This document, concerning the management of the Internet Domain Name System, is a statement of policy. Though it is not intended or expected, should any discrepancy occur between the document here and that published in the Federal Register, the Federal Register publication controls. The paper is being made available through the Internet solely as a means to facilitate the public's access to this document.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Management of Internet Names and Addresses
Docket Number: 980212036-8146-02
SUMMARY: On July 1, 1997, as part of the Clinton Administration's Framework for Global Electronic Commerce,(1) the President directed the Secretary of Commerce to privatize the domain name system (DNS) in a manner that increases competition and facilitates international participation in its management.
Accordingly, on July 2, 1997, the Department
of Commerce issued a Request for Comments (RFC) on DNS administration.
The RFC solicited public input on issues relating to the overall
framework of the DNS administration, the creation of new top-level
domains, policies for domain name registrars, and trademark issues.
During the comment period, more than 430 comments were received,
amounting to some 1500 pages.(2)
On January 30, 1998, the National Telecommunications
and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the Department
of Commerce, issued for comment, A Proposal to Improve the
Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses. The
proposed rulemaking, or "Green Paper," was published
in the Federal Register on February 20, 1998, providing opportunity
for public comment. NTIA received more than 650 comments, as
of March 23, 1998, when the comment period closed.(3)
The Green Paper proposed certain actions
designed to privatize the management of Internet names and addresses
in a manner that allows for the development of robust competition
and facilitates global participation in Internet management.
The Green Paper proposed for discussion a variety of issues relating
to DNS management including private sector creation of a new
not-for-profit corporation (the "new corporation")
managed by a globally and functionally representative Board of
DATE: This general statement of
policy is not subject to the delay in effective date required
of substantive rules under 5 U.S.C. § 553(d). It
does not contain mandatory provisions and does not itself have
the force and effect of law.(4)
Therefore, the effective date of this policy statement is [insert
date of publication in the Federal Register].
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen
Rose, Office of International Affairs (OIA), Rm 4701, National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), U.S.
Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Ave.,
NW, Washington, D.C., 20230. Telephone: (202) 482-0365. E-mail:
Domain names are the familiar and easy-to-remember
names for Internet computers (e.g., "www.ecommerce.gov").
They map to unique Internet Protocol (IP) numbers (e.g., 126.96.36.199)
that serve as routing addresses on the Internet. The domain name
system (DNS) translates Internet names into the IP numbers needed
for transmission of information across the network.
More than 25 years ago, the U.S. Government
began funding research necessary to develop packet-switching
technology and communications networks, starting with the "ARPANET"
network established by the Department of Defense's Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA) in the 1960s. ARPANET was later linked
to other networks established by other government agencies, universities
and research facilities. During the 1970s, DARPA also funded
the development of a "network of networks;" this became
known as the Internet, and the protocols that allowed the networks
to intercommunicate became known as Internet protocols (IP).
As part of the ARPANET development work
contracted to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA),
Dr. Jon Postel, then a graduate student at the university, undertook
the maintenance of a list of host names and addresses and also
a list of documents prepared by ARPANET researchers, called Requests
for Comments (RFCs). The lists and the RFCs were made available
to the network community through the auspices of SRI International,
under contract to DARPA and later the Defense Communication Agency
(DCA) (now the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)) for
performing the functions of the Network Information Center (the
After Dr. Postel moved from UCLA to the
Information Sciences Institute (ISI) at the University of Southern
California (USC), he continued to maintain the list of assigned
Internet numbers and names under contracts with DARPA. SRI International
continued to publish the lists. As the lists grew, DARPA permitted
Dr. Postel to delegate additional administrative aspects of the
list maintenance to SRI, under continuing technical oversight.
Dr. Postel, under the DARPA contracts, also published a list
of technical parameters that had been assigned for use by protocol
developers. Eventually these functions collectively became known
as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
Until the early 1980s, the Internet was
managed by DARPA, and used primarily for research purposes. Nonetheless,
the task of maintaining the name list became onerous, and the
Domain Name System (DNS) was developed to improve the process.
Dr. Postel and SRI participated in DARPA's development and establishment
of the technology and practices used by the DNS. By 1990, ARPANET
was completely phased out.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has
statutory authority for supporting and strengthening basic scientific
research, engineering, and educational activities in the United
States, including the maintenance of computer networks to connect
research and educational institutions. Beginning in 1987, IBM,
MCI and Merit developed NSFNET, a national high-speed network
based on Internet protocols, under an award from NSF. NSFNET,
the largest of the governmental networks, provided a "backbone"
to connect other networks serving more than 4,000 research and
educational institutions throughout the country. The National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Department
of Energy also contributed backbone facilities.
In 1991-92, NSF assumed responsibility
for coordinating and funding the management of the non-military
portion of the Internet infrastructure. NSF solicited competitive
proposals to provide a variety of infrastructure services, including
domain name registration services. On December 31, 1992, NSF
entered into a cooperative agreement with Network Solutions,
Inc. (NSI) for some of these services, including the domain name
registration services. Since that time, NSI has managed key registration,
coordination, and maintenance functions of the Internet domain
name system. NSI registers domain names in the generic top level
domains (gTLDs) on a first come, first served basis and also
maintains a directory linking domain names with the IP numbers
of domain name servers. NSI also currently maintains the authoritative
database of Internet registrations.
In 1992, the U.S. Congress gave NSF statutory
authority to allow commercial activity on the NSFNET.(5) This facilitated connections between
NSFNET and newly forming commercial network service providers,
paving the way for today's Internet. Thus, the U.S. Government
has played a pivotal role in creating the Internet as we know
it today. The U.S. Government consistently encouraged bottom-up
development of networking technologies, and throughout the course
of its development, computer scientists from around the world
have enriched the Internet and facilitated exploitation of its
true potential. For example, scientists at CERN, in Switzerland,
developed software, protocols and conventions that formed the
basis of today's vibrant World Wide Web. This type of pioneering
Internet research and development continues in cooperative organizations
and consortia throughout the world.
In recent years, commercial use of the
Internet has expanded rapidly. As a legacy, however, major components
of the domain name system are still performed by, or subject
to, agreements with agencies of the U.S. Government.
1) Assignment of numerical addresses
to Internet users.
Every Internet computer has a unique IP number. IANA, headed by Dr. Jon Postel, coordinates this system by allocating blocks of numerical addresses to regional IP registries (ARIN in North America, RIPE in Europe, and APNIC in the Asia/Pacific region), under contract with DARPA. In turn, larger Internet service providers apply to the regional IP registries for blocks of IP addresses. The recipients of those address blocks then reassign addresses to smaller Internet service providers and to end users.
2) Management of the system of registering
names for Internet users.
The domain name space is constructed as
a hierarchy. It is divided into top-level domains (TLDs), with
each TLD then divided into second-level domains (SLDs), and so
on. More than 200 national, or country-code, TLDs (ccTLDs) are
administered by their corresponding governments or by private
entities with the appropriate national government's acquiescence.
A small set of gTLDs do not carry any national identifier, but
denote the intended function of that portion of the domain space.
For example, .com was established for commercial users, .org
for not-for-profit organizations, and .net for network service
providers. The registration and propagation of these key gTLDs
are performed by NSI, under a five-year cooperative agreement
with NSF. This agreement expires on September 30, 1998.
3) Operation of the root server system.
The root server system is a set of thirteen file servers, which together contain authoritative databases listing all TLDs. Currently, NSI operates the "A" root server, which maintains the authoritative root database and replicates changes to the other root servers on a daily basis. Different organizations, including NSI, operate the other 12 root servers.(6) The U.S. Government plays a role in the operation of about half of the Internet's root servers. Universal name consistency on the Internet cannot be guaranteed without a set of authoritative and consistent roots. Without such consistency messages could not be routed with any certainty to the intended addresses.
4) Protocol Assignment.
The Internet protocol suite, as defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), contains many technical parameters, including protocol numbers, port numbers, autonomous system numbers, management information base object identifiers and others. The common use of these protocols by the Internet community requires that the particular values used in these fields be assigned uniquely. Currently, IANA, under contract with DARPA, makes these assignments and maintains a registry of the assigned values.
From its origins as a U.S.-based research vehicle, the Internet is rapidly becoming an international medium for commerce, education and communication. The traditional means of organizing its technical functions need to evolve as well. The pressures for change are coming from many different quarters:
The Internet technical community has been
actively debating DNS management policy for several years. Experimental
registry systems offering name registration services in an alternative
set of exclusive domains developed as early as January 1996.
Although visible to only a fraction of Internet users, alternative
systems such as the name.space, AlterNIC, and eDNS affiliated
registries(7) contributed to the
community's dialogue on the evolution of DNS administration.
In May of 1996, Dr. Postel proposed the
creation of multiple, exclusive, competing top-level domain name
registries. This proposal called for the introduction of up to
50 new competing domain name registries, each with the exclusive
right to register names in up to three new top-level domains,
for a total of 150 new TLDs. While some supported the proposal,
the plan drew much criticism from the Internet technical community.(8) The paper was revised and reissued.(9) The Internet Society's (ISOC)
board of trustees endorsed, in principle, the slightly revised
but substantively similar version of the draft in June of 1996.
After considerable debate and redrafting
failed to produce a consensus on DNS change, IANA and the Internet
Society (ISOC) organized the International Ad Hoc Committee(10) (IAHC or the Ad Hoc Committee)
in September 1996, to resolve DNS management issues. The World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) participated in the IAHC. The
Federal Networking Council (FNC) participated in the early deliberations
of the Ad Hoc Committee.
The IAHC issued a draft plan in December
1996 that introduced unique and thoughtful concepts for the evolution
of DNS administration.(11)
The final report proposed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)
that would have established, initially, seven new gTLDs to be
operated on a nonexclusive basis by a consortium of new private
domain name registrars called the Council of Registrars (CORE).(12) Policy oversight would have
been undertaken in a separate council called the Policy Oversight
Committee (POC) with seats allocated to specified stakeholder
groups. Further, the plan formally introduced mechanisms for
resolving trademark/domain name disputes. Under the MoU, registrants
for second-level domains would have been required to submit to
mediation and arbitration, facilitated by WIPO, in the event
of conflict with trademark holders.
Although the IAHC proposal gained support
in many quarters of the Internet community, the IAHC process
was criticized for its aggressive technology development and
implementation schedule, for being dominated by the Internet
engineering community, and for lacking participation by and input
from business interests and others in the Internet community.(13) Others criticized the plan
for failing to solve the competitive problems that were such
a source of dissatisfaction among Internet users and for imposing
unnecessary burdens on trademark holders. Although the POC responded
by revising the original plan, demonstrating a commendable degree
of flexibility, the proposal was not able to overcome initial
criticism of both the plan and the process by which the plan
was developed.(14) Important
segments of the Internet community remained outside the IAHC
process, criticizing it as insufficiently representative.(15)
As a result of the pressure to change DNS
management, and in order to facilitate its withdrawal from DNS
management, the U.S. Government, through the Department of Commerce
and NTIA, sought public comment on the direction of U.S. policy
with respect to DNS, issuing the Green Paper on January 30, 1998.(16) The approach outlined in the Green
Paper adopted elements of other proposals, such as the early
Postel drafts and the IAHC gTLD- MoU.
Comments and Response: The following are summaries of and responses to the major comments that were received in response to NTIA's issuance of A Proposal to Improve the Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses. As used herein, quantitative terms such as "some," "many," and "the majority of," reflect, roughly speaking, the proportion of comments addressing a particular issue but are not intended to summarize all comments received or the complete substance of all such comments.
Comments: In general, commenters supported these principles,
in some cases highlighting the importance of one or more of the
principles. For example, a number of commenters emphasized the
importance of establishing a body that fully reflects the broad
diversity of the Internet community. Others stressed the need
to preserve the bottom-up tradition of Internet governance. A
limited number of commenters proposed additional principles for
the new system, including principles related to the protection
of human rights, free speech, open communication, and the preservation
of the Internet as a public trust. Finally, some commenters who
agreed that Internet stability is an important principle, nonetheless
objected to the U.S. Government's assertion of any participatory
role in ensuring such stability.
Response: The U.S. Government policy applies only to management
of Internet names and addresses and does not set out a system
of Internet "governance." Existing human rights and
free speech protections will not be disturbed and, therefore,
need not be specifically included in the core principles for
DNS management. In addition, this policy is not intended to displace
other legal regimes (international law, competition law, tax
law and principles of international taxation, intellectual property
law, etc.) that may already apply. The continued applicability
of these systems as well as the principle of representation should
ensure that DNS management proceeds in the interest of the Internet
community as a whole. Finally, the U.S. Government believes that
it would be irresponsible to withdraw from its existing management
role without taking steps to ensure the stability of the Internet
during its transition to private sector management. On balance,
the comments did not present any consensus for amending the principles
outlined in the Green Paper.
1. To set policy for and direct the allocation
of IP number blocks;
2. To oversee the operation of the Internet
root server system;
3. To oversee policy for determining the
circumstances under which new top level domains would be added
to the root system; and
4. To coordinate the development of other technical protocol parameters as needed to maintain universal connectivity on the Internet.
Comments: Most commenters agreed that these functions should be coordinated centrally, although a few argued that a system of authoritative roots is not technically necessary to ensure DNS stability. A number of commenters, however, noted that the fourth function, as delineated in the Green Paper, overstated the functions currently performed by IANA, attributing to it central management over an expanded set of functions, some of which are now carried out by the IETF.
Response: In order to preserve universal connectivity and
the smooth operation of the Internet, the U.S. Government continues
to believe, along with most commenters, that these four functions
should be coordinated. In the absence of an authoritative root
system, the potential for name collisions among competing sources
for the same domain name could undermine the smooth functioning
and stability of the Internet.
The Green Paper was not, however, intended
to expand the responsibilities associated with Internet protocols
beyond those currently performed by IANA. Specifically, management
of DNS by the new corporation does not encompass the development
of Internet technical parameters for other purposes by other
organizations such as IETF. The fourth function should be restated
· to coordinate the assignment of other Internet technical parameters as needed to maintain universal connectivity on the Internet.
Comments: A number of commenters suggested that management
of the domain name system should be separated from management
of the IP number system. These commenters expressed the view
that the numbering system is relatively technical and straightforward.
They feared that tight linkage of domain name and IP number policy
development would embroil the IP numbering system in the kind
of controversy that has surrounded domain name issuance in recent
months. These commenters also expressed concern that the development
of alternative name and number systems could be inhibited by
this controversy or delayed by those with vested interests in
the existing system.
Response: The concerns expressed by the commenters are legitimate,
but domain names and IP numbers must ultimately be coordinated
to preserve universal connectivity on the Internet. Also, there
are significant costs associated with establishing and operating
two separate management entities.
However, there are organizational structures
that could minimize the risks identified by commenters. For example,
separate name and number councils could be formed within a single
organization. Policy could be determined within the appropriate
council that would submit its recommendations to the new corporation's
Board of Directors for ratification.
4. Creation of
the New Corporation and Management of the DNS. The Green Paper called for the creation of a new
private, not-for-profit corporation(17)
responsible for coordinating specific DNS functions for the benefit
of the Internet as a whole. Under the Green Paper proposal, the
U.S. Government(18) would gradually
transfer these functions to the new corporation beginning as
soon as possible, with the goal of having the new corporation
carry out operational responsibility by October 1998. Under the
Green Paper proposal, the U.S. Government would continue to participate
in policy oversight until such time as the new corporation was
established and stable, phasing out as soon as possible, but
in no event later than September 30, 2000. The Green Paper suggested
that the new corporation be incorporated in the United States
in order to promote stability and facilitate the continued reliance
on technical expertise residing in the United States, including
IANA staff at USC/ISI.
Comments: Almost all commenters supported the creation of a new, private not-for-profit corporation to manage DNS. Many suggested that IANA should evolve into the new corporation. A small number of commenters asserted that the U.S. Government should continue to manage Internet names and addresses. Another small number of commenters suggested that DNS should be managed by international governmental institutions such as the United Nations or the International Telecommunications Union. Many commenters urged the U.S. Government to commit to a more aggressive timeline for the new corporation's assumption of management responsibility. Some commenters also suggested that the proposal to headquarter the new corporation in the United States represented an inappropriate attempt to impose U.S. law on the Internet as a whole.
Response: The U.S. Government is committed to a transition
that will allow the private sector to take leadership for DNS
management. Most commenters shared this goal. While international
organizations may provide specific expertise or act as advisors
to the new corporation, the U.S. continues to believe, as do
most commenters, that neither national governments acting as
sovereigns nor intergovernmental organizations acting as representatives
of governments should participate in management of Internet names
and addresses. Of course, national governments now have, and
will continue to have, authority to manage or establish policy
for their own ccTLDs.
The U.S. Government would prefer that this
transition be complete before the year 2000. To the extent that
the new corporation is established and operationally stable,
September 30, 2000 is intended to be, and remains, an "outside"
IANA has functioned as a government contractor,
albeit with considerable latitude, for some time now. Moreover,
IANA is not formally organized or constituted. It describes a
function more than an entity, and as such does not currently
provide a legal foundation for the new corporation. This is not
to say, however, that IANA could not be reconstituted by a broad-based,
representative group of Internet stakeholders or that individuals
associated with IANA should not themselves play important foundation
roles in the formation of the new corporation. We believe, and
many commenters also suggested, that the private sector organizers
will want Dr. Postel and other IANA staff to be involved in the
creation of the new corporation.
Because of the significant U.S.-based DNS
expertise and in order to preserve stability, it makes sense
to headquarter the new corporation in the United States. Further,
the mere fact that the new corporation would be incorporated
in the United States would not remove it from the jurisdiction
of other nations. Finally, we note that the new corporation must
be headquartered somewhere, and similar objections would inevitably
arise if it were incorporated in another location.
5. Structure of
the New Corporation. The Green
Paper proposed a 15-member Board, consisting of three representatives
of regional number registries, two members designated by the
Internet Architecture Board (IAB), two members representing domain
name registries and domain name registrars, seven members representing
Internet users, and the Chief Executive Officer of the new corporation.
Comments: Commenters expressed a variety of positions on the composition of the Board of Directors for the new corporation. In general, however, most commenters supported the establishment of a Board of Directors that would be representative of the functional and geographic diversity of the Internet. For the most part, commenters agreed that the groups listed in the Green Paper included individuals and entities likely to be materially affected by changes in DNS. Most of those who criticized the proposed allocation of Board seats called for increased representation of their particular interest group on the Board of Directors. Specifically, a number of commenters suggested that the allocation set forth in the Green Paper did not adequately reflect the special interests of (1) trademark holders, (2) Internet service providers, or (3) the not-for-profit community. Others commented that the Green Paper did not adequately ensure that the Board would be globally representative.
Response: The Green Paper attempted to describe a manageably
sized Board of Directors that reflected the diversity of the
Internet. It is probably impossible to allocate Board seats in
a way that satisfies all parties concerned. On balance, we believe
the concerns raised about the representation of specific groups
are best addressed by a thoughtful allocation of the "user"
seats as determined by the organizers of the new corporation
and its Board of Directors, as discussed below.
The Green Paper identified several international membership associations and organizations to designate Board members such as APNIC, ARIN, RIPE, and the Internet Architecture Board. We continue to believe that as use of the Internet expands outside the United States, it is increasingly likely that a properly open and transparent DNS management entity will have board members from around the world. Although we do not set any mandatory minimums for global representation, this policy statement is designed to identify global representativeness as an important priority.
6. Registrars and
Registries. The Green Paper proposed
moving the system for registering second level domains and the
management of generic top-level domains into a competitive environment
by creating two market-driven businesses, registration of second
level domain names and the management of gTLD registries.
Registrars. Comments: Commenters
strongly supported establishment of a competitive registrar system
whereby registrars would obtain domain names for customers in
any gTLD. Few disagreed with this position. The Green Paper proposed
a set of requirements to be imposed by the new corporation on
all would-be registrars. Commenters for the most part did not
take exception to the proposed criteria, but a number of commenters
suggested that it was inappropriate for the United States government
to establish them.
Response: In response to the comments received, the U.S.
Government believes that the new corporation, rather than the
U.S. Government, should establish minimum criteria for registrars
that are pro-competitive and provide some measure of stability
for Internet users without being so onerous as to prevent entry
by would-be domain name registrars from around the world. Accordingly,
the proposed criteria are not part of this policy statement.
Registries. Comments: Many commenters
voiced strong opposition to the idea of competitive and/or for-profit
domain name registries, citing one of several concerns. Some
suggested that top level domain names are not, by nature, ever
truly generic. As such, they will tend to function as "natural
monopolies" and should be regulated as a public trust and
operated for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole.
Others suggested that even if competition initially exists among
various domain name registries, lack of portability in the naming
systems would create lock-in and switching costs, making competition
unsustainable in the long run. Finally, other commenters suggested
that no new registry could compete meaningfully with NSI unless
all domain name registries were not-for-profit and/or noncompeting.
Some commenters asserted that an experiment
involving the creation of additional for-profit registries would
be too risky, and irreversible once undertaken. A related concern
raised by commenters addressed the rights that for-profit operators
might assert with respect to the information contained in registries
they operate. These commenters argued that registries would have
inadequate incentives to abide by DNS policies and procedures
unless the new corporation could terminate a particular entity's
license to operate a registry. For-profit operators, under this
line of reasoning, would be more likely to disrupt the Internet
by resisting license terminations.
Commenters who supported competitive registries
conceded that, in the absence of domain name portability, domain
name registries could impose switching costs on users who change
domain name registries. They cautioned, however, that it would
be premature to conclude that switching costs provide a sufficient
basis for precluding the proposed move to competitive domain
name registries and cited a number of factors that could protect
against registry opportunism. These commenters concluded that
the potential benefits to customers from enhanced competition
outweighed the risk of such opportunism. The responses to the
Green Paper also included public comments on the proposed criteria
Response: Both sides of this argument have considerable
merit. It is possible that additional discussion and information
will shed light on this issue, and therefore, as discussed below,
the U.S. Government has concluded that the issue should be left
for further consideration and final action by the new corporation.
The U.S. Government is of the view, however, that competitive
systems generally result in greater innovation, consumer choice,
and satisfaction in the long run. Moreover, the pressure of competition
is likely to be the most effective means of discouraging registries
from acting monopolistically. Further, in response to the comments
received, the U.S. government believes that new corporation should
establish and implement appropriate criteria for gTLD registries.
Accordingly, the proposed criteria are not part of this policy
7. The Creation
of New gTLDs. The Green Paper suggested
that during the period of transition to the new corporation,
the U.S. Government, in cooperation with IANA, would undertake
a process to add up to five new gTLDs to the authoritative root.
Noting that formation of the new corporation would involve some
delay, the Green Paper contemplated new gTLDs in the short term
to enhance competition and provide information to the technical
community and to policy makers, while offering entities that
wished to enter into the registry business an opportunity to
begin offering service to customers. The Green Paper, however,
noted that ideally the addition of new TLDs would be left to
the new corporation.
Comments: The comments evidenced very strong support for
limiting government involvement during the transition period
on the matter of adding new gTLDs. Specifically, most commenters
-- both U.S. and non-U.S.-- suggested that it would be more appropriate
for the new, globally representative, corporation to decide these
issues once it is up and running. Few believed that speed should
outweigh process considerations in this matter. Others warned,
however, that relegating this contentious decision to a new and
untested entity early in its development could fracture the organization.
Others argued that the market for a large or unlimited number
of new gTLDs should be opened immediately. They asserted that
there are no technical impediments to the addition of a host
of gTLDs, and the market will decide which TLDs succeed and which
do not. Further, they pointed out that there are no artificial
or arbitrary limits in other media on the number of places in
which trademark holders must defend against dilution.
Response: The challenge of deciding policy for the addition of new domains will be formidable. We agree with the many commenters who said that the new corporation would be the most appropriate body to make these decisions based on global input. Accordingly, as supported by the preponderance of comments, the U.S. Government will not implement new gTLDs at this time.
At least in the short run, a prudent concern for the stability of the system suggests that expansion of gTLDs proceed at a deliberate and controlled pace to allow for evaluation of the impact of the new gTLDs and well-reasoned evolution of the domain space. New top level domains could be created to enhance competition and to enable the new corporation to evaluate the functioning, in the new environment, of the root server system and the software systems that enable shared registration.
8. The Trademark
Dilemma. When a trademark is used
as a domain name without the trademark owner's consent, consumers
may be misled about the source of the product or service offered
on the Internet, and trademark owners may not be able to protect
their rights without very expensive litigation. For cyberspace
to function as an effective commercial market, businesses must
have confidence that their trademarks can be protected. On the
other hand, management of the Internet must respond to the needs
of the Internet community as a whole, and not trademark owners
exclusively. The Green Paper proposed a number of steps to balance
the needs of domain name holders with the legitimate concerns
of trademark owners in the interest of the Internet community
as a whole. The proposals were designed to provide trademark
holders with the same rights they have in the physical world,
to ensure transparency, and to guarantee a dispute resolution
mechanism with resort to a court system.
The Green Paper also noted that trademark
holders have expressed concern that domain name registrants in
faraway places may be able to infringe their rights with no convenient
jurisdiction available in which the trademark owner could enforce
a judgment protecting those rights. The Green Paper solicited
comments on an arrangement whereby, at the time of registration,
registrants would agree to submit a contested domain name to
the jurisdiction of the courts where the registry is domiciled,
where the registry database is maintained, or where the "A"
root server is maintained.
Comments: Commenters largely agreed that domain name registries
should maintain up-to-date, readily searchable domain name databases
that contain the information necessary to locate a domain name
holder. In general commenters did not take specific issue with
the database specifications proposed in Appendix 2 of the Green
Paper, although some commenters proposed additional requirements.
A few commenters noted, however, that privacy issues should be
considered in this context.
A number of commenters objected to NSI's
current business practice of allowing registrants to use domain
names before they have actually paid any registration fees. These
commenters pointed out that this practice has encouraged cybersquatters
and increased the number of conflicts between domain name holders
and trademark holders. They suggested that domain name applicants
should be required to pay before a desired domain name becomes
available for use.
Most commenters also favored creation of
an on-line dispute resolution mechanism to provide inexpensive
and efficient alternatives to litigation for resolving disputes
between trademark owners and domain name registrants. The Green
Paper contemplated that each registry would establish specified
minimum dispute resolution procedures, but remain free to establish
additional trademark protection and dispute resolution mechanisms.
Most commenters did not agree with this approach, favoring instead
a uniform approach to resolving trademark/domain name disputes.
Some commenters noted that temporary suspension
of a domain name in the event of an objection by a trademark
holder within a specified period of time after registration would
significantly extend trademark holders' rights beyond what is
accorded in the real world. They argued that such a provision
would create a de facto waiting period for name use, as holders
would need to suspend the use of their name until after the objection
window had passed to forestall an interruption in service. Further,
they argue that such a system could be used anti-competitively
to stall a competitor's entry into the marketplace.
The suggestion that domain name registrants
be required to agree at the time of registration to submit disputed
domain names to the jurisdiction of specified courts was supported
by U.S. trademark holders but drew strong protest from trademark
holders and domain name registrants outside the United States.
A number of commenters characterized this as an inappropriate
attempt to establish U.S. trademark law as the law of the Internet.
Others suggested that existing jurisdictional arrangements are
satisfactory. They argue that establishing a mechanism whereby
the judgment of a court can be enforced absent personal jurisdiction
over the infringer would upset the balance between the interests
of trademark holders and those of other members of the Internet
Response: The U.S. Government will seek international support
to call upon the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
to initiate a balanced and transparent process, which includes
the participation of trademark holders and members of the Internet
community who are not trademark holders, to (1) develop recommendations
for a uniform approach to resolving trademark/domain name disputes
involving cyberpiracy (as opposed to conflicts between trademark
holders with legitimate competing rights), (2) recommend a process
for protecting famous trademarks in the generic top level domains,
and (3) evaluate the effects, based on studies conducted by independent
organizations, such as the National Research Council of the National
Academy of Sciences, of adding new gTLDs and related dispute
resolution procedures on trademark and intellectual property
holders. These findings and recommendations could be submitted
to the board of the new corporation for its consideration in
conjunction with its development of registry and registrar policy
and the creation and introduction of new gTLDs.
In trademark/domain name conflicts, there
are issues of jurisdiction over the domain name in controversy
and jurisdiction over the legal persons (the trademark holder
and the domain name holder). This document does not attempt to
resolve questions of personal jurisdiction in trademark/domain
name conflicts. The legal issues are numerous, involving contract,
conflict of laws, trademark, and other questions. In addition,
determining how these various legal principles will be applied
to the borderless Internet with an unlimited possibility of factual
scenarios will require a great deal of thought and deliberation.
Obtaining agreement by the parties that jurisdiction over the
domain name will be exercised by an alternative dispute resolution
body is likely to be at least somewhat less controversial than
agreement that the parties will subject themselves to the personal
jurisdiction of a particular national court. Thus, the references
to jurisdiction in this policy statement are limited to jurisdiction
over the domain name in dispute, and not to the domain name holder.
In order to strike a balance between those
commenters who thought that registrars and registries should
not themselves be engaged in disputes between trademark owners
and domain name holders and those commenters who thought that
trademark owners should have access to a reliable and up-to-date
database, we believe that a database should be maintained that
permits trademark owners to obtain the contact information necessary
to protect their trademarks.
Further, it should be clear that whatever
dispute resolution mechanism is put in place by the new corporation,
that mechanism should be directed toward disputes about cybersquatting
and cyberpiracy and not to settling the disputes between two
parties with legitimate competing interests in a particular mark.
Where legitimate competing rights are concerned, disputes are
rightly settled in an appropriate court.
Under the revised plan, we recommend that
domain name holders agree to submit infringing domain names to
the jurisdiction of a court where the "A" root server
is maintained, where the registry is domiciled, where the registry
database is maintained, or where the registrar is domiciled.
We believe that allowing trademark infringement suits to be brought
wherever registrars and registries are located will help ensure
that all trademark holders - both U.S. and non-U.S. - have the
opportunity to bring suits in a convenient jurisdiction and enforce
the judgments of those courts.
Under the revised plan, we also recommend
that, whatever options are chosen by the new corporation, each
registrar should insist that payment be made for the domain name
before it becomes available to the applicant. The failure to
make a domain name applicant pay for its use of a domain name
has encouraged cyberpirates and is a practice that should end
as soon as possible.
Comments: Several commenters suggested that the U.S. Government
should provide full antitrust immunity or indemnification for
the new corporation. Others noted that potential antitrust liability
would provide an important safeguard against institutional inflexibility
and abuses of power.
Response: Applicable antitrust law will provide accountability
to and protection for the international Internet community. Legal
challenges and lawsuits can be expected within the normal course
of business for any enterprise and the new corporation should
anticipate this reality.
The Green Paper envisioned the new corporation
as operating on principles similar to those of a standard-setting
body. Under this model, due process requirements and other appropriate
processes that ensure transparency, equity and fair play in the
development of policies or practices would need to be included
in the new corporation's originating documents. For example,
the new corporation's activities would need to be open to all
persons who are directly affected by the entity, with no undue
financial barriers to participation or unreasonable restrictions
on participation based on technical or other such requirements.
Entities and individuals would need to be able to participate
by expressing a position and its basis, having that position
considered, and appealing if adversely affected. Further, the
decision making process would need to reflect a balance of interests
and should not be dominated by any single interest category.
If the new corporation behaves this way, it should be less vulnerable
to antitrust challenges.
Comments: Many commenters expressed concern about continued administration of key gTLDs by NSI. They argued that this would give NSI an unfair advantage in the marketplace and allow NSI to leverage economies of scale across their gTLD operations. Some commenters also believe the Green Paper approach would have entrenched and institutionalized NSI's dominant market position over the key domain name going forward. Further, many commenters expressed doubt that a level playing field between NSI and the new registry market entrants could emerge if NSI retained control over .com, .net, and .org.
Response: The cooperative agreement between NSI and the U.S.
Government is currently in its ramp down period. The U.S. Government
and NSI will shortly commence discussions about the terms and
conditions governing the ramp-down of the cooperative agreement.
Through these discussions, the U.S. Government expects NSI to
agree to take specific actions, including commitments as to pricing
and equal access, designed to permit the development of competition
in domain name registration and to approximate what would be
expected in the presence of marketplace competition. The U.S.
Government expects NSI to agree to act in a manner consistent
with this policy statement, including recognizing the role of
the new corporation to establish and implement DNS policy and
to establish terms (including licensing terms) applicable to
new and existing gTLD registries under which registries, registrars
and gTLDs are permitted to operate. Further, the U.S. Government
expects NSI to agree to make available on an ongoing basis appropriate
databases, software, documentation thereof, technical expertise,
and other intellectual property for DNS management and shared
registration of domain names.
Comments: A number of commenters expressed concern that
the Green Paper did not go far enough in globalizing the administration
of the domain name system. Some believed that international organizations
should have a role in administering the DNS. Others complained
that incorporating the new corporation in the United States would
entrench control over the Internet with the U.S. Government.
Still others believed that the awarding by the U.S. Government
of up to five new gTLDs would enforce the existing dominance
of U.S. entities over the gTLD system.
Response: The U.S. Government believes that the Internet
is a global medium and that its technical management should fully
reflect the global diversity of Internet users. We recognize
the need for and fully support mechanisms that would ensure international
input into the management of the domain name system. In withdrawing
the U.S. Government from DNS management and promoting the establishment
of a new, non-governmental entity to manage Internet names and
addresses, a key U.S. Government objective has been to ensure
that the increasingly global Internet user community has a voice
in decisions affecting the Internet's technical management.
We believe this process has reflected our
commitment. Many of the comments on the Green Paper were filed
by foreign entities, including governments. Our dialogue has
been open to all Internet users - foreign and domestic, government
and private - during this process, and we will continue to consult
with the international community as we begin to implement the
transition plan outlined in this paper.
In 1995, NSF authorized NSI to assess domain
name registrants a $50 fee per year for the first two years,
30 percent of which was to be deposited in the Intellectual Infrastructure
Fund (IIF), a fund to be used for the preservation and enhancement
of the intellectual infrastructure of the Internet.
Comments: Very few comments referenced the IIF. In general,
the comments received on the issue supported either refunding
the IIF portion of the domain name registration fee to domain
registrants from whom it had been collected or applying the funds
toward Internet infrastructure development projects generally,
including funding the establishment of the new corporation.
Response: As proposed in the Green Paper, allocation of a portion of domain name registration fees to this fund terminated as of March 31, 1998. NSI has reduced its registration fees accordingly. The IIF remains the subject of litigation. The U.S. Government takes the position that its collection has recently been ratified by the U.S. Congress,(19)
and has moved to dismiss the claim that
it was unlawfully collected. This matter has not been finally
At present, the IANA administers .us as
a locality-based hierarchy in which second-level domain space
is allocated to states and U.S. territories.(20)
This name space is further subdivided into localities. General
registration under localities is performed on an exclusive basis
by private firms that have requested delegation from IANA. The
.us name space has typically been used by branches of state and
local governments, although some commercial names have been assigned.
Where registration for a locality has not been delegated, the
IANA itself serves as the registrar.
Comments: Many commenters suggested that the pressure for
unique identifiers in the .com gTLD could be relieved if commercial
use of the .us space was encouraged. Commercial users and trademark
holders, however, find the current locality-based system too
cumbersome and complicated for commercial use. They called for
expanded use of the .us TLD to alleviate some of the pressure
for new generic TLDs and reduce conflicts between American companies
and others vying for the same domain name. Most commenters support
an evolution of the .us domain designed to make this name space
more attractive to commercial users.
Response: Clearly, there is much opportunity for enhancing
the .us domain space, and .us could be expanded in many ways
without displacing the current structure. Over the next few months,
the U.S. Government will work with the private sector and state
and local governments to determine how best to make the .us domain
more attractive to commercial users. Accordingly, the Department
of Commerce will seek public input on this important issue.
On February 20, 1998, NTIA published for public comment a proposed rule regarding the domain name registration system. That proposed rule sought comment on substantive regulatory provisions, including but not limited to a variety of specific requirements for the membership of the new corporation, the creation during a transition period of a specified number of new generic top level domains and minimum dispute resolution and other procedures related to trademarks. As discussed elsewhere in this document, in response to public comment these aspects of the original proposal have been eliminated. In light of the public comment and the changes to the proposal made as a result, as well as the continued rapid technological development of the Internet, the Department of Commerce has determined that it should issue a general statement of policy, rather than define or impose a substantive regulatory regime for the domain name system. As such, this policy statement is not a substantive rule, does not contain mandatory provisions and does not itself have the force and effect of law.
The Assistant General Counsel for Legislation
and Regulation, Department of Commerce, certified to the Chief
Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration, that, for
purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. §§
601 et seq., the proposed rule on this matter, if adopted, would
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number
of small entities. The factual basis for this certification was
published along with the proposed rule. No comments were received
regarding this certification. As such, and because this final
rule is a general statement of policy, no final regulatory flexibility
analysis has been prepared.
This general statement of policy does not
contain any reporting or record keeping requirements subject
to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. ch. 35 (PRA). However,
at the time the U.S. Government might seek to enter into agreements
as described in this policy statement, a determination will be
made as to whether any reporting or record keeping requirements
subject to the PRA are being implemented. If so, the NTIA will,
at that time, seek approval under the PRA for such requirement(s)
from the Office of Management and Budget.
This statement has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Office of Management and Budget review under Executive Order 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review.
This document provides the U.S. Government's
policy regarding the privatization of the domain name system
in a manner that allows for the development of robust competition
and that facilitates global participation in the management of
Internet names and addresses.
The policy that follows does not propose
a monolithic structure for Internet governance. We doubt that
the Internet should be governed by one plan or one body or even
by a series of plans and bodies. Rather, we seek a stable process
to address the narrow issues of management and administration
of Internet names and numbers on an ongoing basis.
As set out below, the U.S. Government is
prepared to recognize, by entering into agreement with, and to
seek international support for, a new, not-for-profit corporation
formed by private sector Internet stakeholders to administer
policy for the Internet name and address system. Under such agreement(s)
or understanding(s), the new corporation would undertake various
responsibilities for the administration of the domain name system
now performed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government or by third
parties under arrangements or agreements with the U.S. Government.
The U.S. Government would also ensure that the new corporation
has appropriate access to needed databases and software developed
under those agreements.
Management of number addresses is best
done on a coordinated basis. Internet numbers are a unique, and
at least currently, a limited resource. As technology evolves,
changes may be needed in the number allocation system. These
changes should also be coordinated.
Similarly, coordination of the root server
network is necessary if the whole system is to work smoothly.
While day-to-day operational tasks, such as the actual operation
and maintenance of the Internet root servers, can be dispersed,
overall policy guidance and control of the TLDs and the Internet
root server system should be vested in a single organization
that is representative of Internet users around the globe.
Further, changes made in the administration
or the number of gTLDs contained in the authoritative root system
will have considerable impact on Internet users throughout the
world. In order to promote continuity and reasonable predictability
in functions related to the root zone, the development of policies
for the addition, allocation, and management of gTLDs and the
establishment of domain name registries and domain name registrars
to host gTLDs should be coordinated.
Finally, coordinated maintenance and dissemination
of the protocol parameters for Internet addressing will best
preserve the stability and interconnectivity of the Internet.
We are not, however, proposing to expand the functional responsibilities
of the new corporation beyond those exercised by IANA currently.
In order to facilitate the needed coordination,
Internet stakeholders are invited to work together to form a
new, private, not-for-profit corporation to manage DNS functions.
The following discussion reflects current U.S. Government views
of the characteristics of an appropriate management entity. What
follows is designed to describe the characteristics of an appropriate
The U.S. Government should end its role in the Internet number and name address system in a manner that ensures the stability of the Internet. The introduction of a new management system should not disrupt current operations or create competing root systems. During the transition and thereafter, the stability of the Internet should be the first priority of any DNS management system. Security and reliability of the DNS are important aspects of stability, and as a new DNS management system is introduced, a comprehensive security strategy should be developed.
The Internet succeeds in great measure
because it is a decentralized system that encourages innovation
and maximizes individual freedom. Where possible, market mechanisms
that support competition and consumer choice should drive the
management of the Internet because they will lower costs, promote
innovation, encourage diversity, and enhance user choice and
Certain management functions require coordination. In these cases, responsible, private-sector action is preferable to government control. A private coordinating process is likely to be more flexible than government and to move rapidly enough to meet the changing needs of the Internet and of Internet users. The private process should, as far as possible, reflect the bottom-up governance that has characterized development of the Internet to date.
The new corporation should operate as a private entity for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole. The development of sound, fair, and widely accepted policies for the management of DNS will depend on input from the broad and growing community of Internet users. Management structures should reflect the functional and geographic diversity of the Internet and its users. Mechanisms should be established to ensure international participation in decision making.
Purpose. The new corporation ultimately should have the
authority to manage and perform a specific set of functions related
to coordination of the domain name system, including the authority
1) set policy for and direct allocation
of IP number blocks to regional Internet number registries;
2) oversee operation of the authoritative
Internet root server system;
3) oversee policy for determining the circumstances
under which new TLDs are added to the root system; and
4) coordinate the assignment of other Internet
technical parameters as needed to maintain universal connectivity
on the Internet.
Staff. We anticipate that the new corporation would want
to make arrangements with current IANA staff to provide continuity
and expertise over the course of transition. The new corporation
should secure necessary expertise to bring rigorous management
to the organization.
Incorporation. We anticipate that the new corporation's organizers
will include representatives of regional Internet number registries,
Internet engineers and computer scientists, domain name registries,
domain name registrars, commercial and noncommercial users, Internet
service providers, international trademark holders and Internet
experts highly respected throughout the international Internet
community. These incorporators should include substantial representation
from around the world.
As these functions are now performed in
the United States, by U.S. residents, and to ensure stability,
the new corporation should be headquartered in the United States,
and incorporated in the U.S. as a not-for-profit corporation.
It should, however, have a board of directors from around the
world. Moreover, incorporation in the United States is not intended
to supplant or displace the laws of other countries where applicable.
Structure. The Internet community is already global and diverse and likely to become more so over time. The organization and its board should derive legitimacy from the participation of key stakeholders. Since the organization will be concerned mainly with numbers, names and protocols, its board should represent membership organizations in each of these areas, as well as the direct interests of Internet users.
The Board of Directors for the new corporation
should be balanced to equitably represent the interests of IP
number registries, domain name registries, domain name registrars,
the technical community, Internet service providers (ISPs), and
Internet users (commercial, not-for-profit, and individuals)
from around the world. Since these constituencies are international,
we would expect the board of directors to be broadly representative
of the global Internet community.
As outlined in appropriate organizational
documents, (Charter, Bylaws, etc.) the new corporation should:
1) appoint, on an interim basis, an initial
Board of Directors (an Interim Board) consisting of individuals
representing the functional and geographic diversity of the Internet
community. The Interim Board would likely need access to legal
counsel with expertise in corporate law, competition law, intellectual
property law, and emerging Internet law. The Interim Board could
serve for a fixed period, until the Board of Directors is elected
and installed, and we anticipate that members of the Interim
Board would not themselves serve on the Board of Directors of
the new corporation for a fixed period thereafter.
2) direct the Interim Board to establish
a system for electing a Board of Directors for the new corporation
that insures that the new corporation's Board of Directors reflects
the geographical and functional diversity of the Internet, and
is sufficiently flexible to permit evolution to reflect changes
in the constituency of Internet stakeholders. Nominations to
the Board of Directors should preserve, as much as possible,
the tradition of bottom-up governance of the Internet, and Board
Members should be elected from membership or other associations
open to all or through other mechanisms that ensure broad representation
and participation in the election process.
3) direct the Interim Board to develop
policies for the addition of TLDs, and establish the qualifications
for domain name registries and domain name registrars within
4) restrict official government representation on the Board of Directors without precluding governments and intergovernmental organizations from participating as Internet users or in a non-voting advisory capacity.
Governance. The organizing documents (Charter, Bylaws, etc.)
should provide that the new corporation is governed on the basis
of a sound and transparent decision-making process, which protects
against capture by a self-interested faction, and which provides
for robust, professional management of the new corporation. The
new corporation could rely on separate, diverse, and robust name
and number councils responsible for developing, reviewing, and
recommending for the board's approval policy related to matters
within each council's competence. Such councils, if developed,
should also abide by rules and decision-making processes that
are sound, transparent, protect against capture by a self-interested
party and provide an open process for the presentation of petitions
for consideration. The elected Board of Directors, however, should
have final authority to approve or reject policies recommended
by the councils.
Operations. The new corporation's processes should be fair,
open and pro-competitive, protecting against capture by a narrow
group of stakeholders. Typically this means that decision-making
processes should be sound and transparent; the basis for corporate
decisions should be recorded and made publicly available. Super-majority
or even consensus requirements may be useful to protect against
capture by a self-interested faction. The new corporation does
not need any special grant of immunity from the antitrust laws
so long as its policies and practices are reasonably based on,
and no broader than necessary to promote the legitimate coordinating
objectives of the new corporation. Finally, the commercial importance
of the Internet necessitates that the operation of the DNS system,
and the operation of the authoritative root server system should
be secure, stable, and robust.
The new corporation's charter should provide
a mechanism whereby its governing body will evolve to reflect
changes in the constituency of Internet stakeholders. The new
corporation could, for example, establish an open process for
the presentation of petitions to expand board representation.
Issues. Trademark holders and domain
name registrants and others should have access to searchable
databases of registered domain names that provide information
necessary to contact a domain name registrant when a conflict
arises between a trademark holder and a domain name holder.(21) To this end, we anticipate
that the policies established by the new corporation would provide
that following information would be included in all registry
databases and available to anyone with access to the Internet:
- up-to-date registration and contact information;
- up-to-date and historical chain of registration
information for the domain name;
- a mail address for service of process;
- the date of domain name registration;
- the date that any objection to the registration
of the domain name is filed; and
- any other information determined by the new corporation to be reasonably necessary to resolve disputes between domain name registrants and trademark holders expeditiously.
Further, the U.S. Government recommends
that the new corporation adopt policies whereby:
1) Domain registrants pay registration
fees at the time of registration or renewal and agree to submit
infringing domain names to the authority of a court of law in
the jurisdiction in which the registry, registry database, registrar,
or the "A" root servers are located.
2) Domain name registrants would agree,
at the time of registration or renewal, that in cases involving
cyberpiracy or cybersquatting (as opposed to conflicts between
legitimate competing rights holders), they would submit to and
be bound by alternative dispute resolution systems identified
by the new corporation for the purpose of resolving those conflicts.
Registries and Registrars should be required to abide by decisions
of the ADR system.
3) Domain name registrants would agree, at the time of registration or renewal, to abide by processes adopted by the new corporation that exclude, either pro-actively or retroactively, certain famous trademarks from being used as domain names (in one or more TLDs) except by the designated trademark holder.
4) Nothing in the domain name registration agreement or in the operation of the new corporation should limit the rights that can be asserted by a domain name registrant or trademark owner under national laws.
Based on the processes described above,
the U.S. Government believes that certain actions should be taken
to accomplish the objectives set forth above. Some of these steps
must be taken by the government itself, while others will need
to be taken by the private sector. For example, a new not-for-profit
organization must be established by the private sector and its
Interim Board chosen. Agreement must be reached between the U.S.
Government and the new corporation relating to transfer of the
functions currently performed by IANA. NSI and the U.S. Government
must reach agreement on the terms and conditions of NSI's evolution
into one competitor among many in the registrar and registry
marketplaces. A process must be laid out for making the management
of the root server system more robust and secure. A relationship
between the U.S. Government and the new corporation must be developed
to transition DNS management to the private sector and to transfer
During the transition the U.S. Government
1) ramp down the cooperative agreement with NSI with the objective of introducing competition into the domain name space. Under the ramp down agreement NSI will agree to (a) take specific actions, including commitments as to pricing and equal access, designed to permit the development of competition in domain name registration and to approximate what would be expected in the presence of marketplace competition, (b) recognize the role of the new corporation to establish and implement DNS policy and to establish terms (including licensing terms) applicable to new and existing gTLDs and registries under which registries, registrars and gTLDs are permitted to operate, (c) make available on an ongoing basis appropriate databases, software, documentation thereof, technical expertise, and other intellectual property for DNS management and shared registration of domain names;
2) enter into agreement with the new corporation
under which it assumes responsibility for management of the domain
3) ask WIPO to convene an international
process including individuals from the private sector and government
to develop a set of recommendations for trademark/domain name
dispute resolutions and other issues to be presented to the Interim
Board for its consideration as soon as possible;
4) consult with the international community,
including other interested governments as it makes decisions
on the transfer; and
5) undertake, in cooperation with IANA, NSI, the IAB, and other relevant organizations from the public and private sector, a review of the root server system to recommend means to increase the security and professional management of the system. The recommendations of the study should be implemented as part of the transition process; and the new corporation should develop a comprehensive security strategy for DNS management and operations.
1. Available at <http://www.ecommerce.gov>.
2. July 2, 1997 RFC and public comments are located at: <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/index.html>.
3. The RFC, the Green Paper, and comments received in response to both documents are available on the Internet at the following address: <http://www.ntia.doc.gov>. Additional comments were submitted after March 23, 1998. These comments have been considered and treated as part of the official record and have been separately posted at the same site, although the comments were not received by the deadline established in the February 20, 1998 Federal Register Notice.
6. An unofficial diagram of the general geographic location and institutional affiliations of the 13 Internet root servers, prepared by Anthony Rutkowski, is available at <http://www.wia.org/pub/rootserv.html>.
7. For further information about these systems see: name.space: <http://namespace.pgmedia.net>; AlterNIC: <http://www.alternic.net>; eDNS: <http://www.edns.net>. Reference to these organizations does not constitute an endorsement of their commercial activities.
9. See draft-Postel-iana-itld-admin-01.txt; available at <http://www.newdom.com/archive>.
10. For further information about the IAHC see: <http://www.iahc.org> and related links. Reference to this organization does not constitute an endorsement of the commercial activities of its related organizations.
11. December 1996 draft: draft-iahc-gtldspec-00.txt; available at <http://info.internet.isi.edu:80/in-drafts/files>.
12. The IAHC final report is available at <http://www.iahc.org/draft-iahc-recommend-00.html>.
13. See generally public comments received in response to July 2, 1997 RFC located at <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/email>.
14. For a discussion, see Congressional testimony of Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Irving, Before the House Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Basic Research, September 25, 1997 available at <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/email>.
15. See generally public comments received in response to July 2, 1997 RFC located at <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/email>.
18. As noted in the Summary, the President directed the Secretary of Commerce to privatize DNS in a manner that increases competition and facilitates international participation in its management. Accordingly, the Department of Commerce will lead the coordination of the U.S. government's role in this transition.
20. Management principles for the .us domain space are set forth in Internet RFC 1480, <http://www.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc1480.txt>.
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