Photo Op: You too can have your picture taken with

Daniel Golding dgolding at
Wed Nov 14 16:03:49 UTC 2001

Interestingly, this revolving photo op with the A root name server has been
going on for several years. To those who are not very technical, there is
something uniquely reassuring about the idea that the internet has a
"center" or a "brain". It is difficult to say why, but I speculate that the
idea that the internet is easier to cripple or destroy helps government
officials sleep at night, because it maintains the illusion of control.
Distributed systems are much harder to control, and are disconcerting to
those who's task is control of systems rather than their perpetuation.

- Daniel Golding

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-nanog at [mailto:owner-nanog at]On Behalf Of
> Sean Donelan
> Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2001 1:03 AM
> To: nanog at
> Subject: Photo Op: You too can have your picture taken with
> I don't whether to laugh or cry.  Its just a computer.
> If you destroyed the copy of the US Constitution in the National Archives
> in Washington DC, would that mean the end of the US Government? If someone
> broke into NARA and scribbled a new amendment on the tail of the
> parchment, would the US Government be bound to follow what ever he wrote
> on the Constitution?  No, of course not.
> The Root Zone files aren't unique historical documents, and there is
> nothing special about the copy on  If a tornado blew
> through Verisign's offices tomorrow, would it mean the end of the
> Internet?  No. If someone corrupted Verisign's files, would that mean we
> have to follow the bogus records? No, we'd clean them up.  Or more likely,
> the other operators would rollback their zone files to the previous known
> good copy.
> Would it disrupt our operations. Yes.  Would it be irrecoverable? No.
> The root files are important business records, and I expect the custodian
> to take reasonable precautions appropriate for their value.  Do I expect
> to see machine-gun nests outside Verisign's office?  No.
> is just a piece of hardware.  If it was destroyed,
> we've got more.

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