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RE: Statement of TLD Delegation Practices
Comments on the MAY 1999 ICANN/IANA Internet Domain Name System Structure
and Delegation document.
The document is a summary of current practices of the IANA in administering
RFC 1591, and includes the guidance contained in ccTLD News Memo #1 of 1997.
The relevance to Tribal Governments and Tribal ISPs is that this text and the
text it incorporates by reference, "How to get a country name into ISO 3166-1"
by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency (DIN), have been employed to prevent, since
1992, the creation of a TLD for any Indigenous Group. We will discuss the sole
apparent exception, the .GR (Greenland Home Rule) TLD to this general rule.
The 3166/MA applies the following tests for candidate extentions to the table:
I. The area name for which the inclusion in ISO 3166-1 is requested
represents an area which is physically separated from its parent
country. Dependent areas directly bordering on the parent country
cannot be included in ISO 3166-1.
III. A request for the inclusion of a country name (or the name of
a dependent area) in ISO 3166-1 must originate from the national
government of the country or from the national standards body of that
country. The ISO 3166/MA rejects any request which is not accompanied
by a written statement from the national goverment explicitly agreeing
to and supporting the request.
The first test ensures that the "Blue Water Thesis", a limit on the scope of
decolonization procedures required by the UN Charter which was advocated by
the United States and Canada and in 1966 became General Assembly Resolution
1541, is construed in the usual sense: to be eligible for inscription as
non-self-governing territories, colonies must be separated from colonizing
powers by at least 30 miles of open ocean. This test, were it to have been a
part of the International Law System 25 years prior, would negate the claim
that Germany colonized contiguous Poland during the Second World War, or that
the Poles possessed a legal right to decolonization. The text which would
under the International System were the "Blue Water" test in GAR 1541
are Articles 73 and 74, entitled "Declaration regarding Non-Self-Governing
Territories", of Chapter XI of the Charter of the United Nations, attached as
an appendix to this comment.
Greenland, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, etcetera, all clearly fall outside the
limiting scope of GAR 1541. The Vatican State and other Statelets do not, but
these were not the targets of National Liberation Movements in the 1960's.
In the present, since 1992, The Six Nations, the Blackfoot Confederacy, the
Wabenaki Confederacy, all Jay Treaty Nations under the joint colonial trusts
of the United States and Canada, and the Navajo Nation and others under the
sole colonial trust of the United States, have all attempted to obtain access
to the Domain Name System as Soverign States. None has suceeded. Each has had
to pick among several alternatives -- pretend to be a municipal govenment in a
fictive State (the .NSN.US model), pretend to be a non-profit, or a for-profit
business or ISP that just happens to be run by Indians, frequently under an
alias as cybersquatting on Indian Tribal Identity is a cottage industry
encouraged by the Registrar of the Generic TLDs, move "off-shore", or defer on
accessing the net as a Government.
At no point in this near-decade long attempt to introduce rational access
DNS have the Governments of Canada or the United States taken cognizance of
attempts, and neither has ever explicitly agreed to supporting such a request.
We do not anticipate that either State will ever do so, nor ever support the
expiration of GAR 1541 and expose themselves to criticism as Colonial States.
An irony of the "end of the Cold War" is that Indians are the last victims of
the rhetorical finger pointing and moral grandstanding of the Nuclear Weapons
States. To prevent the Soviets from scoring anti-capitalist, decolonial points
in a war now entering its second decade of defunctness, the status of
the Americas had to be taken off the table for legitimate and polite
Within the DNS, this situation has no mechanism for change if the IANA
to stay "out of the business of deciding who is or isn't a State", and instead
lets another agency impose the outdated construction of GAR 1541 on
The ICANN/IANA needs to find another solution to the problems of TLD
and in the very near future. The problem is not unique to the North Americas,
it is present throughout the Americas, Oceania, Africa, Asia, and even in
The DNS need not render "Stateless" every person who's primary social identity
is not presently recognized as a "State" within the International System.
is no necessity, and no compelling utility argument to be made for the
of access to the namespace of the Internet by legitimate governments.
The issue has been widely discussed in several indigenous or
mailing lists over the past several years, was the subject of a resolution by
the National Congress of American Indians two years ago, and will be the
of a Resolution and an Action Plan for the joint NCAI/AFN Summit this
is time to resolve this problem.
Questions from the ICANN/IANA board on the subject may be addressed to any
persons cc'd in this comment, or to myself. The NetRez, TribalLaw,
Native-Telecom, Indigneous Peoples Coalition on Biopiracy, and the
lists are blind cc'd, and their subscribers may comment directly to ICANN
subject by sending mail to email@example.com. I encourage them to do so,
make the opportunity to comment on the application of the "Blue Water
the Domain Name System available to others.
Alan Mandell, John Cristescu, and I are in the process of constructing a
and hereby submit a request for the creation of a "North American
with the TLA "NAA", as an action item for the Names Council, or IANA.
Organizer of the (Indigenous) Intellectual Property Constituency
Article 73, contains instructions to States which exercise Trust authority
the UN Charter, specifically:
a. to ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples concerned,
their political, economic, social, and educational advancement, their
just treatment, and their protection against abuses;
b. to develop self-government, to take due account of the political
aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive
development of their free political institutions, according to the
particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and their
varying stages of advancement;
d. to promote constructive measures of development, to encourage
research,and to co-operate with one another and, when and where
appropriate, with specialized international bodies with a view to
the practical achievement of the social, economic, and scientific
purposes set forth in this Article;
Article 74 further instructs States which exercise Trust authority on the
specific issue of policies outside the metropolitian areas:
Members of the United Nations also agree that their policy in respect
of the territories to which this Chapter applies, no less than in
respect of their metropolitan areas, must be based on the general
principle of good-neighbourliness, due account being taken of the
interests and well-being of the rest of the world, in social, economic,
and commercial matters.