Authority over IANA & IP #s was Re:

Guy T Almes almes at
Sat Sep 23 03:20:07 UTC 1995

  Nice paper, but I think you're seriously off on the recompete of the NIC.
It was more like 1992 rather than '88 as you write.  Given the way the
Internet changes character each year, that was quite a difference.
  Note one parallel with the current DNS fee debate: during the period
(roughly) 1987 to 1993, the NSFnet EDU community depended on a NIC that was
accountable to the DoD.  There were examples of friction that resulted, but
things were mostly quite amacable.
  Now the private-sector COM/ORG community is having to put up with
vestigial accountability structure oriented around the NSF.  There will be
some friction, and there will be some patience, and there will be progress.
        -- Guy

At 07:33 PM 9/22/95 -0400, you wrote:
>Generally, we like to keep a low profile - unless there's a problem.  HWB's
>basically correct about the history.  Let me explain my current
>understanding of where everything sits.  Keep in mind at least parts of
>this have been disputed even within the US feds.  Also, the dates and
>details may be a little off.
>The number space began life as a part of the ARPA "toy" internet.  The
>number space was managed by the NIC at SRI under a contract with the
>Defense Communications Agency  (which was managing the ARPANet under an
>agreement with ARPA) until that contract was recompeted in '88.  At that
>time the numberspace management was transfered to the Internic under a
>contract (cooperative agreement) with NSF.  At this point the DOD basically
>transfered "ownership" of the number to the Federal Networking Council
>(actually, it may have been to its predecessor the FRICC - I don't remember
>the timing).  The understanding was that the DOD would continue to have
>first call on the  number space IF they needed it, but that block and other
>delegations would be done by the Internic in consultation with the IANA,
>EOWG, IEPG etc.  As new schemes have come into being (e.g. subnetting,
>CIDR) the gov't folks have basically ratified (mostly by silence) the use
>of the space.  The deal with the DOD having first call on the space was to
>ensure that the DOD didn't give away the space and then have to start
>paying for it.  The deal today is that the FNC (as the representative US
>organization) continues to own the space, but chooses to limit its control
>over the space to issues (e.g. paying for numbers) that it considers
>critical.  Although the Internic performs the registrar function it does
>this as an agent of the US Gov't and does not own the space nor does it own
>the registration data.  The registration function (at the top level
>delegation) for numbers has been funded by the US Gov't since its inception
>- first by ARPA and DOD, then by NSF.
>The name space is another matter.  In approx 1986, as a result of the
>growth  of the HOSTTABLE (can you believe all the names on the used to fit
>into one file?) the Internet began the deployment of the DNS system.  (The
>internet at this time was about 50 networks total).  At this time of its
>life, the majority of hosts on the internet were still connected through
>either the ARPANet or the MILNet - the growth of the NSFNet centric
>internet was yet to come.  The initial DNS deployment was limited to the
>non-country TLDs (e.g. MIL, COM, GOV, EDU, NET, ORG - INT came later) -
>this was corrected rapidly with the introduction of the country TLDs.  All
>of the TLDs were considered "undelegated" at the time.  Shortly after this
>deployment started, I wrote the policies for the .MIL domain which limited
>registrations to the US DOD and described the rules for second level
>registrations (e.g. independent service or agency such as ARMY or Joint
>Chiefs of Staff - JCS) - this was the first delegation of the non-country
>TLDs.  Keep in mind, the registration function was still vested at the SRI
>NIC which was being paid for mainly by the Defense Data Network program at
>DCA with some contributions from ARPA related to ARPANet operational costs.
>Its unclear whether DCA or ARPA would claim ownership of the root domain,
>but it definitely vested within the US DOD.  Ownership of the root domain
>was transfered to the FNC at the same time as the numberspace was
>transfered and upon recompetition of the NIC contract the registration
>function for root and the undelegated TLDs was transfered to the Internic.
>Registrations within .MIL transfered at the same time, but this was due to
>the fact the DDN NIC contract was won by the same organizations.
>The third delegation of a TLD was made circa '88 - EDU to the NSF (INT was
>made to ARPA previous to this, but that's a very long story) in keeping
>with its mission and connections program goals. .GOV was also delegated at
>this time - to the US Gov't.  The FNC finally issued a policy RFC covering
>the .GOV registrations this year.  At this time, COM, ORG and NET remain
>undelegated at this time which basically places policy control for them
>under the root authority which remains with the FNC.  The notes above about
>ownership of the Internic database etc apply here as well.
>I was a program analyst at the Defense Data Network Program Management
>office at DCA from 85 to 89.  As such, I was responsible for the NIC
>contract and directing the technical work there.  The GOV, EDU, MIL and INT
>domains were delegated at my direction at that time - Steve Wolff at NSF
>agreed to accept policy control over EDU at NSF at that time.  I currently
>sit on the FNC exec committee.
>All of the above notwithstanding the general mode of operation has been to
>let the community work out the issues as they occur.  Unfortunately,
>sometimes the gov't has had to make decisions  and give directions to its
>contracts, either without community input or against community
>recommendations due either to legal, financial or other issues.  The feds
>continue to fund the Internic and the IANA and have fiduciary and program
>responsibilities due to this.
>Please!  Take all of the above with a grain of salt - my general feeling is
>that the feds feel they are holding the numbers and namespace in trust for
>the community and really do have the internets best interests (e.g.
>continued operation) at heart.
>At 14:04 9/22/95, Gordon Cook wrote:
>>Well I am pleased to see this from Hans Werner too -- especially the
>>lines of historical authority .....
>>he said:
>>formally I guess one would claim that the
>>Internet address space is the personal property of the IANA instrument
>>of the United States Department of Defense, if that is what you like.
>>I would prefer to think that the Internet evolved so much over the last
>>ten years or so into the public realm, that the address and naming
>>spaces have become public property. Instead of bitching about the
>>InterNIC, NSF, ARPA, IANA, whoever, you guys should thank them for how
>>far they got things driven, and whet they fostered and allowed to
>>transition to the international private sector. [end of Hans Werner quote]
>>Cook speaking:
>>Are we hearing then that **ARPA has given up any and all of its authority
>>over IANA**?  That DOD no longer claims to own IP numbers? Hans Werner,
>>I'd prefer for you to be precisely correct in your assertion about the
>>public property nature of IANA, IP numbers etc.  I'd love to thank Arpa
>>for giving freedom to IANA and DOD for doing the same to IP numbers.  But
>>I have not seen any evidence that they have indeed done this.  If they
>>have perhaps the relevant people  at ARPA and DOD would come out and
>>confirm just exactly what they consider their current authority over IANA
>>and IP numbers to be?
>ARPA pays the IANA bills - NSF pays the Internic bills; we have "authority"
>but generally choose not to exercise it. Jon has a responsibility to "do
>the right thing" and we let him alone to do that.

More information about the NANOG mailing list