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ICANN to Incorporate TLDs Already In-use? 262

Posted by Cliff
from the where-do-we-go-we-just-don't-know dept.
An anonymous reader asks: "I recently found an article at cnn.com about ICANN considering new top level domains. Some of the proposed TLDs have already been introduced by YOUCANN such as .xxx and have been available to the public at select registrars such as new.net for quite some time. If ICANN incorporates already existing TLDs how will this impact those who have already registered for domain on these TLDs? What implications does this have and how will the ramifications impact how businesses view and utilize the web?"
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ICANN to Incorporate TLDs Already In-use?

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  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:41PM (#8652574)
    Simply put, if ICANN adopts a TLD that duplicates a TLD that "unofficially" is being registered by another registration system, then we'll have a fracturing in the standards just like in the way that it's almost impossible to tell who the heavyweight boxing champion is. Whenever you have multiple self-appointed authorities, you're bound to have conflicts.

    At the technical level, most users see the domain-name world through the eyes of the DNS servers at their ISP, so in order for a new TLD to be valid for that user the ISP must honor it. However, this can be overridden by using a secondary DNS server or modifying the hosts file on the users side, so we may end up seeing a wave of malware trying to monkey with a users DNS settings so that their sponsor's regisitry becomes the first one consulted. Some of the other registrars have already resorted to distributing such software in order for their domains to be valid for anybody.

    At the legal level, an "I got here first" principle will be claimed in trademark lawsuits by the business interest behind these rogue TLD operations. That's going to be a bit of an iffy question, if trademark law really applies to an entire TLD, especially when ICANN is the generally accepted certifying body for TLDs.

    So in the end, businesses who don't want a domain name to "fall into enemy hands" are going to have to register the same domain twice, because when this dispute is finally settled, one of the two registrations will be null and void, but it'll be hard to tell which.

    Seems to me like the domain name system may get pushed over the edge on this one. It was bad enough when US businesses started to buy up top-level domains from countries that were lucky enough to have two-letter TLDs that had cute meanings to US audiences. This would even further create a "wild west" nature for domain names. ICANN's authority is downright questionable at times, and now they're about to have conflicts with pretenders to the throne.
    • And thus dawns a new age of litigation (as if the old one had ever finished).

      As usual, the only winners in this will be the lawyers.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:48PM (#8652632)
      The question people really want answered is did ICANN off John Postel?
    • by Chess_the_cat (653159) on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:48PM (#8652634) Homepage
      Blah, blah, blah. Look, new.net is not selling REAL TLDs. You've got to download a plugin for them to be visible to your browser. Since they're not real TLDs, fuck 'em and their customers for being stupid. Case closed.
      • by Adam9 (93947) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:11AM (#8652812) Journal
        shell:~$ host www.opennic.glue
        www.opennic.glue has address 131.161.247.68

        Oh, I guess .glue isn't a "REAL TLD" because you don't see it on your nameserver? Give me a break.

        Open your eyes, there is more than one namespace in the world. Just because you may be a loyal follower of ICANN doesn't mean that everyone else is.

        That plugin just tells that computer to resolve certain TLDs elsewhere.

        Sure, the domains for those "alternative" TLDs may be overpriced, but that's their choice if they want to buy them.

        ICANN introduced a colliding TLD of .biz, and if they want to do it again with .xxx, they can go ahead. I'm not going to honor it. OpenNIC recognizes Alternic as the maintainer of .xxx, and it'll remain that way on my nameserver until Alternic decides/acts otherwise.

        • If it uses a plugin, it hardly counts. A web browser only solution is hardly a solution at all, and just shows how clueless newnet is.

          I won't even get into the whole distributing it as spyware thing... ok, I can't resist a parting shot. Uninstalling it didn't work, and manually cleaning the registry didn't either, it had sabotaged the network stack. Reinstalling win2000 over the top of the old didn't fix loss of network connectivity, and she can't move her important files off of it so I can reinstall properly.

          All so they could try and sell their asshat, overpriced TLDs.

          I have my own set of TLDs, carefully chosen so that I'm unlikely to ever fall victim to ICANN. Anyone not doing the same thing is a fool.
          • It's been years since I've seen an installation of newnet. Last time I saw it, I thought it changed some windows settings to use alternative nameservers.

            In either case, I agree that it's trash.
          • The .glue TLD is part of OpenNIC. It is, AFAIK, not part of whatever this apparently despised "new.net" business is.

            OpenNIC is just an alternate root that you can switch your name sever to if you don't like ICANN policies. Unfortunately, they can really only add TLDs, not remove them (since doing so would break resolution for all their users), so they can't do what *I* would really like to see -- eliminating the bullshit TLDs that ICANN added. .museum? .biz? Christ.
          • by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @02:23AM (#8653492) Homepage Journal
            I deal with this a lot. Evil piece of software this is. Luckily, it can be dealt with... get a little app called HijackThis [mjc1.com] (put it on a floppy if internet access is broken), run it, hit Scan, check anything labelled "Broken Internet Access by LSP Provider" or "Broken Internet Access by NewDotNet", and hit Fix Checked, then reboot, and you should have access back.

            BTW, you can use this to remove a lot of other spyware that might be installed in IE as well :^)
          • According their ISP support page [new.net], they suggest adding stub zones. Tiscali, NetZero, Juno, Earthlink have added New.net domains to stub zones. Doesn't sound like a client only solution to me.
    • by mat catastrophe (105256) on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:55PM (#8652696) Homepage

      "so we may end up seeing a wave of malware trying to monkey with a users DNS settings so that their sponsor's regisitry becomes the first one consulted."

      Funny, I thought new.net was malware.

    • by eric76 (679787) on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:55PM (#8652700)
      Simply put, if ICANN adopts a TLD that duplicates a TLD that "unofficially" is being registered by another registration system, then we'll have a fracturing in the standards just like in the way that it's almost impossible to tell who the heavyweight boxing champion is.


      They've already done it.

      .biz was already in use when ICANN adopted it.

      OpenNIC [opennic.org], for one, does not recognize ICANN's use of the .biz domain.

    • The ICANN root only has as much authority as you give it. If somebody decides to run an alternate dns root, then that's there thing. Nobody can complain when ICANN creates a TLD in its root, which just happens to be the one most use.
    • It was bad enough when US businesses started to buy up top-level domains from countries that were lucky enough to have two-letter TLDs that had cute meanings to US audiences.

      It's not just the US. There are lots of Danish sites in the .nu domain since it means "now" in Danish.

      In fact, when I visit the registration site [www.nic.nu], it defaults to Danish. (That's possibly because of my regional settings though)

      I'm sure the people of Niue aren't complaining about the extra revenue though :)
    • by cshark (673578) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:52AM (#8653042)
      The fact of the matter is that systems like new.net are not part of the DNS. The DNS is controlled by ICANN. Period.

      These quasi registries usually require browser plugins loaded with spyware to work at all, and only a fraction of the public internet population even knows they're even there. When ICANN added the .biz registry, the people at one of the alternative DNS places that had been serving up fake .biz domains for years complained. But it boiled over quickly.

      ICANN cannot be held responsible for what poeple outside the DNS do to create alternative quasi domains. Unless of course the quasi registrars have trademarked them, which I believe new.net may have.

      In any case, this will be interesting.
      Can't wait to see the flash based protest movies depicting the ICANN board as card people. Woo hoo!
      • Actually the "quazi" registries are running DNS and do not NEED plug ins to work. The bulk of their users are probably using plugins but it is possible for you, your networking guys or your ISP to decide to honour these domains and enter the required information into your DNS servers so that no plug ins are required.

        NewNet claim that alot of their domain's users are running like this.
    • by billstewart (78916) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @02:44AM (#8653572) Journal
      (New.net FAQ on conflicts with ICANN is here. [new.net] There are technical issues, internet-user-community issues, and trademark-lawsuit issues, and the first two aren't a problem, and the last one probably isn't. It's definitely not the Wild West.)

      DNS is a hierarchical system, and the tree has One Root. (There Can Be Only One!) That may or may not have been the best architectural design that could have been done (Pike & Thompson's paper "The Hideous Name" argues credibly that it was a Bad Idea), but that's the way it is. There's no particularly good reason that, just because there's One Root, that ICANN or Verisign or the U.S.Department of Commerce or Jon Postel's Ghost should be in charge of it, and there are many good reasons that they shouldn't be, but again, that's the way it is. (The mathematical term is "Proof by Vigorous Assertion", and it's worked fairly well here.) In fact the Cabal of 13 Root Server Operators, or some big fraction of them, could theoretically decide to stop listening to ICANN and do something better, but they haven't, in spite of much provocation, and it's unlikely that they will.

      There are two basic competitors to the ICANN namespace root. One is the various "Open Root" "Alternate Root" "Orange Root" etc. folks who've sprung up and declared that they can be root just as well as ICANN's preferred root, and at one point as much as half a percent of the Internet occasionally used them to resolve TLDs. If 99.5% of the net doesn't use you, you're not in charge. Some of them have gotten into legal squabbles with ICANN or its predecessors over names that both sides claimed, and they've lost.

      The more interesting case is people like new.net, who are selling shortcut namespace for subsets of the DNS hierarchy, roughly equivalent to example.newTLD.new.net. They work for two reasons - one is that new.net has gotten a bunch of major ISPs to buy in and resolve new.net names from their nameservers, and another is that most DNS resolvers have a default suffix, so if the suffix is "3ld.2ld.tld" and they can't directly resolve "example.foo", they'll try example.foo.3ld.2ld.tld, example.foo.2ld.tld, and example.foo.tld, so you can usually trick them into resolving "example.newTLD" as "example.newTLD.new.net". If enough people (or their ISPs) buy into this, you can get yourself a real market in those names, and otherwise you'll have a bunch of grumpy customers who explain that you can reach their website or email at "example.newTLD.new.net".

      New.net's FAQ [new.net] says that if ICANN introduces a TLD name that New.net has been selling, than individual users and ISPs will have to decide who to follow, and that new.net thinks they'll have enough market leverage to dominate. That's a big problem for a new.net user "example.newTLD.new.net" if the ICANN registry sells "example.TLD"; it's a smaller problem for them if ICANN has that TLD but none of the ICANN registries have sold "example.newTLD" yet, so maybe they need to land-rush and buy it from ICANN-space. It's $10-20 for the first year, which is the main risk. They knew the product was limited and somewhat risky when they bought it, and the risks and limitations were disclosed up front.

      The more interesting case is what happens if somebody buys "example.newTLD.new.net" first and registers it as a trademark, then somebody else buys "example.newTLD" from ICANN-space, and the first group tries to seize the name, either in an ICANN UDRP arbitration, or else in a trademark lawsuit ignoring the ICANN process. Yes, either approach would be much more expensive than just spending the $10-20 to register the name directly, but sometimes somebody else registers it before you do, either as a bad faith cybersquatting ripoff (like really-distinctive-well-known-name.newTLD), or just because it's a commercially obvious generic name (li

  • This (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AnonymousCowheart (646429) on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:45PM (#8652611) Homepage
    This really aren't new. I mean, they're new to most of the world, but there ARE alternative root servers people can use. Check out open rsc.org [open-rsc.org] they tell you how to change your name server. There was also an article at wired [wired.com] a few years ago that talked about the .biz not really being a new domain. .biz was being used on orsc, and then icann started to use it after orsc. Anyway, just don't think you don't have options.
  • From YOUCANN (Score:5, Informative)

    by mroch (715318) on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:49PM (#8652637)
    From http://www.youcann.org/

    Recently, ICANN announced it would add some additional TLDs to their root. However, they neglected to mention that they will deliberately duplicate existing TLDs and cause collisions in the name space. It is important to understand what that means.

    If the DoC enters a duplicate .BIZ (or any other duplicate) into their root, thousands of domain names will also be duplicated as more are registered every day. There will be chaos, and registrants will be litigating for years, trying to determine who has the rights to the domains. That is called fracturing the net. You will never be sure which website you will see when you key in an address with the extension .BIZ and if you send email, you will not be certain who will receive it.

    The other possibility is that one TLD will have to be excluded from the inclusive name space, disenfranchising thousands of domain name holders. In either case, it is the public which loses.

    • Re:From YOUCANN (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) *
      Recently, ICANN announced it would add some additional TLDs to their root. However, they neglected to mention that they will deliberately duplicate existing TLDs and cause collisions in the name space. It is important to understand what that means.

      Of course, that's YouCANN's side of the story. But the thing is, YouCANN's domains have never been recognized by the "root nameservers" like all ICANN-approved domain names are.

      The problem here is that the ICANN root nameservers derive their authority from, uh,
    • Lets see, ICANN - recognized authority that pretty much anyone who is anyone utilizes for authoritive DNS. Some upstart goes, hey, I like to sell some folks a new TLD that ICANN doesn't recognize, because it's spiffy and cool, and I can charge extra for it. Who cares if 99% of the folks cannot see it, these chumps won't know. Wait, ICANN is going to use this!?!?! AAAArrrggghh!

      The authoritive new TLD completely ignores the squatter as it's squished beneath the wheels of recognized progress. To be honest,

      • Re:From YOUCANN (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Solosoft (622322)
        Well ... I only found out about these unofficial domain's today. Also I noticed I have support for them.

        Frankly I think ICANN has a reason for not making every single TLD they can think of. It's too fucking hard to keep track of. Atleast now you know "okay the site is somthing. oh maybe .com .org .net usually one of those. With this new system there is like 30 of them. "Maybe .ocean or .god or .sex" etc etc. Also if these people don't like ICANN then don't use the root DNS servers. Live off the fake DNS
  • It seems pretty simple to me: New.net are malware propagating scumbags and anything that lays the smackdown on them is ok by me. Sure, Verisign has pulled some crazy shit in the past but at least they don't alter your TCP/IP stack.

    See Previous discussion here [slashdot.org]

  • New.net (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ionpro (34327) on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:51PM (#8652658) Homepage
    *Shudder* Their software has been responsible for more screwed up computers in my (university student-serving) helpdesk then virtually any other piece of crapware. I like the idea of getting rid of ICANN, but New.Net is infinately worse.
  • by metlin (258108) on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:52PM (#8652667) Journal
    Simply put - more confusion.

    Those who hold existing domain names are going to try and get the new ones with their domains. And cybersquatters and others are going to try and do the same thing.

    Now, the interesting question would be, if I'm a porn site for petite teens, can I legally have the domain, www.microsoft.xxx? ;-)
    • Not likely, thanks to WIPO rulings. As far as they're concerned, a URL can't have a chunk in it that is a trademark of a company you're not part of, or have permission from. Nor can you have anything too similar.

      My problem with this? It's an address, not a business name (though some businesses have been merging the two.) Just because your shop is on "Sun St." and is accessible via "Sun St." doesn't mean you're trying to take over Sun's business by confusing people. At least that's the general idea. Sure, i
      • But what if I'm a legitimate stripclub from Timbuktu with the name Microsoft?

        Does it still mean that despite my legality I cannot keep the domain name, although both deal in entirely different set of things?

        It was my understanding that trademarks and copyrights are valid within the same domain (economic/business area of interest) - isn't that the reason why you have so many products that have the name Unix that have nothing to do with computers or software?

        Just because someone has a company with that nam
        • Trademarks are per-problem-domain, yes. But URL's? I haven't noticed them stating that "microsoft.operating_system.software.us" is the only valid URL for Microsoft as we know it. URL's were never intended to so closely follow trademarks, or even become 1:1 with them. It'd be funny, but ... that's not how they were designed. So they're battling over a namespace, trying to stuff several namespaces (with uniqueness rules of their own) into just one, and it doesn't work neatly. So ... then it's about size. From
  • by loggia (309962) on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:53PM (#8652683)
    If ICANN incorporates already existing TLDs how will this impact those who have already registered for domain on these TLDs?

    Um, ICAAN will just ignore the other registrars?

    Um, ICAAN will have a meeting in [nice country to visit]?

    Um, ICAAN will see if we need another museum TLD?

    And so on..?
  • DNS server in URLS? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lehk228 (705449) on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:55PM (#8652695) Journal
    Perhapse adding the DNS group as an optional component to URLS such as

    "http://ICANN`slashdot.org"
    "http://OpenNIC`computers.geek"

    With "foo" in //foo` being defined either in the HOSTS file or some other new system file
    • For starters, you're never going to get away with breaking all existing URLs. Which means that "ICANN" will have to be the default.

      If you want to do that, you could produce the same effect by just adding a new tld (".opennic"), and sticking everything under there -- you have computers.geek and computers.geek.opennic. You can do this *today* if you can deal with putting two levels instead of just a TLD in -- like computers.geek.reg.net or something.
      • Yes, the default would be ICANN`, the point of putting it in the differently than another TLD is that any browser not aware of the DNS setting would reject the URL rather than attempting to resolve it (such as resolving to the wrong DNS system could lead to hijacking of addresses by a users default DNS, while adding an object in the URL that makes the URL invalid to systems which do not recognize it would prevent such actions, also using a keyword notation like that would leave open the option to put a DNS
    • Perhapse adding the DNS group as an optional component to URLS such as
      "http://ICANN`slashdot.org"
      "http://OpenNIC`c omputers.geek"


      Why break the heirarchial format of domains?

      http://slashdot.org!icann
      http://computers.geek !opennic
      • I believe your proposal is equal to or better than mine in terms of logic, it succedes in causing the URL resolution to fail in unaware systems (needed to prevent hijacks) and allows for either a mapped name or direct DNS server IP address, the only possible issue i could see arising putting the server at the end of the URL would be as a hijck attempt on users who do not regularly use alternative DNS addresses not noticing, for example,
        "http://www.paypal.com!192.168.1.1"
        as opposed to
        "http://192.168.1.1!
  • New.Net is spyware! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:56PM (#8652706)
    New.Net must die. Their "special DNS software" has sneaked into and completely screwed up thousands of windows systems. Having this crapware sneak onto your system is one thing, but having it corrupt your TCP/IP stack so you can't fix the problem -- manually, or with AdAware or SpyBot Search&Destroy -- is quite another.

    I would have pointed you to this link [cexx.org] at cexx.org for info on how scummy new.net is, but if you visit it you'll see that new.net's scumball lawyers forced them to take it down! Instead, see this link for new.net info & removal instructions [spyany.com].

    In summary: FSCK NEW.NET!

  • Just a guess (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:58PM (#8652722)
    This is pure speculation, but my guess would be that ICANN would have no problems with launching domains that already exist on alternative registries. The reason they might do this is simple posturing. If they acknowleged that these domains already existed and refused to "step on" them, they'd be giving legitimacy to these alternate registries. While I have no problem with making room for other registries, ICANN probably does, as it appears to undercut their self-appointed position (with the help of the U.S. government) as the Internet's governing body.

    So, to answer your question, I think ICANN would happily launch these TLDs without any consideration at all that they already exist. And yes, this will create a definite conflict with those other registries, technically speaking, since two identical domains can't exist for everyone on the Internet.

    Look, this was bound to happen sooner or later, and it's going to come down to a showdown. Do we want a showdown with ICANN and the possibility of overthrowing it as the Internet's governing body? If so, this is the time to get serious about it, since anyone who is running alternative TLDs will either have to get organized and fight or get stomped into the ground. I hate to put it that way, but that's where this is going if ICANN decides to implement these new TLDs unilaterally without any regard to what's already out there.
  • by 0x0d0a (568518) on Tuesday March 23, 2004 @11:59PM (#8652731) Journal
    This flood of names with very strong reasons to encourage companies to buy another domain name ("You're an adult entertainment company, but you *haven't* voluntarily gone under the .xxx TLD?" "You mean you let someone *else* buy the ford.biz domain?" etc) just reinforces my opinion that ICANN has become a whore to the name registrars. The idea of ICANN is that they make good engineering decisions for the Internet at large, not decisions based on how to maximize name registrar profits.
  • Alternative Roots (Score:5, Informative)

    by amigoro (761348) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:01AM (#8652745) Homepage Journal
    A very interesting article on alternative roots. [dan.info]

    Extracts:

    A new top-level domain doesn't really exist on the Internet until it is added to the root servers, so that any system anywhere on the net that is seeking that domain can find out from the root where the specific DNS servers for that domain lie.....

    the operators of the root servers have a great deal of political power over the domain name system. Presently, these servers are operated by Verisign, but their policies are determined by ICANN, the organization set up to administer Internet naming and numbering schemes. Since ICANN has attracted a great deal of criticism (much of it highly deserved) for its biases towards large impersonal bureaucracies and against individual Internet users, various people have come up with the idea of "fighting back" against ICANN by setting up alternate roots.....

    Setting up an alternate root turns out to be a very simple matter. The Internet has always been sort of a "do-it-yourself" thing, not centrally controlled or administered like a proprietary online service.....

    a naming or addressing system only makes sense if everybody uses it consistently. If every telephone company had a different idea of how the country and area codes ought to be allocated, so that if your long distance service was with AT&T, "1-212" would reach New York City, but with Sprint the same prefix would reach Los Angeles, then telephone numbers would be in a state of chaos....

    Moderate this comment
    Negative: Offtopic [mithuro.com] Flamebait [mithuro.com] Troll [mithuro.com] Redundant [mithuro.com]
    Positive: Insightful [mithuro.com] Interesting [mithuro.com] Informative [mithuro.com] Funny [mithuro.com]

    • Re:Alternative Roots (Score:5, Informative)

      by nelsonen (126144) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:13AM (#8652829)
      Please get your terminology correct.

      Verisgn does NOT control the "root servers". They do operate 2 of the 13 "root servers" under contract. See http://www.root-servers.org/. Verisgn has no direct control over the content of the root servers.

      Verisign does operate the .com and .net registries (again under a different contract), which are NOT a root servers. .com is generally referred to as a "global top level domain" (gTLD).

      The root servers control where to find the servers for the top level domains (gTLD and ccTLDs).
  • by xoran99 (745620) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:05AM (#8652776)
    I say we just memorize IP addresses from now on. From "Hey, run a Google on him." to "Hey, run a 24.175.19.234 on him."
    • That's going to be an even better idea when IPv6 hits the streets:

      "Hey, run a 6ab7:26bf:800b:eaf0:127e:baff:9091:6542 on him"

      Actually... might be kind of fun trying to watch TV "celebs" try to rattle this off at the end of a show.
    • by CritterNYC (190163) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:34AM (#8652949) Homepage
      I say we just memorize IP addresses from now on. From "Hey, run a Google on him." to "Hey, run a 24.175.19.234 on him."

      And with IPv6 it will be even easier:

      Is someone using this product name? Let's 3ffe:abcd:1234:9876::d8ef:3364 it.
    • I'd say there are millions of hosts that are on name based hosting that you wouldn't be able to reach by using ip....

      Or were you just trying to be funny?

    • Not a bad idea. If we had only numbers as addresses think of all trademark litigation we would have saved. Conflicts about the address scheme would not happen as they would not be worth it. There has been very little conflict over phone numbers

      Of course we can not use IPs as people need to be able to change IPs. The ideal system would have been resolving numerical IDs to IPs.

      Has anyone ever come up with any radially different way identifying locations? I mean something tht does not involve taking an addr

    • Modded as funny, I know, but what is the use of multiple TLDs after a point anyways? If some company copyrights my name and has mrwa.com, can I go get mrwa.org and have a snowball's chance in hell of keeping it? Ask Mike Rowe or any of the other people that lose their domain name.

      In theory, I suppose, the use of different TLDs should provide the opportunity for institutions and people to use the same website name but with different TLD (.org, .edu, .mil, .com, and the various country codes). How well do

    • I say we just memorize IP addresses from now on. From "Hey, run a Google on him." to "Hey, run a 24.175.19.234 on him."

      There's an idea! But that's a lot to remember, so maybe we could print them out in a large book with lines like "Google Corp website: 24.175.19.234". With the changes in ip addresses, we'll most likely have to appoint some organization to update the book and send out new ones. We could call it the Internet Corporation of Assigned Numbers. (ICAN) That would solve all the ICANN problems!

  • Central control has a tendency to breakdown, or become corrupted/perverted over time. Centralised control also impairs the ability of the Internet to route around such 'damage'.

    A (the only??) long term solution is to have a completely decentralised Internet. A corollary of a decentralised Internet is no IP addresses, no domain names, no coordinating body to make bad decisions.

    How to do this? Beats me. It's an active research topic. The closest I have seen is freenet [sourceforge.net], but it still has a long way (a

    • ICANN decentralized the root servers from the beginning. ICANN is not even remotely a "centralized" organization as you suggest. ICANN is not simply supported by the United States government--it is global in nature. Just because they have an address in Marina del Rey doesn't mean it is just a U.S. game any more than it does for the United Nations for being on Manhattan. However, ICANN is not a huge bureaucracy. There is very little to corrupt or pervert and the disparate nature of it is designed to prevent
  • In comparison... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arrow (9545) <mike@daBOHRmm.com minus physicist> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:08AM (#8652791) Homepage Journal
    If I start allocating blocks out of, for example, 69.250.0.0/16 and setting up VPNs to make them work... should this bar ARIN from allocating these blocks to legitimate users?

    How about if I propose a alternate TLD to an alternate root which conflicts with the ISO code for a country thats forming?

    The problem with catering to alternate roots, or alternate registries of any sort for that matter, is your encuraging people to break the standard.
    • Yes, but the analogy isn't perfect. You can start allocating blocks of 10.0.0.0, and expect ARIN to never come behind you and sell them to someone.

      Global DNS needs the same thing, maybe only 1 such TLD, or several. Reserved for private use.

      How about me? I proposed not 1, but 6 alternate TLDs. After no short amount of argument and debate, we chose those that were the least likely to be snatched out from under us. We respect the standards, and I for one am philosophically opposed to intentionally creating n
      • Re:In comparison... (Score:3, Informative)

        by arrow (9545)
        > Global DNS needs the same thing, maybe only 1 such TLD, or several. Reserved for private use.

        Per RFC 2606 there are 4 TLDs reserved for private use:

        .test is recommended for use in testing of current or new DNS related code.

        .example is recommended for use in documentation or as examples.

        .invalid is intended for use in online construction of domain names that are sure to be invalid and which it is obvious at a glance are invalid.

        .localhost TLD has traditionally been statically defined in host
  • by PurpleFloyd (149812) <zeno20@attbPASCALi.com minus language> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:10AM (#8652809) Homepage
    New.net is NOT a registar in the normal sense of the word. The only place that anyone signing up for a domain with them gets a DNS entry is in the new.net DNS servers - if you register "foo.bar" with them, you get nothing but "foo.bar.new.net" . Of course, they have their spyware-infested "New.net Client" that doesn't just add a default domain to DNS but instead takes over the entire Windows TCP/IP stack and causes serious connectivity issues (I've seen machines that can't access any network because of them). New.net is a scam, which relies on people thinking that just because they can type "foo.bar" into their browser and get their homepage, means that they own the domain "foo.bar" with a legitimate registrar.

    Many of the legitimate registrars on the Internet are pretty scummy, and ICANN is coming close to the bottom of the barrel, but they can't touch New.net for pure scam-artist nastiness. Anything that's bad for New.net, their "buisiness plan" and their damn spyware is good for the Internet at large. I would love to see them forced to shut down because there are actual, legitimate TLDs that conflict with their offerings. Unfortunately, they'd probably just update their "client software" to check their DNS servers before anything actually legitimate (like, say, the customer's ISP or a root-level nameserver). Anything bad for New.net is good for the Internet at large. They are nothing but scam artists selling something they don't own (new domain names), and deserve everything ICANN in all its fascist idiocy can throw at them. There aren't many people or companies in the world I would wish that upon, but New.net has made the list in spades.

  • by Qzukk (229616) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:17AM (#8652848) Journal
    They're defined as subdomains of .new.net. So that site you just registered is really "www.mygoatpr0n.xxx.new.net"

    Take a look at their FAQ [new.net]. To get this to work in linux, you add new.net to your hosts' file's search path, which makes it so if something fails to resolve, it tries again with .new.net added to the end.

    ICANN's move doesn't spell trouble for new.net immediately, but the namespace will start to break down when a real www.mygoatpr0n.xxx appears (causing the .new.net version to never be attempted).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:23AM (#8652900)
    The reality is that the only thing that makes ICANN any more "official" than any other "rogue" system is that most people use it. But that does not make it correct. Nothing says that we must use the ICANN system. As a matter of fact, it might be better if GNU came up with their own root domain name servers and give people the option to use a DNS system based upon fairness and integrity rather than simply catering to big business. Why not a DNS system that's free and open?
  • Not officially. Can you get to these supposed domains from anywhere? Heck, if that were the case, I can set up my own TLDs, I choose .ford, .gm, .ibm, .ms, .microsoft, .walmart, just for starters.....
  • There were quite a few *real* alternate root servers, and some people even used them for a while, Alternic, our own TINC (The Internet Namespace Cooperative), and more. I helped set up one of the first alternate top level domains, the eponymous ".dot"...

    Ancient history. Back when it really looked like Network Solutions was going to end up owning the root lock, stock, and root-servers.net it was important. Now, it hardly matters. The real root of the Internet is .com.

    This awful kludge new.net is doing doesn't deserve the time it takes to laught about.
  • by bitspotter (455598) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:53AM (#8653048) Journal
    I've been experimenting with alternative roots over the past couple of months.

    The OpenNIC [unrated.net] root zone file [unrated.net] seems pretty stable, and resolves ICANN domains along with opennic's own .geek, .oss, .parody, .indy, .null, and .opennic . AlterNIC and Pacific Root alternate roots seem to be long gone - I haven't been able to find any current information on these alternate roots, and I have yet to come across a root zone file that allows resolution of any of their names (anybody know?).

    I tried the ORSC [open-rsc.org] root zone file [vrx.net], which is FAR more extensive, but it seems to be out of date - I couldn't even resolve some ICANN domains with it!

    It seems that the YouCANN and ORSC web sites are possibly horribly out of date - can anyone verify that these projects are even active?

    Now for a little editorial criticism: I don't see any indication in the article that ICANN is considering "incorporating" alternative TLDs as much as it's considering bulldozing over them, like it has for .biz . The submitter's take that ICANN roots may soon start resolving these independent root operators is either woefully mistaken or badly misleading.
  • by EvilStein (414640) <spam@pbRASPp.net minus berry> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @12:54AM (#8653055) Homepage
    All these "other TLDs" get used for is spam anyway.
    Oh, a few get used for silly pages (chicken.coop?) but the vast majority get used for spam.

    I have yet to see a .biz or .info TLD that wasn't owned by spammers or some corporation that already owned the corresponding .com,.net, and .org already.
  • Finally! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by teknokracy (660401) <teknokracy@telu s . net> on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @01:12AM (#8653145)
    Just make a .sex or .xxx domain and force all of the porn sites to go there. Why wouldn't they want to? Offer free transfer of domains. This way, they, and parents, can keep minors away from these materials just by having a simple app (or even something built in to IE) block .xxx/.sex domains. The best way to get rid of activities like this is to give them their own place to play. An example of this is Diablo II - cheaters had their own open battle.net servers where they could cheat, and normal law-abiding players played on the legitimate servers.
    • Re:Finally! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lavaface (685630)
      I much prefer another poster's suggestion (on a different story) of creating a .kids domain that is limited to pg-13 content. The internet is for adults or mature kids. If you want to censor, do it the other way around.
      • creating a .kids domain that is limited to pg-13 content.

        Wheee....a ready made playground for pedophiles to troll for victims.
        How would you enforce the content limitation?
      • Exactly what is PG-13 content? Do we follow the US idea of what should be allowed? European? Fundamentalist muslims?

        That's why the last time this came up the result was ".kids.us" - even within the US it will be hard enough to find a consensus of what is acceptable contents for children.

    • force all of the porn sites to go there.

      1. Why would they?
      2. Force a site hosted in Korea how, exactly?
      3. Define 'porn site'. Does that include your beach vacation photolog, that happens to include a topless woman in the background of one of your shots?
    • Not quite there (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 3247 (161794)
      Please define the terms "porn" an "unsuited for minors" in a globally acceptable way first.
  • by whoever57 (658626) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @01:14AM (#8653155) Journal
    Could the owner of an existing dmoain name in one of the exiting new.net domains sue someone who registers the same domain name with the new ICANN-approved registrar under trademark law?
  • When .biz was introduced, the effect of the "alternate" roots' "biz" domain (there were multiple, conflicting ones) was absolutely nothing. Big, fat zero.
    The same thing will happen if ICANN chooses to introduce .xxx to the ICANN root (my prediction).
    These people never had a chance of influencing ICANN - if ICANN had let itself be influenced by them at all, ICANN would have been in so much trouble, its current problems would look peaceful.
    ICANN decides what's added to ICANN's root.
    Live with it.
  • None at all (Score:5, Informative)

    by mysticalreaper (93971) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @01:40AM (#8653295)
    What implications does this have and how will the ramifications impact how businesses view and utilize the web?

    None. This isn't going to have an effect on businesses. Well, about 99.99% of them, anyway.

    See, DNS, by design, has a single namespace. That is, blah.foo.bar is unique. There is only one blah.foo.bar, only one right answer. In real life, you can have two people named John Doe, in DNS, you can't.

    However, there's no technical reason why you must use the ICANN view of DNS. You can use another DNS root, like AlterNIC or UCANN (or a few others), and what you'll get is a *different* namespace. So now blah.foo.bar points somewhere else. But still to only one place.

    So you can use the ICANN root (like 99.99% of the world does) or you can use another root. But you cannot use them at the same time. Therefore, if ICANN chooses to make a .xxx, it won't conflict with UCANN's .xxx, because you can only use one at a time.

    This is why AlterNET and UCANN have always been seen as crackpots, to an extent. They whine and bitch about these things that have no relevance. ICANN is perfectly within reason to define their namespace as they see fit. And so is UCANN and anyone who wants to. UCANN could set up their own .com, and if people are using the UCANN servers, they'd see that .com, not the ICANN .com.

    Additional info: An astute reader will notice that things are not quite as simple as "one or the other" as i stated above. You see, what happens is that UCANN will use ICANN's .com, .net, .org, and the other ICANN tld's. Then UCANN adds their own .tld's, ones that ICANN has not assigned. This way, they get the ICANN tld's, plus their own additional tld's. Sometimes, though, ICANN goes and assignes one of these extra tld's, ( like .biz) themselves, and you get a namespace collision. DNS cannot use two versions of .biz. You get one or the other. Since 99.99% of the world uses the ICANN root, 99.99% of the world sees the ICANN version of the new .tld. Then UCANN whines because now their .tld will be pushed out of the way. It irony is, of course, that this same 99.99% of people who have always been using the ICANN root couldn't see the UCANN version .tld at any time before ICANN set it up. The only people this affects are the people using an alternate root, but they've always seen things differently.

    So, for most people, including serious businesses, nothing changes.
  • how long before someone sets up fake domains on one of these fake DNS servers then spreads a trojan (say a kegen program ) that sets this as the first DNS server in Windows networking. Initially they can have it point to the IP of the ligitimate microsoft so no one realizes then maybe one day switch the CNN, MSNBC, Foxnews etc page to "Aliens land on Mall", then have any other domain fail to connect :-p
  • by Animaether (411575) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @02:47AM (#8653584) Journal
    Being naive, I'm sure, but...

    If a person sets up a site on, say, "mysite.ext" - the 'ext' TLD being one managed by an 'unofficial' namespace registrar, then who gets to see that site when browsing to, say, "http://www.mysite.ext/" ?

    I probably don't - my ISP, both at home and here at my vacation address, appears to use whatever trickles down from the root (official) nameservers.

    So wouldn't that person have to persuade others from using the 'unofficial' namespace registrar's settings/software/whatever to be able to visit their site in this manner in the first place ?

    So now we have a situation where there may be "mysite.xxx" already for those who use the 'unofficial' namespace registrar, and in a way another "mysite.xxx" for those who use whatever trickled down from the root (official) namespace registrar.

    So the person who wanted to see the 'unofficial' "mysite.xxx", having to change their settings to do so, will still see the site they are used to.
    And those who never wanted to see the 'unofficial' "mysite.xxx" to begin with, will be able to see the 'official' "mysite.xxx" without fear of seeing the 'unofficial' one.

    The only problem I see, therefore, is the group of people setup to see the 'unofficial' namespaces will be, in a way, unable to see the 'official' ones. But wasn't that basically the risk they took when they went for this solution ?

    For what it's worth, I'd imagine that you can always set something up to poll multiple namespaces - or a specific namespace - when consulting a particular URL, and either ask the user which site they want to see if it's new, or take whatever site was stored to file earlier.
    Like an extension of the 'hosts' file, if you will.
  • Register goatse.xxx now or later??????
  • Who gives ICANN the right to dictate what TLDs will be usable for our DNS lookups? Some US government agency? Hell NO! We do! Well, at least those of us who run DNS servers do. We do this by means of our vote in the form of the root hints file used in the DNS caching/recursion server. If we point our DNS servers at ICANN sponsered servers, we are effectively designating ICANN to decide for us who runs what TLD, and what TLDs even work.

    We could, instead, point our DNS servers at alternative roots. Or

  • anyone actually going out and buying new.net domains are akin to those who buy plots of land on the moon anyone who already spent money on a .xxx were simply asking for it.

    You don't see companies going out and providing alternate telephone number space ... DNS should be a utility, and there's no need for third parties to come along and try to subvert that. Yes, sometimes ICANN's decisions suck, but I'd rather have ICANN than new.net in charge :P

  • by Phreakiture (547094) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:01AM (#8654833) Homepage

    This reminds me of a situation at a former workplace.

    This workplace (a major U.S. corporation) has its own telephone network. Dialing local phone calls from the PBX was done by dialing 9-NXX-XXXX. Long distance was 8-NPA-NXX-XXXX, but calling a different facility in the corporation is 8-NXX-XXXX, where NXX in the latter case was a 3-digit code assigned by the company (ours was 639+extension, but to call from the normal phone network was 518-454+extension).

    Anyway, the corporate network took advantage of the fact that the area codes always have 0 or 1 in the middle digit, and used this to tell the two apart.

    In 1995 or so, NANPA started issuing area codes with non-0-or-1 middle digits. This hosed everything up. As I no longer work for that particular corporation, I don't know what they did about this, but while I was working there (c. 1996), a few of the exchanges became valid area codes, and had to be changed.

    Strikes me as the same basic problem.

  • by Ayaress (662020) on Wednesday March 24, 2004 @09:58AM (#8655337) Journal
    What do you do when you discover that the star you bought from the National Star Naming Association or whatever other scam company happens to be named a rather mundane Ursa Majoris B by the people who actually have the AUTHORITY to name stars?

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