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Chapter 1: Introduction: The Problem of the Root

Many of the documenting sources are available on Internet sites. The addresses provided are accurate at time of publication of this book, but electronic addresses may change. If readers cannot reach them as cited, they should search further.

  1. The IFWP call for participation, June 1998. Some materials from the original IFWP has been archived by Ellen Rony at <>.

  2. Ira Magaziner, introductory comments at the first IFWP meeting, July 1, 1998.

  3. Mo Krochmal, 'Magaziner, Lessig Spar over Domain Name Plan' Techweb News, June 11, 1998.

  4. See Christopher Hill (1958) for an account of the Long Parliament and its role in English history.

  5. TCP stands for Transport Control Protocol; IP stands for Internet Protocol. Both work together to guide the movement of packets across networks.

  6. Internet purists may object to this label. Usually, root refers only to the unnamed space at the top of the domain name hierarchy and does not include the IP address space. I have chosen to use root as a generic term that applies to both, for three reasons. First, even though the IP address and domain name spaces are distinct entities technically, there are structural similarities that are important institutionally and economically. IP address blocks are delegated in a hierarchical fashion just as domain names are, and the question of who controls the initial delegation- the top of the hierarchy-poses many of the same institutional issues in either case. Second, domain name root management and IP address management are technically interrelated in important ways (such as in the domain). Although this does not necessarily mean that responsibility for both should be combined in the same organization, historically they have been, and ICANN continues this practice. Indeed, the White Paper explicitly rejected appeals from some members of the technical community to place the two functions in separate organizations (NTIA 1998b, 31744). So in that respect it makes sense to speak of a generalized root that embraces both. Third, if the two previous points are valid, for reasons of readability and style it make sense to use a single word to refer to both in many instances. When the term is used in that fashion, it means the centrally coordinated naming and addressing functions required to ensure universal connectivity on the Internet. When there is cause to discuss the root of the domain name system specifically, I refer to the 'DNS root' or the 'name space.' When there is a need to refer exclusively to IP numbering, I refer to 'IP address space' or 'IP number allocation.'

  7. Esther Dyson, letter to Ralph Nader and Jamie Love, June 15, 1999.

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Ruling the Root(c) Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace
Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace
ISBN: 0262134128
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 110

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