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[ NNSquad ] Announcing Project IDONS: Internet Distributed Open Name System

       Announcing Project IDONS: Internet Distributed Open Name System


Greetings.  As regular readers know, I am a vocal critic of ICANN's
plan for a massive expansion of new Top Level Domains (TLDs), and of
the increasing abuse of the domain name system both for the profit of
the "domain-industrial complex" and for Internet censorship and
control purposes -- among other related concerns ( http://bit.ly/dh6zOf ).

Recently, in "Take a Tiny First Step Toward Controlling Your Internet
Addressing Destiny" ( http://bit.ly/9MJiOf ), I noted:

   "An alternative Internet name to address mapping system -- fully
    distributed, open source, fault-tolerant, secure, flexible, and
    not subject to centralized constraints, meddling, and censorship
    -- will take significant time to develop, and a long transition
    period for deployment."

And I asked readers to take part in some initial experimental
activities (thanks to all who responded).

What I didn't say then -- in the hope of having this project a bit
farther along before any public announcements -- is that I've been
talking to my colleagues and others about this issue for quite some
time, and I believe it's fair to say that we've agreed that it is not
only necessary to move beyond the current DNS and naming environment,
but that such a project is entirely practical -- if managed in an
organized and reasonable manner.

Ad hoc attempts to bypass the existing system -- such as those newly
proposed by Pirate Bay ( http://bit.ly/hOZcvd [ars technica] ) -- are
likely to create fragmentation and confusion, and therefore ironically
tend to further entrench the existing system.

But, even though it may seem on its face like suggesting that the
electric grid move from A.C. to D.C. throughout, a fundamental
evolution in the way that we handle names and addresses on the
Internet is an idea whose time has come.

The scope of the project on which I've been working, which I call
IDONS - Internet Distributed Open Name System -- is in early stages,
but would ultimately be significant both in terms of technology and
time.  It may perhaps be reasonably compared with the scale of IPv6
deployment in some ways.

For reference only, since working documents have evolved beyond this,
the original set of objectives for IDONS included:

 - Fully distributed

 - No centralized control

 - Fault tolerant

 - Open source

 - All communications encrypted

 - Local databases optionally encrypted

 - Extensible and expandable to any foreseeable size and loads

 - Finite, deterministic time for "settlement" of new name/identifier
   registration requests across the entire IDONS space

 - Gateways during extended transition phase for interoperation with
   non-upgraded network segments, clients, etc.

 - Decoupling of locally-defined (e.g. human-meaningful) names and
   related addressing elements (aliases, etc.), from actual "random
   string" network identifier objects and constructs

 - Minimal constraints on name selections and changes

 - No central registries

 - No registrars

 - No fees nor charges necessary for any name or address operations
   across IDONS

There's a whole lot more involved of course -- both technical and
nontechnical.  Nor do I believe that such a project can succeed with
serious community support and significant funding.  Like I said above,
ad hoc won't fly for this.

Enough for now.

Interested parties are invited to contact:



Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com)
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
Co-Founder, PFIR (People For Internet Responsibility): http://www.pfir.org
Founder, NNSquad (Network Neutrality Squad): http://www.nnsquad.org
Founder, GCTIP (Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance): 
Founder, PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein
Google Buzz: http://bit.ly/lauren-buzz