Re: [DNSOP] In a vacuum, nobody can hear you scream, was On the call for adoption on Special Use Names

David Conrad <drc@virtualized.org> Tue, 04 October 2016 07:19 UTC

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Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2016 21:19:15 -1000
From: David Conrad <drc@virtualized.org>
To: John Levine <johnl@taugh.com>, dnsop@ietf.org
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Subject: Re: [DNSOP] In a vacuum, nobody can hear you scream, was On the call for adoption on Special Use Names
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Hi,

On October 3, 2016 at 5:14:24 PM, John Levine (johnl@taugh.com) wrote:
ICANN (or perhaps some people within ICANN) are 
asking whether they should delegate .corp, .home, and .mail and 
presumably other toxic waste names, and want an authority they can 
point to for the answer. 

Just a clarification:
As far as I know, neither ICANN (the organization) nor anyone within ICANN (the organization) is asking whether they should delegate such names. Forward motion of those names is currently "indefinitely deferred" pending _somebody_ (not ICANN staff) figuring out what to do with them. I believe the hope had been that the IETF might provide some technical guidance, but that didn't work. Now, some members of the ICANN community are asking the board that those names be delegated and that results in (re)opening the question of what to do with "indefinitely deferred" strings.

The P2P crowd would like to carve out some 
names to run their resolution scheme in parallel with the DNS, and it 
appears they'd also like an authority they can point at. 
Well, some do. To be honest, it feels to me that some appear to want to say "we don't like ICANN" or, more generally, "Screw you, Establishment!" 

I suppose it's flattering that everyone is looking at us, but as we are 
seeing, just because a vacuum sucks (by definition, after all) does not 
necessarily mean we are qualified to fill it. 

Not everyone. I (and I think Paul W) have been suggesting that the IETF is not really the best place to deal with the implications of trying to fill that vacuum -- too many lawyers smelling blood in the water. The new gTLD Applicant's Guide Book was 300+ pages for a reason and it wasn't, as some have (loudly) suggested, because ICANN (the organization) is evil or greedy or incompetent, rather the issues involved in dealing with a resource that can only be allocated to one entity when multiple entities might have an arguably valid claim to the resource, get complicated quite quickly and when money is involved (which names seem to attract), lawyers follow and it gets ugly fast. 

There be serious non-technical dragons here. I don't speak for ICANN, but I suspect ICANN (the organization) would love to have a list to point at that says "can't delegate these because the IETF say so -- talk to them about why" just as ICANN points to ISO-3166/MA when someone comes and demands their 2-letter made up string should represent their "country." This may not be career enhancing, but speaking as an IETF participant (which I assume we all are), it isn't clear to me this would be prudent if we want the IETF (or rather, it's legal parent(s)) to be a viable entity in the long run. Particularly if the "why" turns out to be the winner of a beauty contest decided by the IESG as 6761 current suggests.

Regards,
-drc
(ICANN CTO, but speaking only for myself)