Root Authority

Laurence F. Sheldon, Jr. larrysheldon at
Tue Dec 16 15:14:48 UTC 2003

Paul Vixie wrote:
> > 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.

I think that testimony belongs in a collection of Jon Postel

I long for the days when people did things simply and only because
they were the right thing to do.

Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Vixie.

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