By Nick Patience The US Department of Commerce looks as if it will oversee the management of the domain name system for a fair while yet. For example, within six months the InterNIC web site and all the version of the domain name will be in the DoC’s hands. It will use the site as […]
By Nick Patience
The US Department of Commerce looks as if it will oversee the management of the domain name system for a fair while yet. For example, within six months the InterNIC web site and all the version of the domain name will be in the DoC’s hands. It will use the site as a public directory of all the world’s accredited registrars, from which people and companies wishing to register a domain name can pick one. The DoC will also have to authorize the transfer of the NSI-run registry to another company should NSI violate the terms of its registry agreement, or should it expire. ICANN will have to check with the DoC before it awards a new registry contract
And on the thorny question of control of the ‘A’ root server from which the registry of domain names is propagated across the net, Commerce will continue to direct NSI’s management of it, while waiting for ICANN’s proposal for it to take over day-to-day control. And while the agreement says that responsibility for the server may be transferred to ICANN at some point in the future, it also says that Commerce has no plans to transfer to any entity its policy authority to direct the authoritative root server. In other words, ICANN or NSI may operate it, but Commerce still claims ultimate authority over the management of the root.
ICANN CEO Mike Roberts does not see this as overseeing ICANN however and he points out that the cooperative agreements between NSI and the DoC are suspended for the duration of these agreements. However, these agreements seem to substitute many of the terms of the cooperative agreements. Roberts attributes the various changes to the acquiescence of NSI. Christopher Ambler, founder of Image Online Design Inc, a prospective registry that has been operating the .web top-level domain outside the root for three years welcomed the continuation of the DoC as an overseer, especially of the root. He says IOD is perfectly willing to accept the terms offered to NSI and would like to see new registries added without delay.