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Comments for Zone File Access Paper.

  • To: zfa-concept-15feb10@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comments for Zone File Access Paper.
  • From: Jorge Monasterio <jm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 08:30:05 -0700

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By: Jorge Monasterio<br>
It was barely mentioned in Section 8.0 of the document, but protecting
the "Enhanced" registry services appears to be the main goal of the
paper. The registries can make tidy profits by selling "rapid" zone
updates and other services to Registrars, who pay huge monthly fees to
get early access to the zone file data. <br>
So, I think this Zone File Access Paper misses the main point: As
Stewart Brand said in 1984, on the Internet, "information wants to be
free" because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all
the time.<br>
Instead of erecting new barriers and policies that make it <i>harder </i>for
the general public to get access to zone files, ICANN should be looking
at ways to make the data more accessible to everyone. This could
1) The registries have policies in their contracts (see 4d in the
sample contract) that disallow redistribution of the data. If ICANN
really wants to reduce the costs of distributing zone files, they
should consider allowing ANY third party to do it. Get rid of these
2) ICANN should consider requiring an increase of the frequency of
updates for the zone access file. It appears the data is intentionally
delayed (and made difficult to access) to allow for "enhanced services".<br>
3) There are a few technical details that should be parts of the final
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; a) Provide a digital signature for the zone access files so 
the "source" of the zone file can be proved, and that it can be shown
to be tamper-free (and corruption free). Even an MD5 hash would be
better than what we have today.<br>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; b) Distribute the data via a legal "torrent". This is a good
solution to reduce bandwidth. But, I'm not convinced bandwidth issues
are really an issue though. Plenty of video sites distribute
multi-gigabyte to far more than the "hundreds" of daily downloads that
the COM zone file has.<br>
In short, make the data free: Get rid of the contracts and let ANYONE
download and redistribute this PUBLIC data. This way third parties can
freely add value to the data and help ICANN to redistribute it.<br>

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