The .US Domain and NSI

Jim Fleming JimFleming at
Sat Jun 14 20:37:05 UTC 1997

I was under the impression that NANOG members were
not interested in domain name issues. Since there appears
to be a lot of discussion on the NANOG list about the .US
domain, I am posting the following.

Since I developed <> which has over
23,000+ cities in the U.S. I feel that I have some knowledge
about these matters. Some of the other things I have helped
to develop during the past 20 years are listed below.

I hope that people note that we do not charge people to be
webmasters for For some cities, people
stand in line to get a shot at the job. It is a communety service.

I plan this to be one of my last postings to NANOG. I am
getting very tired of being accused of being a pirate and
other things. I wish all of you the best of luck with your
networking experiences and I hope that you all realize
that your group is only as good as the least ethical members
among you.

Jim Fleming


From: 	Jim Fleming[SMTP:JimFleming at]
Sent: 	Saturday, June 14, 1997 10:48 AM
To: 	'Russell Nelson'; us-domain at
Cc: 	'Multiple recipients of list DOMAIN-POLICY'; 'newdom at'
Subject: 	The .US Domain and NSI

On Friday, June 13, 1997 9:12 PM, Russell Nelson[SMTP:nelson at] wrote:
@ I've turned the list back on again.  There are 126 list members out of
@ a possible 671.  Most of the "big" delegates are here -- family-names,
@ southern-domains, name-service, jp at  Jon Postel is here.

It is good to have a list to discuss just the .US domain
although many of the issues have already been discussed
on the various "newdom" lists for the past TWO+ years.
It might save some people some time and energy to review
that history. I am writing this to save people time. I hope
that you find it useful. If you do not have time to read it,
the bottom line is....follow the money...

For the record, people might be interested to know that
people have proposed to have SLDs under .US delegated
to regional cooperative bodies that are modeled like the
InterNIC. The NSF has over $20,000,000 in the 30%
Internet Intellectual Infrastructure Fund [1] which could be
used to help finance this type of effort.

As an aside...
I once proposed that all 50 states have a mini-InterNIC
and that each state's .US SLD be delegated to that "StateNIC"
for the good of the people in that state. I also tried to
save all of the Cities in Illinois from the domain "grabbers"
,at no charge, but Jon Postel made sure that did not happen
by making arbitrary rules such as people could not have
more than 500 names or 50 in one state. The USC/ISI
mail list archives have exchanges between Postel and
his students documenting his actions to thwart my attempts
to save Illinois cities last Fall.

Returning to the InterNIC...
When the InterNIC was formed, it was supposed to have
three companies working together in a cooperative manner
to provide the largely public service of domain name and
IP allocation management. One of the companies (General
Atomic) was supposed to be the NIC of NICs and was
supposed to develop more InterNIC clones. This did not
happen because the three companies did not cooperate.

The three companies were not able to cooperate and the
NSF was not able to manage them.[2] Because of the lack
of cooperation, one of the companies (General Atomics)
was defunded. This left NSI and AT&T as the remaining
contractors. Since that time NSI has agressively positioned
itself to be synonymous with the InterNIC when in fact the
InterNIC is nothing more than a name for a cooperative
arrangement managed by the U.S. Government.

In my opinion, there are several reasons why the companies
were not able to cooperate. One reason is that NSI really
wanted the contract all to themselves from the beginning.[3]
They say that in their proposal.

Another reason is that Jon Postel was paid by NSI and
that creates a conflict of interest which no one seems to
want to discuss.[4] Some claim that NSI would have never
obtained the NSF contract without Jon Postel's name. As
a result, NSI is beholding to Jon Postel and Jon Postel
controls the Root Name Servers that NSI operates.

This conflict of interest impacts the .US Top Level Domain
because as noted by Mark Kosters [5], the NSF PI of the
InterNIC contract, NSI has been funding the operation of the
.US Top Level Domain.

All of these arrangements have lead to a situation where
NSI and Jon Postel have worked closely together for several
years to ensure that NSI has a monopoly over its operations
and Jon Postel has his own Top Level Domain to play with.
Other companies and people with research interests have
been blocked from having new Top Level Domains added
by Jon Postel in his elusive role as the IANA. [This is well
documented in the newdom archives although some of
the incriminating postings have mysteriously disappeared.]

The history is clear, the money that has changed hands
has been well documented and now the U.S. Government
is beginning to investigate all of the issues surrounding
Domain Name management and IP address allocations.

In the next few months, various government agencies have
announced they will be holding open forums to collect
input on these subjects. More information on those activities
can be found in the newdom archives at
Again, I suggest that people study the past to help develop
the best proposals for the future.

I also suggest that everyone..."follow the money"...
that tells the whole story...

Jim Fleming
Concerned Netizen
	Since 1975
Inventor - (NAPLPS, ANSI X3.110)
	Used to launch Prodigy
Inventor - Virtual Personal Computer
Developer of The [email protected] Programming Language
Inventor - IPv8
	(Coming in 1998...the Year of the [email protected])

========= References ===========

[1] @@@@

Resolution - "30% Fund"
May 9, 1997
"The NSF should work with NSI to create a mechanism
to ensure that the "30% Fund" will be available for the future
development of Internet Intellectual Infrastructure, such as
the funding of efforts like ARIN and IANA."


[2] @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
December 1994
	Midterm Evaluation
	"The InterNIC awards set the precedent of requiring significant
	self-coordination among a team of awardees, and requiring outreach
	to other Network Information Centers. The panel suggests that the
	NSF critically consider whether it is viable to expect significant
	self-coordination among a team of awardees in future awards.
	The panel also notes that the NSF's program management was
	not able to correct GA's problems early on despite excellent efforts
	by the NSF staff, primarily because the NSF staff were overextended
	by monitoring at least two major projects (the InterNIC and the
	NSFNET backbone) at once. The panel recommends that for future
	large scale efforts in the rapidly changing Internet environment, the
	NSF should form an ongoing advisory panel of outside experts or
	employ some external consultants to help manage such cooperative
	agreements, rather than waiting two years to call for a review."


[3] @@@@@@@@@@@@@
		"Network Solutions believes NSF's objectives will be met
		most effectively by the award of the bulk of the services to
		a single contractor."

[4] @@@@@@@@@@@@@
		"Network Solutions proposes Mr. Jon Postel as the
		IANA Manager and Chairman of the Advisory Panel for
		the NREN NIS Manager project. He will provide services
		as an employee of USC's Information Sciences Institute (ISI),
		subcontractor to Network Solutions."

[5] @@@@@@@@@@@@@
From: 	Mark Kosters[SMTP:markk at INTERNIC.NET]
Sent: 	Friday, November 08, 1996 4:11 PM
To: 	Multiple recipients of list DOMAIN-POLICY
Subject: 	Re: US Top Level Domain

The US domain was designed to allow for distributed management via a
series of delegations within the US domain. The design was documented
in rfc 1480 back in 1993.

Aside from that, the US domain has not been a volunteer project. NSI (and
NSF before fees went into effect) have allocated funding to ISI to help
maintain/enhance the US domain registration activity.


> On Fri, 8 Nov 1996, Simson L. Garfinkel wrote:
> > US domain used to be a volunteer project. It became a burden for ISI. So they
> > farmed it out. People who take up regions are allowed to charge.
>         Are you sure about that?  Do you know if anybody does?


Mark Kosters              markk at        +1 703 742 4795
Principal Investigator    InterNIC Registration Services
PGP Key fingerprint =  1A 2A 92 F8 8E D3 47 F9  15 65 80 87 68 13 F6 48


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