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DNS: Testimony to US Congress against privatization (fwd)

Liebe KollegInnen,
die folgende mitteilung von jay robert hauben aus den usa 
leite ich gerne an sie weiter:

> When I heard that the US House of Representatives Subcommittee 
> on Basic Research was going to have a hearing on Oct. 7 I asked to submit
> testimony into the record and was told that wasn't possible.
> Then on Monday the staffer in charge of the hearing told me
> I could submit something into the record.
> That left only a day to work on something. 
> Here's what I sent to the House Science Committee 
> Subcommittee on Basic Research via email today and I 
> also handed in a copy when I was there for the hearing.
> I have made one correction here with regard to what
> I submitted.
> The mission of the hearing was to talk about the proposals
> received by the NTIA on the DNS. Only one proposal was
> discussed and almost all the witnesses said they hadn't
> read any of the others. On the notice of the hearing
> all it mentioned were two proposals.
> And at the hearing the Committee people and witnesses
> talked about how to implement the Postel/Sims(?) proposal,
> with no concern that there were two other proposals
> submitted and that the Postel/Sims(?) proposal was 
> created thru a closed door and silence everyone process.
> When the NTIA official was asked about what process there
> would be for the proposals she said that the NTIA would
> look at the comments and review the proposals. However
> the actions of the Committee and the witnesses was to
> act as if there was only one proposal that was already
> being implemented.
> The testimony I submitted follows.
> I welcome comments.
> Ronda
> ronda _at__ panix.com
> Testimony before the
> Subcommittee on Basic Research
> and
> Subcommittee on Technology
> of the 
> Committee on Science 
> on the subject of 
> Internet Domain Names
> Rayburn House Office Building, U.S. House of Representatives
> Washington, D.C. 20515
> by
> Ronda Hauben, researcher, writer,
> .....
> October 7, 1998
> I am pleased to be invited to submit testimony to the House 
> Science Subcommittee on Basic Research and Subcommittee on 
> Technology on the subject of whether the Domain Names System and 
> related essential functions of the Internet should be transferred 
> from U.S. Government oversight into a private sector corporate 
> entity.
> My name is Ronda Hauben. I am co-author of the book Netizens: On 
> the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet published in 
> May 1997 by the I.E.E.E. Computer Society Press. I am also an 
> editor and writer for the Amateur Computerist newsletter which 
> has covered the history and importance of the Internet since 
> 1988.   
> I have studied and taught computer programming and have 
> participated online since 1988 and on Usenet since 1992.
> Also I submitted the proposal "The Internet an International 
> Public Treasure" to Ira Magaziner and the U.S. Department of 
> Commerce at the request of Mr. Magaziner based on the concerns I 
> presented to him about the narrow phrasing of the question of the 
> transfer of the Domain Name System to the private sector. I also 
> responded to the Green Paper and submitted comments expressing 
> concern that the general nature of the Internet and its history 
> and traditions, and its nature as a communication medium were 
> being lost sight of in the Framework for Electronic Commerce 
> issued by Mr. Magaziner and his staff and in the Green Paper and 
> subsequent White paper. And I attended the Geneva IFWP meeting in 
> July 1998 and wrote up an account of what happened in an article 
> "Report from the Front: Meeting in Geneva Rushes to Privatize the 
> Internet DNS and Root Server System".(1) 
> The proposal that I wrote and submitted to Mr. Magaziner on 
> September 4, 1998, is now one of the three proposals that has 
> been posted at the U.S. Department of Commerce web site by the 
> NTIA with a request for comments. 
> As you can see from my proposal I have found your hearing process
> valuable and have referred to testimony given by one of the
> witnesses in this matter in the Preface to my proposal. I want to
> commend the committee for both holding these hearings and for
> putting the testimony received on the committee's web site. I
> want to make a further recommendation, however. I want to
> recommend that you explore having an online discussion group. 
> There the public could comment on the issues before the committee
> and on the testimony received or offer additional information or
> viewpoints into the public record so that you will have a broader
> set of information and viewpoints to influence your
> deliberations, especially when those deliberations concern the
> operation and future of the Internet. I hope that after you hear
> the rest of my comments you will understand better why this is so
> important.
> First, I would like to offer a bit of history of how the Internet 
> came to be and I will endeavor to show how knowing this history 
> will be helpful in determining how to evaluate the proposals 
> before the NTIA. 
> Then I will provide some recommendations toward the policy 
> decision that this Committee and the NTIA are proposing to make.
> The Internet is a product of several significant and successful 
> research projects that were conducted under funding from the 
> Advance Projects Research Agency (DoD) in the 1960s and 1970s. 
> One of the earliest of these projects is perhaps one of the most 
> important in its relevance to the problem before this committee 
> today. That project was the creation and support for interactive 
> computing and time-sharing. In 1962-3, a computer scientist and 
> engineering researcher, J. C. R. Licklider was invited to join 
> ARPA and to begin the Information Processing Techniques Office 
> (IPTO). At that time the common form of computing available was 
> known as batch processing using large mainframe computers. 
> Someone who wanted to run a program would bring a stack of punch 
> cards to a computer center and return several hours later or the 
> next day to retrieve the printout that the program generated to 
> see if the program achieved the desired aim.
> Needless to say this was a cumbersome and frustrating means of 
> using a computer. J.C.R. Licklider and the time-sharing projects 
> that ARPA subsequently funded set out to change the form of 
> computing and to make it possible for an individual to be able to 
> type his or her own program into a computer and to achieve the 
> results of the program immediately. This new type of computing 
> that they created was called time-sharing. Relying on the speed 
> of the computer, these computer pioneers were able to set up a 
> series of different terminals for use by users who were all able 
> to utilize the computer at the same time. As a result of time-
> sharing systems, multiple users were able to interact directly 
> with a computer simultaneously.
> One of the projects funded by J.C.R. Licklider was called the 
> Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS). It was part of the project 
> funded at MIT by ARPA which was known as Project MAC.
> There were several important surprises that the pioneers of 
> Project MAC reported from their research into time-sharing. 
> 1) They didn't have to rely on professional programmers to do 
> much of the needed programming for their time-sharing system. 
> What they found was that the participants in the project would 
> create programs and tools for their own use and then make them 
> available to others using CTSS.
> 2) A community of users developed as a result of the ways that 
> people contributed their work to be helpful to each other. 
> 3) CTSS made it possible for users to customize the computing 
> system to their own needs. Thus the general capabilities 
> available provided a way for the individual user to create the 
> diversity of computing applications or programs that this diverse 
> community of users needed.
> As a result of this project, the researchers realized that once 
> you could connect a remote terminal to a time-sharing system, you 
> could develop a network with people spread out over large 
> geographical distances. 
> The networks that developed as a result of the research in  time-
> sharing provided working prototypes and also a vision that 
> would help to guide the next stage in the development of 
> networking technology. The effort to improve the throughput of 
> data across telephone lines led to ARPA supported research in 
> packet switching and the funding of the ARPANET research to use 
> packet switching to link up the computers that were part of 
> ARPA's research program.(2)
> The next piece of history that is important to consider is the 
> period during which the early Internet was formed. In 1981/1982 a 
> mailing list was begun on the ARPANET. This mailing list was 
> called the TCP/IP Digest and the moderator was Mike Muuss, a 
> research computer scientist at the U.S. Army Ballistics Research 
> Laboratory (BRL). The BRL during this period was one of the DARPA 
> sites making the transition from an early ARPANET protocol, NCP 
> to TCP/IP, which was to be the protocol suite that would make an 
> Internet possible.
>      By 1983 the cutover from NCP to TCP/IP had occurred and this 
> made possible a particularly relevant event for the matters under 
> consideration by this committee. That event was the separation of 
> MILNET and the ARPANET into two independent networks to create an 
> Internet. This split would allow MILNET to be devoted to the 
> operational activities of the Department of Defense. And those on 
> the ARPANET would be able to continue to pursue network research 
> activities. Gateways between the two networks would provide 
> inter-networking communication.(3)
> This gets us to a definition utilized in 1974 by Louis Pouzin, 
> who had worked on CTSS at MIT and then returned to France to work 
> on creating a packet switching network that was called Cyclades. 
> Computer science researcher, Louis Pouzin, defined an internet as 
> a network of independent networks. (He called "an aggregate of 
> networks [which would] behave like a single logical network" a  
> CATENET. DARPA adopted his concept as the goal of the research 
> project it was supporting).(4)
> Each network could determine for itself what it would do 
> internally, but each recognized the need to accept a minimum 
> agreement so that it would be possible to connect with others who 
> were part of the diverse networks that made up the Internet.
> I have taken the time to review these two important developments 
> in internetworking history because these two developments are at 
> the foundation of the design of the current Internet as we know 
> it today.
> These two developments highlight what is so special and 
> particular about the Internet.
> The Internet that has grown up and developed is a continuation of 
> the time-sharing interactive communities of users and computers 
> where users contribute to and are in effect the architects of the 
> network that they are part of. Also this understanding leads to 
> another significant aspect. That is that this system of human-
> computer networking partnerships has a regenerative quality. New 
> connections and programs, and databases or mailing lists are 
> contributed by the users themselves. And thus the Internet grows 
> and spreads and connects an increasingly larger number of 
> computers and users around the world.  
> The second important aspect is that the Internet architecture and 
> design accommodates different needs and capabilities of a diverse 
> set of users and user communities. For example, someone in Ghana 
> with a 386 or 486 computer and a modem can be connected to and 
> send email to someone in a research laboratory in Switzerland 
> which has the most modern computer workstations. That is because 
> the architecture of the Internet requires the least possible 
> equipment and capability to be able to make Internet 
> communication possible.
> Thus people and computers around the world who are using an 
> extremely diverse set of equipment and computing capability are 
> able to interact and communicate.
> I have taken the time to describe these general features of the 
> Internet for a few reasons. The first reason is that this is what 
> is so precious about the Internet and this is what I believe 
> needs to be understood and protected when considering any change 
> that may be contemplated in how the Internet is controlled, 
> managed or operated. 
> Any change in the minimal requirement that makes communication 
> possible across the independent networks that make up the 
> Internet can obsolete thousands of computers and many more users 
> around the world and thereby jeopardize the connectivity and 
> global communication that the Internet has achieved. 
> Any change in the ability of users to represent themselves and to 
> utilize the Internet for their diverse purposes and to contribute 
> to what is available to others on the Internet, (as long as this 
> does not put demands on others on the Internet), any such change 
> can deprive millions of users of the Internet of the general form 
> that makes it possible for the Internet to serve the 
> communication needs of so many diverse communities of users. 
> This diversity includes the computer scientists at MIT or the 
> high school student in Sydney, Australia. If there are particular 
> needs of any one group, such as the security needs of DARPA, or 
> the ability to write with Japanese characters of users in Tokyo, 
> the architectural design provides that within an individual 
> network or several networks such needs can be accommodated, 
> without imposing such requirements on the users of other 
> networks.
> These two principles are important to study and understand 
> because they represent what is being violated by the Framework 
> for Electronic Commerce prepared by Ira Magaziner and his staff. 
> This framework does not treat the Internet as a network of 
> independent networks, but instead as a single network that must 
> be changed to meet the needs of a particular set of users.
> Thus instead of recommending that an independent commercial 
> network or a few commercial networks be created as part of the 
> Internet to meet the special needs of commercial Internet users, 
> Ira Magaziner's framework document requires that the entire 
> Internet be changed to meet the particular needs of a particular 
> set of users. This is a violation of the concept of an Internet.
> My recommendation is that the Framework that Mr. Magaziner has 
> created needs to be recast to be a Framework for the Internet as 
> a New Means of International Communication. Within that framework 
> Mr. Magaziner can describe the particular needs of particular 
> communities of users, but these particular needs cannot be 
> allowed to replace the generality of the Internet design so that 
> other users of other independent networks are being imposed on to 
> satisfy the needs of any particular group of users.
> The second important precaution is that users must be protected 
> to continue to represent themselves and their needs. This is what 
> provides for the diversity of what is available on the Internet 
> and is the continuation of the culture and regenerative quality 
> of the early time-sharing communities. This is what makes it 
> possible for a user in Benin for example, to spread the Internet 
> to other users there, and for a student in Finland to start the 
> linux project that has been developed by thousands of others into 
> an operating system that gives Microsoft competition. Those who 
> might want a different type of network, as I have heard some 
> large corporate entities in the United States explain, as they 
> want to be able to more carefully choose who will do what 
> functions for them, can do so in their corporate network as part 
> of the larger Internet, but they must not be allowed to impose 
> their special demands on the larger Internet community. The 
> reason for this is that then users in MILNET, for example, will 
> be required to do things in their network that do not serve their 
> needs, and the concept of an Internet will be violated, leading 
> not to the further growth and extension of the Internet, but back 
> to a single network, to one that serves only a few commercial 
> entities at the great loss to the many other users on the 
> Internet.
> The other precaution that follows from understanding these 
> essential characteristics of the Internet is that commercial 
> entities want to carry on certain experiments in how to subject 
> various aspects of the Internet to so called "competition". They 
> must not be allowed to do this in a way that affects the whole 
> Internet, but must be restricted to the particular network that 
> they develop for their commercial purposes. Thus the commercial 
> corporation that is being planned by the U.S. Government to sell 
> off parts of the Internet's essential functions must not be 
> allowed to control anything but its own commercenet. Those who 
> are interested in such experimentation should be advised that 
> they will have to form their own network which can be connected 
> to the Internet, but that such experiments can only go on inside 
> their own network, and cannot be imposed on the rest of the users 
> of the Internet.
> To do otherwise is to jeopardize the fact that only a minimal 
> requirement is necessary for all to connect to the Internet and 
> this is only that which makes the communication across the many 
> independent networks that make up the Internet possible. To do 
> otherwise will mean the obsoleting of many machines and cutting 
> their users off from communication with the rest of those on the 
> Internet.
> Thus the corporation that IANA and NSI have designed, or that the 
> Boston Group has proposed must not be allowed to take over the 
> essential functions of the entire Internet. Instead such 
> corporate activity needs to be restricted to an independent 
> commercial network that can be part of the Internet but cannot be 
> allowed to impose its special requirements on the others who use 
> the Internet. This might mean that the .com machines will become 
> part of a .com network, and would be able to communicate with 
> others on the Internet, but not impose their "for sale" and 
> speculative practices on the users in the educational or 
> scientific communities who make up much of the Internet.
> Before there are any plans to change the form or structure or 
> management of the Internet, it is crucial that there be an 
> assessment of the special characteristics and functionality that 
> must be preserved and a plan created for how to be certain that 
> this is done.
> Since both the IANA/NSI proposal and the Boston Group proposal 
> are for structures that are to be limited to a commercial 
> network, and not imposed on the Internet itself, how then can the 
> essential functions of the Internet be administered in a way that 
> represents the cooperative and international nature of the 
> Internet itself?
> My proposal provides for a prototype cooperative research program 
> involving researchers in any country or region that agree to 
> participate. These researchers who will be part of this program 
> are to be responsible for carrying out the investigation and 
> inquiry among online users to determine the general 
> characteristics and functions so that they can propose a plan to 
> safeguard these crucial characteristics and functions.
> There is one final lesson from the history and development of the 
> Internet that it is important to consider when trying to 
> determine how to form a more international system for protecting 
> and administering the essential functions of the Internet 
> represented by the Domain Name System, IP numbers etc.
> Usenet was begun in the 1979-80 period by graduate students who 
> were part of the Unix community. The invitation to join Usenet 
> which was handed out at the January 1980 Usenix conference 
> explained why it was crucial to develop an online network, 
> not to form committees. They describe why it was crucial for 
> those who were interested in developing Usenet to actually use 
> the network, so that they "will know what the real problems are." 
> It is with this goal in mind that I created the design in my 
> proposal for a prototype where researchers from a diverse set of 
> nations or regions will utilize the Internet to figure out how to 
> create the necessary cooperative, protective forms and processes 
> to administer and support the essential functions of the 
> Internet. Just as adhering to the principle of relying on "using 
> Usenet" made it possible to grow Usenet, so the principle of 
> using the Internet will make it possible to scale the Internet 
> and create a means for a shared oversight of the essential 
> functions and to solve the problems that arise along the way.
> The Internet is the symbol and manifestation of hope for people 
> around the world. As more and more people communicate on a 
> worldwide basis. the foundation is increasingly set to find 
> peaceful and productive ways to solve the many serious problems 
> that exist in the world today. Also, however, this vision has its 
> enemies. But the U.S. Government has the proud distinction of 
> being the midwife of the achievement of achievement of the 20th 
> Century represented by the development of the Internet. If there 
> are those in the U.S. Government who recognize the importance and 
> respect that comes from giving birth to the communications system 
> that has spread around the world with such amazing tenacity and 
> determination, they must find the means to treat the decisions 
> and changes needed to further develop the Internet with the proper 
> care and concern.
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Footnotes:
> (1) http://www.columbia.edu/~rh120/other/ifwp_july25.txt 
> (2) See chapter 6 "Cybernetics, Time-Sharing, Human-Computer 
> Symbiosis and Online Communities" in Netizens: On the History and 
> Impact of Usenet and the Internet, IEEE Computer Science Press, 
> 1997. A draft is available at http://www.columbia.edu/~hauben/netbook 
> (3) Describing this transition, Vint Cerf wrote:
> "The basic objective of this project is to establish a model and 
> a set of rules which will allow data networks of varying internal 
> operation to be interconnected, permitting uses to access remote 
> resources and to permit inter-computer communication across the 
> connected networks.
> (4) Louis Pouzin, "A Proposal for interconnecting packet 
> switching networks," Eurocomp Conference Proceedings, 1974, p. 
> 1023.
> --------

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