[IANAtransition] [IANAxfer] DMARC snafu as a wake-up call

Alejandro Pisanty apisanty at gmail.com
Sat Apr 12 19:37:58 UTC 2014


indeed it seems that the Yahoo! action on DMARC which is causing some
damage will not have long legs. While the case has to be observed as it
evolves, a likely outcome may be that Yahoo! will either fine-tune or
retract this operation. If the size of their user base were to turn out
overwhelming (doesn't seem so), others would have to adapt; but again, the
likely outcome is a Yahoo! correction.

Miles, on your question of what this may mean for Internet governance more
broadly: what could be done otherwise? What structures or mechanisms would
need to exist and act? Looks like the options would be for all major email
providers to agree among themselves on how to operate - open to collusion
accusations - or even worse, have a framework for agreements between these
providers and ISPs. Not multistakeholder...

Or would we want to have a framework in which they all have to go to a
higher regultatory authority for pre-authorization before starting
operations? Really?

"Yahoo! breaks email lists" viralized in the way "United breaks guitars"
was a few years ago seems more the way to go. True, "name and shame" is a
form of Mediaeval punishment, justice by own hand without due process that
can lead to cruel and extraordinary punishment, but as said, more likely to
lead to the market response stated in the first paragraph above.

And, let's not be shy... one in a million messages in these lists may be
allowed to deviate from ICANN/IANA if it serves to create a framework. 1Net
would be more appropriate but the chances there are even less.


Alejandro Pisanty

On Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 8:08 AM, Vint Cerf <vint at google.com> wrote:

> i wonder whether Yahoo's action, causing so much pain, will ultimately
> have the effect of a self-inflicted wound?
> v
> On Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 9:06 AM, Miles Fidelman <
> mfidelman at meetinghouse.net> wrote:
>> Folks,
>> Maybe this is a little off-topic, but it strikes me that recent events -
>> notably "Yahoo breaks every mailing list in the world including the IETF's"
>> (http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ietf/current/msg87153.html)
>> highlights a really big pitfall of a purely consensus process of Internet
>> governance - i.e., one large bad actor can do tremendous damage,
>> particularly if a couple more go along with it.  (Speaking as one who
>> manages a couple of dozen email lists - I'm tearing my hair out right now
>> dealing with the damage).
>> As it relates to the issue at hand:  We all know the kinds of things that
>> go wrong with various parts of DNS and other things that rely on Internet
>> numbering - when everyone is behaving properly.  Things could go very, very
>> badly if one of the core actors (like IANA, or the operator of one of the
>> root nameservers, or a registry) decided to make an arbitrary change to how
>> they do things, or simply got lazy.
>> So far, the process has been working pretty well - the Internet keeps
>> growing and functioning - through a combination of billions of people, and
>> millions of organizations that "play nice with each other," some core
>> institutions that operate through consensus, and a tiny amount of oversight
>> and accountability (via the NTIA contract) that has never really been
>> exercised (or had to be exercised).  As close as anybody has come to
>> exercising even the threat of punitive measures was when ICANN's contract
>> came up for renewal.
>> It strikes me that the current system of checks and balances pretty much
>> works - but.... the current snafu with Yahoo and DMARC seems to highlight
>> what can go wrong when those checks and balances fail. Seems like a lesson
>> to keep in mind as we think about NTIA, ICANN, and IANA.
>> (And..... If anybody has some thoughts about an appropriate "Internet
>> Governance" response to the Yahoo/DMARC debacle, that would be both
>> illustrative to the current situation, and immediately helpful.  At least
>> it strikes me that when a large actor, puts a protocol into production,
>> that is nothing more than an informational internet-draft, not even an RFC,
>> and wreaks wide-spread damage - that seems to merit some kind of
>> institutional response with teeth.)
>> Miles Fidelman
>> --
>> In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
>> In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra
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>> https://elists.isoc.org/mailman/listinfo/ianaxfer
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     Dr. Alejandro Pisanty
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