[LINK] UN Global Forum on Internet Governance
adam at todd.inoz.com
Mon Apr 5 11:15:51 EST 2004
At 09:56 5/04/2004 +1000, Daniel Rose wrote:
> Just how did we manage to develop and deploy such global
> technology-driven systems such as air travel, shipping, telegraph,
> telephone, television, radio, and innumerable others...?
>None are dependent on root DNS Servers, as far as I can see.
>Will .au addresses still resolve correctly if Aust. Is severed from the rest
>of the net?
Until this year, the only other root servers in Australia, were the two I
established in 1994.
Governance has been a hot topic since 1995 when the DOMAIN-POLICY mail list
took on the issues or who was to run the Internet.
In March 1998, Bill Clinton called for responses to a GREEN PAPER about
this issue. I begged the Australian Government, DICTA, NOIE and others
agencies to take notice and support the issues Australia would face if the
Internet was governed by a private company based outside of Australia's
They ignored me and on the day of the deadline for submission the
Government begged the US Government for an extension for submission.
My submission is still published in a lot of places and you will note that
all the issues I raised about ICANN and it's potential for mismanagement
and problem, have all occured.
In August 1998, NSI paid my air fares to Singapore to help ensure
sufficient debate was represented. I asked the Australian Federal
Government to support my trip, however they didn't.
In fact during the three day conference (of which I have video tapes of all
sessions) the Australian Delegates (one being Kate Lance, the other Paul
Twoomey) ignored me.
The Japanese Ambassador, with the Indian Government delegation, and a
number of Pacific Island government representatives offered to "smooth
over" the attitude of Kate and Paul in a diplomatic approach.
I smiled and said "No, this is an Australian Custom. If you don't like
what someone says, you call them names, poke faces at them and turn your
back as you walk past them."
I can't remember which Ambassador it was now, but one said "Australian
people are far behind the rest of the Pacific Rim."
Strange behavior, considering my greatest DOMAIN-POLICY antagonists and I
met daily to argue with each other quite calmly looking for a middle
ground. We had lunch together with lots of laughter, but NEVER cracked
personal attacks against each other. We focused on the issues.
Although at the microphones the presentation of difference of opinion was
near to hostile, the fact we remained calm and focused was incredible.
On the last day, over lunch, we had a long discussion. We actually held up
the conference in the lunch room, six of us, sitting around a table, for
more than 2 hours, with occasional hosts looking in to see if we were
finished. It was a really weird feeling and we all sensed it, but we'd
made so much progress and didn't want to stop to end up back at the
edge. THis is the only session, as it wasn't official, that was not video
recorded, but lots of hand written notes were made.
Agreements were amazingly reached and when we announced we'd come up with a
possible solution, everyone was called back into session.
The final session was recorded and it was pretty amazing.
However, it created a new faction. Many of my antagonists were now
protagonists to a new solutions that both parties agreed on, however a
small group of about 25% became the new antagonist hunting for the great
power that control over the Internet would bring them, and the great wealth.
Anyway, I returned to Australia, pretty exhausted from three days and
nights of public and private debate and strategy planning. It was now up
to Jon Postel and the USG to decide what would happen.
ICANN was created the same week I was taken away from the entire election
and voting was taking place when AJ was kidnapped from our home.
ICANN began operations and I was still removed from the process, until
strangely on 10 February 1999 when ICANN announced that it did not have the
funds to continue operation. Later the same day, I received a letter from
Carmel Niland, the then director general, stating the matter of AJ was no
closed and no further action or interest would be taken.
No one who was proactive for the betterment of the Internet was involved in
ICANN due to the way the voting system was run.
Jon Postel passed away a short time after that. I never got to meet
him. It was a pretty sad day for everyone who wanted a positive outcome,
no matter what side of the fence they were on. A condolences web site
exists, even today (I have an archive anyway) of all the people who wrote in.
It it wasn't for Postel's stubborn attitude the Internet would not be what
it is today, even if it's in many ways factional beyond it's original
deployment. At least Postel stopped it being a Government that controls
There was one person I didn't mention above. Robert Elz. He was always
hiding at the conference at the back in a corner. I did get some video of
him and the jokes eventually arose, that I must be the only person in the
world with a video of KRE! This may be true! So I'll treasure the video
of him tapping away on a lap top at the back of the conference room, in a
The DOMAIN-POLICY mail list and archives were taken offline in around 2000
quite suddenly. IN fact there was no notice given. The mail list just
stopped working and the entire web structure vanished.
I must have received hundreds of emails from people asking me if I knew
what was happening and sent an equal number. When we all realised what was
happening a rush was made to complete an archive.
I had the most complete archive dating from 1995 to the last message sent
across the list. Some of it is still available today for download at
ftp://ftp.ah.net/dompol/ I've been meaning to put the rest of the archive
online, but keep forgetting to download it from one of the backup CD's.
So there you have it.
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