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Signposts in Cyberspace: The Domain Name System and Internet Navigation
This chapter is a guide to the principal institutional issues that have already or can soon be expected to come to the fore. For each institutional issue, the principal alternatives that have been publicly identified are summarized, and the alternatives are compared. Where the committee is in agreement, its conclusions and recommendations are presented. In all cases, the intent is to provide a clear description of the alternatives and the arguments for and against them as background for current and future policy deliberations.
Some of the issues, such as ICANN’s management structure, may appear to be resolved for the time being. In the committee’s view, understanding the conflicting proposals that preceded the present resolution illuminates the pressures that remain in the background and that may, in the future, force the issue once again onto the policy agenda.
The following issues are addressed in this chapter:
Governance of the DNS. How should the DNS be governed? What should be the role of the U.S. government, international organizations, and ICANN?
Management of the DNS. What changes in ICANN, if any, are appropriate?
Oversight and operation of root name servers. Is there a need for greater oversight of the root name server operators? If so, how might it best be conducted?
Regulation of generic top-level domains (gTLDs): number and process. Can and should new gTLDs be added? If so, how many new gTLDs should be added, and how fast? What types should they be, and how should they and their operators be selected?
Oversight of country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Should anything be done to increase ICANN’s oversight of and authority over the ccTLDs? If so, what form should its increased authority take, and how can it be implemented?
Resolution of conflicts over domain names. Does the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Process (UDRP) need to be improved? If so, how should it be improved?
Provision and protection of Whois data. What is the appropriate balance among the various interests in Whois data?
In contrast to most of the other chapters in this report, this one deals with issues for which opinion and values play a significant role. Consequently, many of the citations and references are to advocacy documents, not to peer-reviewed scientific or technical papers. These references serve as pointers to places where the proposals being summarized were presented. When there were multiple similar proposals, one or two have been