I've got a lot of information on this which I'd be happy to share and
exchange, but I still need and want more details. I'm not sure the IETF
list is the best place to discuss this matter, however, and if anyone
can suggest an alternative site, I'd gladly participate there.
Please be aware that I got it partly wrong in my 1998 paper that Michael
Froomkin cited regarding that incident. I apologize for a misstatement
which may have been widely propagated. To clarify, the server operators
who complied with the redirection request were pulling the root zone
from a separate machine at ISI -- DNSROOT.IANA.ORG -- not B.
The research I've done on this is a central part of my Ph.D.
dissertation. Anyone who has been holding their breath waiting to read
it is long dead by now, but I am advancing. It's interesting stuff.
I don't have any after-the-fact explanation from Jon Postel himself
regarding his motivation, but I disagree with the statement that his
goal was to "embarrass" the USG.
Though it's fair to say that he was acting partly in reaction to
pressures from members of CORE, I think his primary rationale was a
deeply held conception of loyalty to the Internet community and its
processes. I argue that he put that sense of loyalty ahead of loyalty
to the officers of the US Government and their clearly stated wishes, as
expressed by Ira Magaziner. It took a plain threat of coercion from the
USG to make him bow and reverse the move.
The problem of divided loyalty and authority in the Internet community
stretches back to RFC 1174, and was tested in the redirection incident.
Also, while John Gilmore was evidently an important agent leading the
call for the redirection -- at that particular time -- Paul Vixie
evidently was not -- at that particular time. Vixie had urged such a
move in the past, when the atmosphere was not so charged, but his role
in the Jan 1998 episode seems to have been similar to that of the other
operators who complied with the request. They went along, even with
raised eyebrows, but they trusted Postel's judgment and acted with
loyalty to him and the processes he represented.
Again, I'd be willing to engage this further, and I'd be thrilled to be
set straight if I've got any other flat facts wrong. Right now I'm most
interested in getting nitty gritty details about the negotiations
between CORE and Ira Magaziner in late 97 early 98, if anyone here can
help me with that. I'm even more interested in the September 1995
discussion that ultimately allowed NSI to begin charging for names, but
Don Mitchell hasn't answered my emails.
Michael Froomkin - U.Miami School of Law wrote:
tells the story as best I could reconstruct it. There are footnotes to
the documents I could find.
On Thu, 31 Oct 2002 lordb(_at_)nomad(_dot_)tallship(_dot_)net wrote:
I'm looking for sources of information on the hi-jacking of the usg root
servers by Postel, Gilmore and Vixie.
Anyone remember this? It was on Jan 27 1998 when postel convenced a
number of the root operators to switch the primary from a root to f root
(paul vixie). This seems to have been done to embarrase the federal
government - Ira magaziner the presidential science advisor took a birdy
and treatened postel with a visit from the men in black.
I can understand magaziners disposition at the time. The postel "test"
was a day prior to the Jan 28 release of the presidential green paper and
left magaziner holding the eggs so to speak.
thanks in advance for any links you may have in your archives.