[discuss] So-called alternate roots (was: Funding for developing economies as an Ig policy issue? was Re:[ ] Time to be ...)

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Thu Jan 2 23:01:44 UTC 2014


On Thu, Jan 02, 2014 at 11:19:30PM +0100, Michel Gauthier wrote:
> ICANN ICP-3 multi-root competition?

If I may ask, what does it even possibly mean to talk of "multi-root"?

The DNS is a tree structure.  By definition, a tree structure has one
root.  We're not talking about some inconvenient political problem;
this is a fact of math.

In my experience, when people talk about "alternate roots", they're
really talking about one (or more than one) of these three

    1.  There are completely different name spaces.  That is, not "the
    Internet" but "a bunch of different internets, competing with one
    another".  This might include the case where the user is somehow
    supposed to choose in any given interaction which internet they
    want.  The idea that the same users who are mystified by the
    existing system will somehow find this new choice less boggling is
    hard for me to swallow; and nobody has ever explained to me how
    email is supposed to work under this at all, unless it's via
    option 2, below.

    2.  There is some mechanism to decide which pseudo-root applies in
    any given interaction.  In this case, of course, we're not talking
    about "alternate roots" at all, but a new, super-root over top of
    the multiple pseudo-roots.  Somehow, that super-root is supposed
    to avoid all the political thickets that bedevil the existing
    root.  As near as I can tell, the two proposals for such avoidance
    are "magic happens" and "the ITU-T runs it".  In other words, in
    order to get away from the problems that one might have with
    ICANN, what we will do is relive the entire historic and current
    ICANN debates, only with more interested parties and international
    regulators involved.

    3.  We replace the primary existing name resolution mechanism on
    the Internet with a new one.  Just so we understand the scale of
    that problem, the last time a completely new name resolution
    system for the Internet was invented, TCP was replacing NCP and it
    was stll just possible to get a mimeographed list (on paper) of
    the names of all the humans connected to the Internet (RFCs 882
    and 883 were published in November 1983).

Which of these three did you have in mind?  Or is there another I
haven't encountered yet?

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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