The U.S. Commerce Department used its presence at a French conference on the “Internet of things” to announce that it will hold a public consultation on the different proposals to cryptographically sign the DNS root zone file, and determine who will hold the root zone trust anchor for global DNSSEC implementation. The call for public comment will be released later this week. (UPDATE: The official Notice of Inquiry has now been published.) The announcement was made by NTIA's Meredith Attwell Baker, who encouraged other governments to participate in the domestic US proceeding. The announcement occurred after NTIA prevented ICANN, the supposedly independent, global, “bottom up” administrator of the DNS, to hold its own public consultation. Also, DoC says it is awaiting a proposal from ICANN regarding “automation” (i.e., EIANA) of certain root functions. ICANN's Paul Twomey, who was on the same panel, declined comment on anything NTIA said; apparently the gag order still holds.

2 thoughts on “Commerce Department asks the world to comment on its plans to retain control of the root

  1. Choosing VeriSign to sign the root now means long term US govt control of the root as a whole
    VeriSign is under a separate direct contract with the US government with no requirements for involving the public. While public participation is integral to the IANA Function. If VeriSign signs the root as part of this separate contract with the US govt, security and stability arguments will be used to never allow the signing – and therefore the editing and distribution functions – to ever leave VeriSign and tight US govt control.
    Without comments to the NOI from international stakeholders saying no to VeriSign signing the root, US governmental control will be further consolidated (edit,sign and distribute) in an entity that has responsibility only to its employer and nothing to the public.

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