Internet Governance

Internet Governance #

  • Motivation: little central coordination between ISPs; everyone makes their own commercial decisions
    • But: other aspects need centralized organization, e.g.
      • DNS and name registration
      • IP and MAC address allocation
      • WHOIS
      • Port numbers
      • Protocol identifiers

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) #

  • Originally: Jon Postel as “czar” of port numbers (RFC 322)
  • Postel’s efforts eventually became Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
    • Became official in ~1988, when DARPA provided funding to USC to maintain functions
    • In 1988, IANA control transferred to ICANN (see DNS notes)
  • ICANN contracts out IANA’s operations to Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) to maintain infrastructure

More on ICANN #

Domain’s and gTLDs #

  • Originally 7 gTLDs (com, org, net, int, edu, gov, mil)
    • net originally used for internet infra operators
    • arpa used for reverse DNS pointer lookups
    • Generic restricted: biz, name, pro for specific purposes
    • Sponsored: aero, asia, jobs, travel for specific industries
  • In 2011, ICANN began selling gTLDs for $185,000

Verisign and .com TLDs #

  • IANA/ICANN doesn’t run TLDs themselves – they approve and delegate control by issuing NS records that point to other providers
  • Historically: SRI and then Network Solutions controlled .com TLD
  • In 2000, Verisign acquired Network Solutions and became .com, .net, .org registry
    • Continues to be provider under ICANN regulation and contract
    • ICANN sets terms such as maximum that Verisign can charge registrars per domain ($8.39 since 2021)

The .org dispute #

  • In 2003, Verisign transferred control of the .org TLD to the Internet Society (ISOC)
    • Widely understood the reason was to financially support ISOC
    • In 2018, PIR (ISOC subsidiary) revenue from .org was over $92M
    • Technically, PIR contracts work out to Afilias, who runs many ccTLDs
  • In 2018, ISOC tried to sell PIR to a private equity firm
    • However, transfer required ICANN’s approval
    • Significant external concern, incl. from California AG’s office
    • ICANN ultimately blocked the transfer

Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and the exhaustion of IPv4 #

  • 5 RIRs:
    • AFRINIC (Africa)
    • APNIC (Asia-Pacific)
    • ARIN (North America)
    • LACNIC (Latin America)
    • RIPE NCC (Europe, former Soviet Bloc, Middle East)
  • In mid-2010s, IANA and subsequently RIRs ran out of all unallocated IPv4 blocks
    • Last was AFRINIC in Sep 2017
    • Partially due to bad early IPv4 allocation decisions, e.g.
      • Stanford (two /8s, much returned by 2000)
      • MIT (sold half of in 2017)
  • IP markets: permissible to transfer ownership (i.e. sell) IP blocks larger than /24
    • Transfers approved by RIRs: ensures that desination organization has good reason for number of IPs purchased
    • Prices increase; as of early 2022 ~$30.00 per IPv4 addresses
    • Example price on /24 for $14,080, /21 for $112,640
    • Attracts investors to squat IP addresses due to prices going up
  • In some regions, ISPs have ran out of IPv4 addresses to assign to end users
    • Indicated by very short DHCP leases, or some ISPs (e.g., mobile) are entirely NATted, so no end users get a public IPv4 address