Following is excerpted from a Q&A with Axel Pawlik, a very interesting
fellow who is a managing director at RIPE. It's a regional address
registry and operates the "K" root server, which along with the other
root servers maintains the list of top-level domains.
Axel's views are noteworthy because the root servers effectively serve
as a check on the power of the Bush administration, which said this
summer that it wants to be the only one to "authoriz[e] changes or
modifications" to the list of top-level domains:
Q: What would happen if the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers (ICANN) decided to approve a new top-level domain--say .xxx--and
the Bush administration decided to veto it?
Axel Pawlik: In that case, I don't know what the root server operators
would do. Likely they would publish whatever is approved by ICANN. There
is a difference between the content and the publication. We're only
publishers of the root zone file. We take it from IANA (a function of
ICANN) and we publish it.
Q: Let's say the Bush administration accuses Syria of fostering
terrorism and decides to invade. And it demands that ICANN remove
Syria's .sy domain from the Internet. What would you do?
Axel Pawlik: I don't believe that the U.S. government would be that
stupid. Seriously, this has never come up. But I am quite certain that
the Internet community at large would not like that decision and I'm not
sure it would be carried through.
Politech mailing list
Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)