I’ve seen several references to the firm that wants to get rid of net suffixes over the weekend, and at the risk of sounding like a stuffy curmudgeon I have to state my suspicion that it is at least partially attributable to a “slow technews weekend” after the US Thanksgiving. From monday morning’s vantage point this outfit’s 15 seconds of fame have probably already expired.
At first glance I thought this was another doomed protocol to sit on top of the DNS layer like the long defunct Realnames but further reading reveals this to be just another alternate root server initiative.
Whenever these things are brought to my attention I am quick to concede a few points:
- There is nothing revolutionary or innovative about creating an alternative root structure. All it takes is a nameserver. You can load anything you want into your root hints file and then try to convince people to use it.
- The current state of the DNS and the internet naming structure is built entirely on consensus and held together by convention. Thus, it is theoretically possible to alter consensus and change convention.
- There probably exist already “private” roots outside of the legacy namespace which are not visible to the world at large and this is intentional and by design (most VPNs can fit in the category but I suspect there are “pseudo-public” ones. My theoretical example has always posited the existence of a .CDC root for the Cult of the Dead Cow hacker group)
In practical terms, all you have to do is convince every nameserver operator in the world to change their root hints to [insert magic bullet solution to all the world’s naming ills here] and if enough parties do it, absolute chaos will reign supreme until 100% uptake is achieved.
100% uptake will never be achieved. I have a friend who once made an apt analogy: “convince every car owner in the world to change their tires on the same day”.
Thus, the best an alternative root structure can hope to achieve is to cause permanent and lasting damage, to in effect “break the internet”.
If not enough parties do it, it will sink into the internet graveyard where all the other alternative root structures go to die. (It is a place that runs exclusively on IPv8 and INEGroup’s Bindplus software has a de facto monopoly)
People may ask: Would easyDNS “support” these alternative roots? Our reply is that we’ll provide DNS for anything our members want DNS for. If you want to give some company $1000 USD to register “mycompany” as a Top Level Domain in a namespace nobody else on the planet can see, we’ll provide DNS for it on request. It’s your money. (We will caution you up front that this borders on vapourware) but to us it’s just another zone in our nameservers (one that doesn’t get a whole lot of queries).