http://frisket.cstone.net/~jamie/usps.html -- Kristian Koehntopp, Wassilystrasse 30, 24113 Kiel, +49 431 688897 "It was Penguin lust... at its ugliest." -- /usr/games/fortune (on Linux 2.2?)
>From email@example.com Fri Jun 19 08:41:48 1998 Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 01:01:38 -0400 From: Gordon Cook <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Encouraged by IANA while behind closed doors, USPS floats plan to take over the .us TLD
Kahin and IANA support US Postal Service's attempt to offer all Americans an electronic mailbox in the context of continued secrecy by Burr's Task Force and the ITAG
Leaking to the ITU what you don't tell your own citizens.
When on returning from a month in Russia I read the remarkable exchange below between Nick Lordi at Bellcore and Robert Shaw. On June 16th, on DOMAIN-POLICY@lists.internic.net Lordi complained about IANA handling of .dot us: "Why haven't the Administration or IANA shown leadership in addressing the one domain they clearly have under their control, the .US domain?"
Remarkably also on June 16 the ITU's Robert Shaw answered: There is a draft circulating in USG (from a USG person who's working on it) on revamping .us. Whether this draft will be put up for comment by NTIA is not known.
How could it be, I wondered, that Shaw, a non US citizen and agent of the ITU in its announced intention to take over Internet governance, would know about this proposal before the American government told its own citizens?
I started to call my sources from east coast to west. I struck pay dirt in California. The result is a copy published below of the USPS's intentions (with Postel's blessing} to take over the administration of .us. We must ask who in the administration decided to pass out this example of the post office's inane plan to the treaty agency (ITU) which is most hostile to the idea of a self governing Internet and do it before it was shared with US citizens?
Look once more at Shaw's words: There is a draft circulating in USG (from a USG person who's working on it) . . . Could it be any one else other that Brian Kahin whom the Clinton Gore administration brought to washington more than a year ago to "fix" things up? In mid winter Brian was removed from the co-equal role he used to enjoy with Becky Burr and given .us to fix. Well god help us all now that we can see his solution. Further more the pattern of closed door operation that Jon Postel has followed with IAHC and CORE seems to have proved captivating to Kahin.
As I have repeatedly charged, since at least last September Brian and Becky have seemed to think the MOUvement, CORE, Postel etc should be the real leaders of internet governance!! So it would make perfect sense for Brian to leak to Shaw. Because, my goodness, from Brian's legalistic point of view, all the USPS is wanting to do is bring us in line with ITU standards and surely there is nothing wrong with that?
Where is the vaunted openess of the white paper?
In this context, would like to ask what the ITAG is doing? When will it deliver ex cathedra Jon's design for the new IANA Corp? Why has Jon been silent on the white paper proposals that ALL stake holders should sit down and work out their differences. I have seen credible leaks that Jon wishes his followers to boycott the GIAW meeting July 1 & 2. The white paper calls for an open process. Where is ITAG's openness? With the exception of POSSIBLY Steve Wolff, Jon chose old friends and allies who thought as he does about the governance issue. How is such an attitude to bring the necessary change and open up the process?
As has been said on another list, we may consider the white paper a request for a proposal from DOC, DARPA and NSF for a new Internet governance system. In the presence of silence from ITAG we must surmise that the three agencies will get a proposal for a cooperative agreement with IANA bis and will fund it. Such action would repeat the blunder of IAHC. No matter for the Harvard lawyer who, I assert thinks the Internet belongs to the international bureaucrats of the ITU.
The USPS proposal
The USPS power grab is currently under review by the Inter agency DNS task force which unfortunately has declined so far to grant it the open air hearing that they advocate for the IANA corp design. I think that the rest of the net should have the same data that I believe Kahin to have given to the ITU. Therefore I publish it below in all its half baked and ill thought out glory.
monopoly, the proposal makes perfect sense. But gentle readers who among you is ready to give the USPS a key to your electronic mail box? The question becomes who and how the security of traffic is guaranteed. The question is not answered in the draft below.
Perhaps the key question is will use of the USPS dot us addresses to be VOLUNTARY or mandatory? If voluntary will many will use it? .. If mandatory there will be a firestorm of opposition....
But even if use is to be voluntary.....many questions remain and much cost and copmplexity for little return...... I will NOT as a matter of policy give the US Gov't the key to my email box, even if so called security assurances are there.
Who ever has the use of the us domain we must all ask what will the checks and balances of the use of the domain will be. With the proper safe guards to ensure security and political tampering, the availability of a postal service alternative to commercial service might not be totally absurd. On the other hand movement into electronic commerce has never been a key role for the postal service. And the service states its role with the .us domain as being one of establishing the INFRASTRUCTURE of electronic commerce for the nations. Read the draft and decide for yourselves and then ask how IANA COULD PRESUME IN PRIVATE TO MAKE SUCH A CHOICE FOR US ALL?
To: DOMAIN-POLICY@lists.internic.net Subject: .US domain - a no confidence vote for the incumbents Reply-To: email@example.com Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 14:53:40 -0400 From: "Nicholas Lordi Jr" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Why haven't the Administration or IANA shown leadership in addressing the one domain they clearly have under their control, the .US domain ? Are others also disappointed that .US hasn't yet been addressed by IANA or the US governement, even after repeated requests and suggestions ? Why hasn't IANA publicly commented on the IAHC's final recommendations regarding .US ?
If the powers in charge can't reinvent .US to make it more workable, what makes us think they can lead us in sorting out the myriad of issues raised in the white paper ?
Yes, I know there are more important and pressing problems than the .US domain but recall that the .US domain has been under the control and direction of IANA / ISI and the US government for years without any proactive action being taken to address issues raised regarding the .US domain.
This does not, in my opinion, instill confidence in a new non-profit organization which takes its roots from IANA to effectively take on the business and stakeholder issues raised in the white paper regarding gTLDs.
And lets not forget the US government, which has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring we have a useable .US domain.
(speaking only on behalf of myself)
In the Administration's June 5, 1998 Statement of Policy regarding the Management of Internet Names and Addresses, item 13 addresses the .US domain, to which the Administration's response was:
Clearly, there is much opportunity for enhancing the .US domain space, and .US could be expanded in many ways without displacing the current structure. Over the next few months, the U.S. Government will work with the private sector and state and local governments to determine how best to make the .US domain more attractive to commercial users. Accordingly, the Department of Commerce will seek public input on this important issue
Three sentences, thats it ?
FWIW, something's wrong here when I can say Jim Fleming takes the time and comes up with discussable options regarding the .US domain while IANA and the US government haven't proposed anything.
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 15:25:17 +0200 Subject: Re: .US domain - a no confidence vote for the incumbents From: Robert Shaw <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org cc: DOMAIN-POLICY@lists.internic.net
Nicholas Lordi Jr wrote:
> Why haven't the Administration or IANA shown leadership in addressing the > one domain they clearly have under their control, the .US domain ?
There is a draft circulating in USG (from a USG person who's working on it) on revamping .us. Whether this draft will be put up for comment by NTIA is not known.
Robert Shaw <email@example.com> Advisor, Global Information Infrastructure International Telecommunication Union <http://www.itu.int> Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
>From our California source.
USPS Coordination of the .us Domain
May 8, 1998
Building on its legislative mandate to offer universal delivery while promoting commercial infrastructure development, the United States Postal Service (USPS) proposes to coordinate the development of the .us domain as a national addressing infrastructure. This coordinated framework for addressing will efficiently link physical and virtual space and accelerate and universalize the growth of electronic commerce.
The Postal Service is working with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on the mapping of .us locality addresses to the postal address database. These street-level addresses under .us will provide a privacy-protected space which will allow US residents to define their own terms for electronic communications. In the interest of initiating widespread personal and commercial use of .us, the Postal Service is willing to commit additional resources to: _ engage the private sector in the development of credentialed, commerce-enabling space under .us _ promote classified business addressing under .us at local, state, and national levels as an open reference for public and private delivery systems and competing directory services _ manage an open policy process to develop policies for expanding the .us domain _ work toward the establishment of a governance structure that will represent the diversity of stakeholder interests - private, nonprofit, and public - in a fully developed .us domain space
To these ends, the Postal Service specifically proposes to support the following functions:
Current registry operations: Initially, provide funding for the IANA to continue its current operation of the .us TLD under contract to the USPS. With IANA, develop a transition plan that ensures a seamless and transparent continuation of existing DNS services within the .us TLD.
Geopolitical addressing system: Refine conventions for Internet addressing of public agencies at the federal, state and local levels. Reassess the present system of private registrars.
Second-level domain name structures: Seek input from Internet users regarding the creation of additional second-level domain name structures within the .us space, such as industry-sector/trademark-oriented structures or affinity group names. Explore options for delegating second-level domains to appropriate private-sector organizations.
Policy development: Observe federal formalities to ensure that all stakeholders have an opportunity to participate. Establish advisory committees and work towards participatory governance.
A National Addressing Infrastructure
Unique among national Top-Level Domains, the geopolitical structure of .us has been populated largely by public agencies rather than private users. Ironically, the absence of unstructured commercial space under .us has preserved an opportunity to develop and exploit an ordered and secure space quite distinct from the flat, unstructured space of .com and other TLDs.
Instead of simply serving as a mnemonic link to a company or product, domain names can serve a range of functions. A mail or server address in .us can provide assurance that a user is in fact physically within the United States. An address can represent that the site sells cars. It can be used to certify that its owner is a doctor, lawyer, or accountant in good standing. It can signify membership in the Better Business Bureau or warrant adherence to a code of privacy practice. It can bind the identity of a person with a certain level of confidence or subject to specified conditions.
While the Postal Service is uniquely positioned to perform some of these functions, it is also uniquely able to initiate an addressing infrastructure open to development and use by a wide variety of private-sector companies, associations, and nonprofit organizations. As it is, the .us space lacks recognition as a commercial domain. The Postal Service can serve as an administrator for .us, bringing legitimacy, leverage, and scale to elicit investment by others and achieve critical mass.
The Postal Service can brand .us as the universal domain for the United States by linking physical addresses and electronic addresses through residential and business .us addresses. Services designed to link electronic input to physical mail delivery are already being tested by the Postal Service. The Postal Service can combine legal protections and technology to ensure that users will be able to control the flow of commercial communications through a protected address. Having a secure address space will ease customers' concerns about privacy and security thus promoting more rapid acceptance of electronic commerce.
The Postal Service processes 40 million requests for change of address from individuals, households, and businesses each year. This forwarding service has been expanded through a web site, MoversNet (http://www.usps.gov/moversnet/). Once security features have been added, the MoversNet site will enable customers to receive a .us address equivalent to their new physical address and choose among a variety of options for personal identification and attribution, controlled forwarding of information (from the .us address to existing email accounts) from government agencies and businesses at the new location, and new services offered by private sector firms such as electronic bill presentation and payment.
The Postal Service could also assist in the development of classified domains into which businesses would voluntarily register and help make sure that similar classification practices apply at local, state, national, and international levels. Such classified domains could help mitigate the trademark problems that have been experienced in generic top- level domains. The Postal Service does not intend to enter the directory business but would be willing to engage the private sector in developing the classification system as well as policies for usage, delegation, and self-governance. Private directory publishers would have access to the classification system and associated databases and would build value-added directories on top of them.
The US Postal Service is uniquely suited to coordinate the development of .us by virtue of its scale, universal reach and international relationships, its experience in policy formulation and implementation under public scrutiny, and its historic role in stimulating infrastructure investment. Its mandate to provide secure, private and universal access to personal and business correspondences and transactions enables it to administer a secure universal electronic address system within the .us space tied to the universal physical address system it maintains for all households, businesses, non-profit organizations and government entities in the U.S.
The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 defines the mission of the USPS "to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people." The Act further requires that the Postal Service offer services to every patron and every community within the United States. Throughout its history, the Postal Service has played a pivotal role in supporting the development of the infrastructure required to ensure universal delivery - from the development of post roads in the 18th Century to support for the aviation industry in this Century. Today, the Postal Service is the only organization that regularly serves every individual and business in the country by delivering 190 billion correspondences each year to every household and business in America.
Trusted Public Agent
As an independent establishment of the federal government, the USPS is owned by the people of the United States. It operates on a break-even basis, not for profit. It is subject to sunshine laws that require that its policies and strategies be shared with its stakeholders, the American public. The Federal Register Notice process provides an official vehicle for seeking comment from stakeholders regarding proposed USPS activities. Policies refined through this process have the force of law, publicly and legally binding the Postal Service to perform the activities defined in the Notice.
As its mandate requires, the Postal Service has, throughout its history, vigilantly protected both the privacy of correspondences sent through the mail and the security of the mailboxes and post office boxes where these correspondences are delivered. As a federal entity, the Postal Service is also subject to the Privacy Act which requires that all customer records held by the institution be kept secure and private.
Role of the Inspection Service
The Postal Inspection Service investigates crimes under a variety of criminal statutes. This dedicated group of law enforcement personnel provides an important practical advantage in the investigation of crimes designed to undermine the integrity of postal systems. The Postal Inspection Service has an active and experienced computer forensic group to investigate and prosecute computer crimes. This technical expertise has been used extensively in investigations in which computers were used, including investigations involving activities on the Internet.
Address Management Expertise
The Postal Service's address management group manages the largest and most accurate physical address database in the world, maintaining 137 million addresses and processing address changes for 40 million households and businesses each year. The Postal Service works with the mailing industry to offer a number of electronic address information services to its customers. These systems, such as the Coding Accuracy Support System and the POSTNET Barcode Quality Certification process, allow the Postal Service to work with certified private sector providers to extend the reach of its address services. This certification process will be a valuable mechanism for ensuring broad involvement of private sector firms in the management of the .us domain space. Coordinating the physical address system and the .us domain space will enable the Postal Service to cross-link physical and electronic addresses in a manner that ensures the privacy of the parties involved. involved.
Information Systems Expertise
The Postal Service currently manages a large information systems network. The USPS manages a class A license for IP addresses (56.X.X.X). Within the internal USPS network are 15 autonomous systems, with 16 areas each, which provide service to up to 34,000 local area networks. When fully deployed, the USPS internal network will provide TCP/IP connectivity to over 150,000 individual networked devices. Within the usps.gov second level domain, the USPS has one primary and sixteen secondary domain name servers which currently handle over 125,000 individual host names. Because of the high bandwidth demands of the digital image traffic used in mail sorting, USPS networks have a total capacity equivalent to over 700 T1 lines. Firewalls between the USPS intranet and the public Internet handle 1.5 million transactions per day at a peak rate of 140,000 transactions per hour, exchanging 14 GB of data in the form of web pages and files. In addition, the USPS, as a non-profit government enterprise, is able to obtain the best technical expertise available from private industry through consulting and contracting arrangements. The USPS organizational structure and supplier sourcing agreements currently in place can provide services within the existing .us TLD, and will scale readily to handle any growth in future demands.
The United States Postal Service, the world's largest address manager and a public agency sensitive to policy concerns, is prepared to commit substantial resources to accelerate the development of .us as an enabling framework for electronic commerce.
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