[NA-Discuss] On the cost of application, and Joint Application Support related

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Mon Apr 4 16:03:05 UTC 2011

Hi Eric,

On 4 April 2011 09:14, Eric Brunner-Williams <ebw at abenaki.wabanaki.net>wrote:

The impossibility of the ALAC advancing a coherent position which
> advances the public interest is demonstrated by individuals who are
> overtly destructive to applicants those individuals deem lacking the
> capacity to meet a requirement which they advocate and cannot justify
> except through appeal to externalities, and by individuals who are
> covertly destructive to applicants through the advocacy of regimes of
> resources starvation.

While I agree with in in some areas, it's not helpful to personalise things.

Given our limited human resources, ICANN At-Large has to rely on the people
who step forward to help and to wordsmith. The need for broadly-based
assistance to do such a time-consuming task is the reason ALAC has working
groups (that are open to all ALS and NARALO individual members, not just
ALAC members).

If you don't like what's there, contribute to the process. I can understand
characterising ideas as destructive, but referring to *people* as
destructive is a nasty accusation bordering on abuse -- is it really
warranted here? Please remember that ALAC operates globally, and outside
this North American sandbox you've chosen your tone is extremely uncollegial
to say the least. Is your goal confrontation and alienation -- or a useful
global At-Large consensus that can benefit from the depth of your

If you truly believe the existing policy to be destructive to the public
good, that's a serious issue that I want to confront and address directly.
But let's do this in a way that attempts to educate your opponents rather
than insult or bully them.

> I hope this answers your concerns.

> Only in part. The indifference to applicant cost, and to operational
> utility, of a At Large RO contributor, and the non-responsiveness of that
> contributor, as a contributor to an At Large consensus based activity, raise
> both substance and process issues.

We work with the people who step forward. That kind of human resource
dependency is common to most volunteer orgs with which I've ever worked.
Actively participating in working groups during the formative stages of
policy development is always preferable to staying outside the process and
then complaining that the finished product doesn't reflect your contrary

The contributor is non-responsive because you've addressed him in a forum to
which he doesn't belong. Surely you've been around ICANN and At-Large long
enough to understand the basic courtesies of speaking *to* people rather
than *at* them.

> Make no mistake, when I observed cache poisoning demonstrated in a small
> meeting of DNS people at the Dublin IETF meeting in under 3 seconds, I fully
> understood that the economics of attack had changed. However, attack has not
> become "free" and therefore not pervasive, and rational attackers rationally
> target, and zones for which less financial, or political benefit exists have
> less risk.

Eric, your depth in this field is quite amazing -- and potentially
invaluable to the process of At-Large policy development. It certainly is at
a level that sometimes makes my dizzy (which also suggests that we have a
task in making your points more accessible to the casual Internet end user).
But for that to happen you need to meet some of the other policy developers
part-way. You don't have to be buddies with everyone, but please try to be
less antagonistic.

Now... some of the frustration you have is quite understandable. The
shortage of support staff has made it difficult to let At-Large members know
what the various policy working groups have on their plates at any given
time. But, again, you should be aware enough of this process to at least
know who to ask.

> Zones which exist for the purposes of sustained financial transaction
> are worth signing. Zones which exist for the purposes of Pay Per Click
> advertizing inventory disposal are not worth signing. Signing .mil may
> have some operational utility. The operational utility of signing
> .museum, other than the benefit to the community of a first gTLD
> implementer experience(*) is far more conjectural.


> It is less than sufficient to comment, when the DAG has "DNSSEC is
> mandatory to implement", that "operators are encouraged to deploy
> DNSSEC from day one". The correct comment is "advised only when the
> utility of zone signing and key management justifies the cost, as with
> all other engineering choices".

That's quite reasonable. Making DNSSEC required where it's not necessary may
be an unfair indirect barrier to entry for some.

Patrick, is there a reason NOT to modify our position this way?

And Eric, I suggest that if you actually want maximum impact for your
well-grounded positions, I suggest you re-consider your choices of sandboxes
in which to debate them as well as the tone of your argument. These are not
North-America-only issues. Either the working group or the global ALAC list
would have been a far more suitable venue for this debate. The only time IMO
that NARALO-specific discussions on global policy is warranted is when
ESTABLISHED policy of ALAC runs counter to the opinion of NARALO, sufficient
to justify a minority statement. But before the ALAC policy is set in stone
it's inappropriate to limit debate on a per-region basis, IMO.

I agree with your points, but would like to hear Parick's answer. Let's
please keep this debate as productive as possible, if the goal is to make
public-interest policy rather than publicly embarrass people.

- Evan

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