"Reporting to God"

This is from the ITU newslog ..

The Economist once said: "if the Net does have a God, he is probably Jon Postel."
David Maher, Senior Vice President, Law and Policy at PIR has published his
memoirs of the early day attempts to revamp the internet's domain name system,
which he has entitled Reporting to God. Ten years later, it appears that decisions
surrounding the DNS remain as equally controversial as in the mid-1990's.

The Dave Maher memoirs are at

Also links to an old, deja vu inducing Economist article, posted on
the IP list - interesting-people.org - Informationen zum Thema interesting people.


very interesting suresh.

I read it and it does provide confirmations from my point of view on some things that I had only suspected.

The most significant was that IBM and ATT were the corps that had gotten their hooks into Magaziner.... This happened between sept and december 1996. That action had other IMPORTANT fall out - namely it cancelled the very carefully laid plans of the NSF to declare the network solutions cooperative agreement done a year early. had that happened the feds would have lost whatever control they had. (I published an issue on april 1, 1997 saying what the feds had done to the NSF. I got email congratulating me on a brilliant april fools day issue. Unfortunately it was true.... and not an april fools day joke.) Maher is also dead wrong on his insinuations about the NSF doing backroom deals with SAIC and the USF gov't on charging for domain names. I don't like SAIC any more than Maher but again I have documented from the direct sources involved at NSF that they could not have done otherwise than what they did.

A Maher does lift the curtain on what his trademark folk did and that is useful - confirming a bunch of what a lot of use who were not in THOSE rooms suspected. I hear that ken cukier is working on a definitive history of this - it needs to be written for sure. the consequences of what happened a decade ago have not yet fully played out and there was a lot more going on than just trademark. The most important thing from my point of view to the kuallumpur meeting that maher mentions is that ARIN was announced to the world by jon postel. Magaziner had hammered THAT out at a meeting of the FNC in washington a couple of weeks earlier.

anyway i have other things to do that rehash old history - but thanks for pointing this out. Maher does offer an interesting perspective that makes sense (from his point of view at least.)

Suresh Ramasubramanian wrote:


The Dave Maher memoirs are at

thanks for the heads up, Suresh. I was amused to note Maher's first
read of Wired was of the same issue I first read, 2.10 - I remember
being especially tickled Quittner's tale [1] of mcdonalds.com and
wondering why no-one else had noticed. Ah, innocent days.

[1] Billions Registered | WIRED