NAIPR Message

Rebuttal to Mr. Weisberg's insinuations

On Sat, 19 Jul 1997, Larry Vaden wrote:
> At 11:27 AM 7/19/97 -0500, Robert T. Nelson wrote:
> >
> >If you want a network that can be governed in a democratic fashion, you
> >have to *design that into the network*

I suspect, though from the speed of your response, that maybe you miss
some of what I am driving at. The point to the comment above, is that
current IPv4 networking is non-democratic. It is perhaps at once both
heirarchically dictatorial, and anarchic. Given those premises, you cannot
expect to "democratically govern" the resources in the network. Instead
you have to do your best (if you want the network to grow and succeed) to
participate within that non-demcratic framework to design next-generation
systems that are more inherently democratic, and governable. 

The network architecture defines the politics of the people using it.

On Sat, 19 Jul 1997, Gordon Cook wrote:

> so what are you going to do?  design and build a united nations like
> bureaucracy with proprtional representation from everywhere on earth we
> can have every one debate and come out with a truly "representative"
> solution for ip allocation policy?

My point exactly. My other point being that if you DO want this, you're
not likely to squeeze it out of current IP networking standards. You're
going to need to design that management capability into the network.

On Sat, 19 Jul 1997, Stan Barber wrote:

> It is important to remember that the core technology of the Internet was
> designed to meet millitary objectives, not democratic ones. Careful 
> steps should be used to move from one setup of design objectives to
> another.

Since this is the case, there are some arbitrary decisions that must
be made. At the moment IANA makes most of those, but not before seeking
advice from net.leaders. In the case of ARIN, RFC 1466 states that IANA
has essentially arbitrary power to accept a proposal to start a Registry.
This is built into the design of the network.

The net.leaders at InterNIC RS made a proposal to IANA to form ARIN. IANA
has accepted it, NSF has accepted it. The leaders of ARIN are attempting
to make sure that the individuals and organizations who wish to have a
serious say in IP address allocations have an opportunity to do so, while
not disrupting mission-critical business at hand by doing so. 

If ARIN is not what you want to see, I suggest that you prepare a proposal
that net.leaders are willing to sign on, and present that to IANA. If you
succeed in this, I would bet IANA would listen. 


Rob Nelson
rnelson at