Root Authority

Paul Vixie vixie at
Tue Dec 16 07:14:57 UTC 2003

> An interesting question I've dealt with a few times:
> From whom do the root nameservers derive their authority?

we (i'm speaking for f-root here) have no "authority".  nobody has to
listen to us, we are the most powerless bunch of folks you'll ever meet.

now if you'd asked where we derive our *relevance*, i'd say the same as
mr. bush and mr. kletnieks -- from all the root.cache files that point
at us.  and as long as we don't do anything stupid i guess (and hope)
that this state of affairs will continue.  (relevance trumps authority.)

that having been said, f-root got its start as NS.ISC.ORG and the man
who said it was ok for us to be a root name server was jon postel.  i'm
not sure he had any "authority" either, but folks "pointed at" him and
so what he said was relevant in spite of any authority he mightn've had.
Paul Vixie

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