Root Authority

Henry Linneweh hrlinneweh at
Tue Dec 16 16:31:12 UTC 2003

Trying to remember back that far is quite a task <circa 1977 arpanet>, the greatest authority of the time was Jon Postal since he had the uncanny ability to remember all of the things that made it work, so when he spoke it was like Moses coming down from the
mountain presenting the 10 commandments and everyone agreed it was good,
at that time corporate greed and scheming scamming little weasels were not part of the community, and everything was based on trust because you really were a professional and you could trust the guy on the other end of the connection to be the same as you.
By precedent over the years of use,the root home-servers established their own 
authority and everyone agreed it was the most stable approach, and is still the most
stable approach since it does not require and use of resource to point routers
and switches and router servers in any other direction which would impact business
globally and cause a plethora of other problems that I would want to imagine

"Laurence F. Sheldon, Jr." <larrysheldon at> wrote:

Paul Vixie wrote:
> > An interesting question I've dealt with a few times:
> >
> > From whom do the root name servers 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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