Cesidian Root DNS technicians successfully divide the Internet version of the Southern Ocean


On 4 July 2008, the Cesidian Root activated a new .CW top-level domain (TLD) for the Commonwealth of Nations. With the creation of this new TLD, suddenly domains like ca.cw, au.cw, nz.cw, and uk.cw, domains representing Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom respectively, started working in the Cesidian Root.

In 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was created, and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US Department of Commerce. This MoU covered the move of IP address and domain management from the US Government to the private sector. This MoU called for the US Government and the ICANN to jointly design the transition of IP address and root server management from the US Government to the private sector. Finally, part of this MoU called for substantial input and authority to rest with the Internet community.

Almost immediately, the ICANN strayed far away from the letter and spirit of the MoU. The ICANN was captured by a group of entities whose narrow special interests do not match those of the Internet community as a whole, and so today it is controlled by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and compa- nies such as Verisign, Afilias, and NeuStar.

It would be nice if the ICANN respected TLD holders already in operation outside the legacy, US Government, or default global root, since it is charged with preserving the stability of the Internet, but the ICANN has never avoided TLD name collisions. In fact, the ICANN created the biggest collision in Internet history when it created a colliding version of the .BIZ TLD.

On 20 December 2010, and following a decision by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency to allocate CW as the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for Curaçao, the .CW ccTLD was created by the ICANN. Since then, this has created potential collisions between the Cesidian Root and ICANN versions of the .CW.

On 18 March 2012, the Cesidian Root tried to solve the problem by separating the Cesidian Root and ICANN versions of the .CW with domain-specific forwarders for all Cesidian Root domains. This allowed for the resolution of both Cesidian Root and ICANN .CW domains without collision, but the solution was still problematic, because it required constant updates by all Cesidian Root Admins, and adding to the complexity and logistics of the problem, these Admins don't all use the same server operating systems.

On 12 June 2012, the Cesidian Root started working in the direction of a solution to the problem when it selectively took over certain domains within the .TF ccTLD.

Finally, on 18 June 2012, Cesidian Root DNS technicians successfully divided the Internet version of the Southern Ocean, the .AQ or Antarctica ccTLD! The big problem Cesidian Root officers experienced prior to this date was that shared TLD zones weren't controllable. In BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain), there is no capability for a wildcard character in front of the "dot" when it comes to listing NS (name server) records. Without this capability, Cesidian Root officers really had no control of their NS records.

Now the Cesidian Root can act like the director of an orchestra not just with different TLDs being managed by single TLD sponsoring organisations, and within the same root server system; not just with single TLDs in different root server systems; but the Cesidian Root can act like the director of an orchestra also with single TLDs shared by two or more TLD sponsoring organisations, and/or root server systems. This means that single TLDs do not have to have a single TLD sponsoring organisation anymore, and multiple TLD sponsoring organisations can exist within the same root for the same TLD, or even in different root server systems. It is akin to the director of an orchestra somehow directing many different orchestras, on different continents, and through a satellite system!

This technical development also means that Mott and Associates of Auckland, New Zealand, is no longer the only TLD sponsoring organisation for the .AQ TLD, and even nations that completely reject the Antarctic Treaty, such as members of the Anti-Antarctic Treaty System (AATS); even non-UN member nations; even nations which do not have a physical presence in Antarctica; can still register working domains in the Cesidian Root under the .AQ ccTLD.

The Cesidian Root currently has two distinct domains in the .AQ ccTLD: the aats.aq and tf.aq domains, which are Antarctica-related. In the future, we plan on using the TLD also for aquatic or water issues; for air quality issues; for the sign of Aquarius, or the field of astrology in general; and/or for the historical "sixth part of the world" or the political Fifth World.

Internet pioneer Louis Pouzin has stated, "A coordinated approach with ICANN could be suggested. Personally I cannot think it would work, due to its monopo-listic and unilateral culture." Well, the Cesidian Root is evolving into the global DNS root server system the ICANN will never be: a multicultural, multilinguistic, and heterogeneous system where all groups can coexist with an amazing degree of freedom and tolerance.