[discuss] So-called alternate roots

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Sat Jan 4 02:39:10 UTC 2014

You are being imprecise Brian. SHA-1 does not have unique allocation

This is equivalent to the double spending problem in electronic currencies.
Hence the attempt to co-opt the approach for DNS (see Namecoin).

It is possible to solve the same problem without the ideology and the
bitcoin miners. Basically the approach is a varian on the NOMCON process.

Each registration period lasts a fixed quantum of time, 1 hour say. To
request a name, the registrant signs a request for the name and encrypts
it. At the end of the registration period, the requests are decrypted. All
uncontested registrations are approved. Contested applications are decided
by computing a MAC over each registration with some function over the the
decryption key. The highest value MAC value wins.

The fairness of the decision process depends only on the decryption key not
being known in advance. This can be easily divided between some number of
trusted parties on a quorate basis. Not a difficult problem.

Please consider the laws of mathematics of which you speak duly repealed.

On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 7:59 PM, Brian E Carpenter <
brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:

> Michel,
> On 04/01/2014 11:45, Michel Gauthier wrote:
> > At 00:01 03/01/2014, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> 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"?
> >
> > I am not a specialist Iike you. I just trust the people in charge and
> > use their words and expertise.
> >
> > The people in charge (ICANN) state the "policy currently followed in
> > administering the authoritative root of the Domain Name System"
> > "provides a facility for future extensions that accommodates the
> > possibility of safely deploying multiple roots on the public Internet"
> > as "ultimately there may be better architectures for getting the job
> > done where the need for a single, authoritative root will not be an
> issue".
> >
> > http://www.icann.org/en/about/unique-authoritative-root
> This isn't the first time people have wished to rescind the laws
> of mathematics. If a name space is to be unambiguous it must
> have a single logical root and that is not going to change, even
> ultimately. There could be other implementation techniques that
> would hide the single root from view, although I can't see why
> that would be an advantage.
> (That kind of solution, which I investigated at a very abstract
> level a few years ago, requires independent allocation engines
> to communicate with each other to either deny an allocation
> request or to guarantee that it's unique. Although that doesn't
> require a single engine to act as the root, it does require the
> entire set of allocators to communicate with each other. That's
> a lot of complexity for no obvious advantage.)
> Regards
>      Brian (2/4 for 2014-01-04 NZDST)
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Website: http://hallambaker.com/
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