Root Authority

> From whom do the root nameservers derive their authority?

from me

Sorry Mr Bush. We derive our authority from the old IANA, who
assigned out the exiting roots.


No, that's who *appointed* you. However, you derive your actual
authority from all the hints files that point to you.

Actually from the NS set in the root zone served by the first server in the hints file to respond to a query, and thereafter, as cached records expire, from the nameserver in that NS set that happens to be queried for an update, and responds.

In general, coherent and stable authority results from both the fact that the same NS set for root is carried by all the root servers, and also the fact that hints files don't include the addresses of servers which respond differently.

Coherency in the root's NS set as served by all root nameservers is derived from the replication procedure which distributes a single zone specified by IANA. Coherency in the hints file is derived from the fact that most (all?) DNS server vendors ship with data derived from IANA, combined with the fact that the hints file doesn't change much (and hence rapid field-updates are largely unnecessary).

So, Bill's IANA answer sounds pretty good to me.