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let not technically and politically turn ICANN into an alt-root to UN

  • To: stld-rfp-general@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: let not technically and politically turn ICANN into an alt-root to UN
  • From: info <info@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 19:33:43 +0200

The DNS has most probably survived and became a world reference because it drastically respects a very few and simple rules. These rules can be summarized in the way the public understands and trusts its semantic.

1. there is first a scheme like http:// (web), ftp:// (file transfer), the awaited for tel:// (telephone) etc. or implied (a grammar always has an exception) in the mail case where mail:// is not necessary, due to the world wide known @ separator. They tell the transportation system.
2. then there are zero or several "phone extension like" names, permitting to tell what/who (in the case of the mail) we precisely intend to directly reach.
3. then there is the domain name: the name of the house/ranch/business were resides the persons or the extensions we want to reach.
4. then the TLD, or root name: the name of the network the domain belongs to. Like its virtual country or province. Like a flag at the poop of a vessel. Telling much about it (somewhat blurred in the merchant NSI model)
5. there is a unique authoritative root file - at least this is what ICANN fights for.

This is what the brainware: the common authoritative way users understand and use the system. This IS the language of the nets.

Any alternative semantic would introduce confusion, divide their understanding and lead to their disinterest - unless it was said a grammar . error. It would have far more impact on the DNS stability that any of the so called alternative root (which respect the common semantic).

This is why .tel, .mobi, .mail applications which relate to the ways of sending data, cannot be accepted as flags of destinations. It would be like saying "please send this text to letters" instead of saying "please send this text to Mr. So and So _as_ a letter".

Hence :
- tel, mobi, mail are technically confusing and far more hurting to the DNS than alt(sic)roots.
- telephone and mail are already existing transportation systems having their own scheme (tel:// and mail's @). The proper place to request a specific support for telephone mobiles would be to request W3C or IAB for the mobi:// scheme or for a tel-pulver:// sub-scheme.
- if they were accepted it would quickly be the end of any control of ICANN/IANA over the DNS (and confusion if unprepared) by simple loss of credibility and legitimacy. ICANN founds it legitimacy on RFC 290 (cf. ICP-3), ie on the 1984 consensus and on its respect for 20 years.
- it would also be the end of ICANN. Who would believe that Govs and Telephone operators would not be frustrated - with an immediate impact on the UN position - at the pilfering of their national telephone market by a transversal US venture. Or that the only move that ICANN would undertake against spam would be to make a "spamhouse" making money from spam. When it should have made the same move for free, at a more appropriate, general and free DNS level.

No one has interest in harming something which works. Because the DNS has proven to be something stable users understand and accept, a dispute over the DNS would only lead ICANN to be identified as an "alt.root" when compared to the way the world understands the DNS. The world would only apply to ICANN the opinion ICANN applied to alt-roots. The network is _not_ what ICANN or IAB/IANA say it is to be, it the way the users commonly understand and use it.

Accepting tel, mobi or mail would most probably be, for ICANN, committing quick or slow suicide, depending on how and when the users community and Govs understand the impact. I would not opposed if this only led to the closing of a global ICANN (I support ICANN as a place for the Legacy governance), but the whole global naming would be hurt.

I note that to some extent, the case of .travel is a "super .biz" case. So, I do not think that - after the limited success of .aero - such a TLD would be advisable for the profit of a few, when ML TLDs must be addressed first for 80% of the users. All the more than "travel" is a pure English world ("aero" was an accepted universal string). ".travel" should be delayed until a ML.ML solution has been found, and ".travel" can be a multiorganization User Level Domain governed by the whole Travel community and supported by a 0-9 or 0-Z numeric common alias for TLD names in every of the 500 or so languages in use when traveling on earth ... and in space.

Thank you for your time.
JFC Morfin

Supporting the Users Communities
of the Global Datacommunications
System since 1978.

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