Root vs TLD (was Re: Association of Trustworthy Roots?)

Alex Bligh alex at
Mon Jan 17 14:17:04 UTC 2005

--On 16 January 2005 15:18 -0500 William Allen Simpson 
<wsimpson at> wrote:

> While the Association of Trustworthy ISPs idea has some merit, we've
> not been too successful in self-organizing lately.  ISP/C?
> At the moment, I'm concerned whether we have trustworthy TLD operators.

Please distinguish (as I'm sure you are, but the subject line and, it seems
some replying aren't) between Root Servers on the one hand, and TLD
operators and the policy controlling them on the other.

You may or may not think Verisign as registry is blameless / disreputable
and to blame for this incident.

You may or may not think the gaining/losing registrars are blameless /
disreputable for this incident.

Tou may or may not think that ICANN gTLD policy is blameless / disreputable
for this incident.

What it has nothing to do with, however, is *root* policy (as in how the
root servers are operated and what goes in them) - it's gTLD policy. There
are plenty of things in the root other than gTLDs, and even policy
variation for gTLDs. Arguing for alternative roots is recipe for chaos and
less protection for existing registrants. Arguing for policy changes (or
even operator changes) within the TLD you find fault with is fair game.

To illustrate the point, .uk has (a) direct contracts between registry and
registrant (even when registered through a registrar), and (b)
registrar<->registar moves done by push (either by the losing registrar or
failing that by the registrant) rather than by pull. I make no claim it is
perfect, and am not even here going to argue it's superior. I will,
however, argue that the failure modes are substantially different. Do not
attempt to apply the same medicine to diverse illnesses!

(more details at
for those interested)


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