[discuss] American For-Profit at the Heart of Internet

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Mar 24 07:32:03 UTC 2014

Just curious as to why the emphasis on "for-profit" here. Obviously no one is charging for RZ server functions at this point. Is the implication that a nonprofit would provide better RZM service? Given that the most troublesome root server has been the (nonprofit) one run by the US military, that may not be true. Do you think it would be more trustworthy? 

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf Of Pranesh Prakash
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2014 12:44 AM
To: discuss at 1net.org
Subject: [discuss] American For-Profit at the Heart of Internet

Dear all,
I'm curious about the scope of NTIA's instructions to ICANN to come up with a transition proposal.

> As the first step, NTIA is asking the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to convene global stakeholders to develop a proposal to transition the current role played by NTIA in the coordination of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS).

A transition from NTIA's cooperative agreement with Verisign could mean two things:

  1. Verisign's counterpart in that agreement gets replaced.
  2. Verisign gets replaced as the root zone maintainer.

I'm unclear why Verisign, an American for-profit subject to the whims of ill-informed US lawmakers, should continue to hold on to its monopoly as the root zone maintainer.  But I'm also unclear whether (2) is within the scope of NTIA's instructions.

The root zone operators with their place of incorporation and for-profit

     Verisign (USA) (for profit)
     USC-ISI (USA) (non-profit)
     Cogent (USA) (for profit)
     UMD (USA) (non-profit)
     NASA-ARC (USA) (govt)
     ISC (USA) (non-profit)
     DOD-NIC (USA) (govt)
     ARL (USA) (govt)
     Netnod (Sweden) (non-profit)
     RIPE NCC (The Netherlands / Europe) (non-profit)
     ICANN (USA) (non-profit)
     WIDE (Japan) (non-profit)


Pranesh Prakash
Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society
T: +91 80 40926283 | W: http://cis-india.org
Access to Knowledge Fellow, Information Society Project, Yale Law School
M: +1 520 314 7147 | W: http://yaleisp.org PGP ID: 0x1D5C5F07 | Twitter: https://twitter.com/pranesh_prakash

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