! Thank god the "fine folks at WIPO" do enforce the principals of domain names.

  • Actually, a spell checker wouldn't have helped at all. Neither of those quotes have any spelling errors.
  • If 'con' is the opposite of 'pro', is 'congress' the opposite of 'progress'?

    BigCat79
  • "In November the group approved seven suffixes: .aero, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .pro, and .biz..."

    The majority of these names make no sense to me. I know what each name represents, but my question is why? Do the members of ICANN actually use the Internet? I thought for sure they would approve a .sex or a .xxx TLD, considering the sheer volume of pornography [harvardlawreview.org] on the Internet, and how everyone seems to think we should do something about it. A .xxx TLD sure would help us admins with firewalling rules. Wouldn't even have to worry too much about enforcing compliance either, seems like anyone who runs a porn site would actually want to have a .xxx domain.

    Penguins run around naked everyday! The Linux Pimp [thelinuxpimp.com]

  • ...is an alternative to DNS that has 'commercial/political reality' built in.

    The current DNS system was designed by idealists who apparently decided that

    1. Businesses would use .COM exclusively, while Network providers would use .NET exclusively and non-commercial Organizations would use .ORG exclusively. This isn't the case in our commercial/political world (except for .EDU and .MIL, where enforcement of the original rules is strictly observed) where commercial entities (Businesses) own .COM, .ORG, and .NET versions of their names without having the underlying organizational infrastructure implied by the name.
    2. second-level domainnames would reflect the organizational entity so that the xyz.com domain would reflect all the servers for entity XYZ. This isn't the case these days, where each product gets it's own 2nd level domain (anyone care to guess what barbie.com [barbie.com] leads to? Hint: it doesn't lead to Barbie Inc.'s website.)

    It seems to me that either the naming convention recognizes these commercial aspects in it's design, or it abolishes them; there's no room for ambiguity here.

  • by Sebby (238625) on Friday January 12, 2001 @11:04AM (#510942)
    www.youcann.org [youcann.org]

    If this alternate system gets popular enough, all this will become irrelevant

  • THE US GOVERNMENT SHOULD FUCK OFF

    Rather the US government should come up with a way to use the .us domain e.g. .gov.us federal government; .com.us commercial organisations who operate from more than one state; .mil.us the US armed forces; all of \.us under control of each state government.
  • Congress has every right to manipulate the '.us' domain. They do not to manipulate the top level itself.

    They have some rights, not all, since there are SLD's which are specific to the states. Which would be covered by the 10th ammendment. They could create appropriate second level domains for anything controlled by federal government. e.g. congress.gov.us, sc.gov.us, whitehouse.gov.us, .mil.us (though NORAD probably should be under .mil.int) .mint.us, etc.
  • but the US government, and any other group answerable to the US people alone, sure as hell isn't.

    The us department of commerce has last say on all this because, like it or not, the us goverment paid for most of the initial development and expansion of the Internet. Like the saying goes "he pays he says". Is it going to change any time soon?.. Its not likely. To quote The Queen of England (in reference to the falklands): "we don't see any reason to give up something that belongs to us". All the rest of this is hot air.

    --locust

  • by mlamb (303474) on Friday January 12, 2001 @11:09AM (#510958)
    This is exactly what the internet is all about: interstate commerce and commerce with foreign nations.

    This reminds me of a true tale of an in-duh-vidual. An American (ok, US-ian) employee and a European employee of the same company were being transferred to an office in Japan. The US-ian employee got extra relocation money for an international relocation. When the European employee asked for the same amount, he was told, "but you're already international."

    The Internet is not about interstate commerce and commerce with foreign nations. It's about commerce and communication between anyone, anwhere, regardless of who or where they are. It's specifically about not making distinctions between domestic and foreign parties in a communication.

    And last I checked, "public domain" didn't mean "U.S. domain".

    (and yes, I am a US citizen).

    - Marty
  • Isn't there some country like "Sexslyvania" that these porn operators can license from- so they can get their .sex extension?
  • I must register "chicken.coop"!
    -----
    D. Fischer
  • by schon (31600) on Friday January 12, 2001 @11:51AM (#510968)
    It gets even worse than this..

    A company called e2p has notified ICANN that they have a patent on all new TLD's..

    The letter they sent to ICANN is available for viewing at http://www.icann.org/tlds/correspondence/e2p-email -11oct00.htm [icann.org]

    It starts off by telling ICANN that they shouldn't be thinking about new TLD's, then goes on to criticize ICANN for neglecting "Internet Business Modellers" in the search for new TLD's.

    The letter (and e2p's website) are pretty stark of details, can anybody shed any light on exactly what these bozo's are trying to pull?
  • Not only is .NET a Microsoft creation, it doesn't really exist yet. They haven't even really been able to explain what it is, besides the fact that they'll be appending that to the names of all their products.

    Not that I want to play grammar police ... but calling the internet ".NET" is like giving in to Microsoft, saying, "Yes, you can control the world. We believe in everything you say." So don't try to be clever -- just call it the internet, or, if you want, the net (notice: not period, no capitalization.) Or ARPANET. Or Earth's big LAN party. Or the Information Superhighway, if you have to. Just not .NET.

  • No, they couldn't, because "they" don't have a seperate domain structure. That's the point. The top level domains are assigned by ICANN, which is supposed to be an international, consensus driven, body. The UK can't add '.xxx' to its DNS because it doesn't have one.

    It, like the US, has a TLD assigned to it (.uk in the UK's case, .us in the US's case), and it could create a '.xxx.uk', but it certainly couldn't add a '.xxx'.

    Congress has every right to manipulate the '.us' domain. They do not to manipulate the top level itself.

    Those who are asking it to do so are asking, effectively, for the balkanisation of the Internet. If US political interests are going to dictate the international aspects of the 'net, ignoring the consensus driven part of it, then we can seriously start to expect other countries to take matters into their own hands too.

    It's already happening - China is about to launch its own Internet because it doesn't like the content of the original. We can expect that behaviour to be the rule, not the exception, if individual countries, such as the US, start to impose their wills on how they believe the Internet should operate.

    If Slashdotters think that French courts dictating what Yahoo is allowed to sell is bad, imagine the situation if the US government dictates how people around the world are supposed to access the 'net in the first place. By comparison, the behaviour of the French courts looks almost sensible.
    --

  • by rabtech (223758) on Friday January 12, 2001 @11:17AM (#510978) Homepage
    Actually since we created the .NET and we control most of the servers and pipes, we get to make the rules.

    Personally, I welcome the government's inquiries... I hope they dissolve ICANN or restructure it. It has served no other purpose than to promote the interests of those with the most $$, in the same way that the WTO has decided to hand out previously legally owned domain names to any corporation with a few $$.
    -
    The IHA Forums [ihateapple.com]
  • Yeah, like when Vint Cerf flatly rejected .iii,
    drawing on his unquestionable techical knowledge:

    "dot i-i-i? What does that mean?
    That means nothing to me."

    Seems at least one of the criteria is that
    it has to be aesthetically pleasing to Dr Cerf.
  • Well, their money's as green as anyone's..
    I don't think it has anything to do with alignment..
  • Most people won't even pay $1 for content. I think $20 would be enough to elicit serious offers only. I'd like to see a .star TLD (star.star, universe.galaxy.star, etc.), but I wouldn't even pay $20 to do it.

    If it's money they want, people should be able to post their ideas and have others contribute to some sort of a PayPal escrow. From a central site, people could propose TLD's, and those that backed it could make a contribution. I think there is a bigger mandate from 100 people willing to spend $1/each than there is from some organization that has $50k to burn.

    Besides, I think there would be significant support on all sides for a .sex or .xxx domain -- both prudes and pr0n purveyors would love it. There are some problems with it, of course, but it works out much better than it does right now, although things like goat sex would be difficult to categorize. PICS is a failure, but the even larger problem is that parents that DO care what their children see and do won't do it actively, but that's a whole 'nother ball of wax.

    --

  • by BRock97 (17460) on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:22AM (#510992) Homepage
    ... how long before we see "www.slash.dot".

    Bryan R.
  • by Tairan (167707) on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:23AM (#510993) Homepage
    Because they want .con ! Congress.con. All the senators and representatives can have their own pages.. Even better! Great, I can see it now, Paypai.con...amazon.con...doubleclick.con..

    Hm, it might put an end to some squatting. Who else wants a .con?

  • Why can't we just all say "LOOK! We're DOING IT!" and setup our own root servers? Tell ICANN to piss up a rope, and let them catch up with the rest of us? It's astonishing to think that we've been limmited the way we are for so long because some group of morons can't decide if .porn or .nom can go in the root servers! What's up with that?

    Fawking Trolls! [geekizoid.com]
  • by swb (14022) on Friday January 12, 2001 @02:09PM (#510998)
    Enforcement on an international scale is impossible. The "world community" can barely enforce a common morality with regard to mass killings, do you really expect them to forge unity on whether or not slashdot.org belongs in .com?

    I suppose some of the leftists on slashdot that get warm and fuzzy about one-world government might find themselves actually believing this is possible, but it really, really isn't.

    What we need a single, flat namespace that doesn't have any "distinctions." The distinctions are unnecessary, unmanageable and unenforceable. Multinationals will claim their name in all namespaces by carrot or stick. There's no shortage of domain names if you're willing to be clever. There are, however, a shortage of obvious generic name terms and trademarked names, but that would be true in any namespace.
  • This is exactly what we and other organizations are doing. Support the alternate roots. There are a number of them, with varying philosophies. I myself am a member of the OpenNIC [unrated.net]. You might also like to check out TINC (The Internet Namespace Cooperative), ORSC (the Open Root Server Confederation), and PacRoot (the Pacific Root).

    Claim your namespace.


    Claim your namespace.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday January 12, 2001 @11:32AM (#511007) Homepage Journal
    Ok moderators - what idiots (own up, both of you) modded this blatent bit of flamebait up as "insightful"?

    Or by insightful, did you mean that it gives us much insight as to what a narrow nationalist from the US thinks about their role in the world?

    The Internet is a global network. If Americans seriously believe that their government should dictate how people use it, then sooner or later you can expect that network, previously founded on the principles of consensus building and cooperation, to split up. ICANN may or may not be the appropriate body to assign the numbers, but the US government, and any other group answerable to the US people alone, sure as hell isn't.
    --

  • Good point, except that the standard for getting a trademark registration and avoiding infringement of someone else's trademark is avoiding a "likelihood of confusion". If using different TLDs, each with well-defined permitted uses, does away with that likelihood of confusion, trademark law should allow different entities to have the same or similar "namespace", albeit with different TLDs. For example, if they were introduce a new TDL, .sux, defined as a complaint venting domain, problems with WIPO experienced by some Web site owners in the past would be non-existent.
  • by Inti (99884) on Friday January 12, 2001 @12:22PM (#511016) Homepage
    Absolutely. We call these zoning laws "TLD charters". The problem with most of the alternate roots (ORSC, and so on) is that they treat ALL TLDs as generic TLDs. The OpenNIC project [unrated.net] is atempting to create an alternate root specifically for chartered TLDs. We believe that charters can never be enforced effectively by a commercial entity (they will always want to sell as many domain names as possible, charter be damned). But non-profit groups, such as those overseeing .mil, .edu and .gov have been very effective in this regard. (with a few odd exceptions like gop.gov).

    Our solution is for the TLD to be owned and managed in a democratic fashion by domain registrants. We feel that domain registrants will have an interest in enforcing their charter. Over time, these community-policed namespaces will come to be more trusted and useful than the .com/.org/.net ghetto and similar uncontrolled namespaces. Kind of like moderated as opposed to unmoderated usenet groups.

    We already operate several such TLDs, including .parody (charter is obvious) amd .oss (for open source software-related material). We also peer or are discussing peering the namespaces of other roots, including ICANN/NSI, ORSC, PacRoot, TINC and AlterNIC.

    If you're really interested, become an OpenNIC member, register a domain name or propose a new TLD, or help out however you like.


    Claim your namespace.

  • by VValdo (10446) on Friday January 12, 2001 @12:26PM (#511017)
    The thing is, that's just begging people to pass laws saying x-rated material should be restricted to .xxx or .sex...

    Next thing you know...

    1. ISP routers will be legislated into blocking such addresses at the national and ISP levels

    2. at the same time, legislation could be passed that all kinds of "distasteful," "immoral", etc. (whether sexually, politically, etc.) material be religated to that TLD

    you'd end up making it real easy for a government to create a national black hole list.
    -------------------
    1. What's porn? There is too much of a grey area, and it differs from person to person and country to country. In some places, the sky's the limit, in others, a picture of a woman showing her ankle might be defined as porn.
    2. Who's going to enforce a .xxx domain for all "porn" content?
    3. Who's going to check all non-.xxx for "porn" and prosecute?
    4. Why wouldn't a pornmaster want to keep his pornyporn.com sight and just add a pornyporn.xxx, to have the best of both worlds?
    I think enforcing compliance would be a big problem, especially when there's no way that I can see to define porn in the first place.
  • Because TLD's are now international, not exclusively US'ian. It should be left to the UN to decide.

    America has the .us domain, and thats the one congress should have influence over, not the international TLD's. This is the sort of thing that gets America accused of cultural Imperialism.

  • Maybe all those .com's I'm sitting on will actually be WORTH something :)
  • Reading the article, I wonder what type of site a .pro domain would be used for. Fair enough, with the other suffixes it's quite easy to identify the purpose for which they are intended (e.g. .biz for a business), but .pro? Protein? Prosthetics? Prostitutes, even?
    I think that the .web suffix should have been allowed instead of .pro. It makes more sense.
    _____________________________________
  • by Zaphod B (94313) on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:27AM (#511024) Journal

    In the absence of such scintillating new TLDs as .sex, .www, .web, and .now, certain buses in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, CA are now advertising .la domains (.la is a country-specific TLD for Laos, in Southeast Asia.) Amazingly, not very many people have bothered. I see several .tv domains, but the only thing I see advertised with a .la TLD is the registrar [www.la] itself.

    I don't see the use of alternative TLDs really taking off until Joe "AOL User" Shmo is a little better versed in the workings of the Internet.

    Just my 34 lira...

  • by PureFiction (10256) on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:27AM (#511025)
    Does anyone else think the $50,000 application fee for a TLD to even be considered is enough for investigation?

    What the hell is ICANN doing that requires 50 G's to process an application???

    Perhaps their data entry personel are making $5,000,000 / hour...
  • Under the US Constitution, Congress has jurisdiction over interstate commerce and commerce with foreign nations. This is exactly what the internet is all about: interstate commerce and commerce with foreign nations. Any state that wants its own internal tld system is able to set up its own system of name servers. States could even band together and share dns databases with each other. But the final national decision is left with the Federal government where the Constitution puts it.

    That's what's good about our system: 200 years ago, no one could have known that dns servers could even exist someday. But the same constitutional principles enacted then govern now and govern well. I welcome this latest reaffirmation of the beauty of our government in action.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:28AM (#511027)
    Power up the laser, and say : "I think ICANN..." :o
  • by chuqui (264912) <slash@ c h u q u i . c om> on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:28AM (#511043) Homepage
    If you're going to create .con, don't forget to create a sub-domai where congressmen can move their domains when they leave their post:

    packwood.ex.con
    rostenkowski.ex.con
    tower.ex.con
  • by alexhmit01 (104757) on Friday January 12, 2001 @10:29AM (#511044)
    Again, when the Internet was researchers e-mail and college kids playing, you can do whatever you want. Once you become integral to the economic prosperity, the government must oversee it. Why? Because private groups will not represent the public's interests.

    For a company that got put in control of the infrastructure, they are in a weird situation. The normal approach would be for ICANN to be an Executive Committee (i.e. appointed by the President), but they went with this quasi-public organization.

    This has advantages and disadvantages. It mostly shields the Internet from Presidential Politics (although Evans could get Commerce back involved), and gives it more leeway, but it forces Congress and the White House to take major steps if they want changes. This prevents micromanagement, but it means that if it doesn't like the direction, it can get involved.

    The wheels of government are slow but awesome. Perhaps we'll finally start realizing that government isn't obsolete, it still has the guns, and therefore rules.

    Alex

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