P2P and the Future of DNS

Jim Gallagher, Ackme

Track: Technical Track
Date: Thursday, February 15
Time: 2:45pm - 3:15pm
Location: Georgian Room

First, a short history (mostly derived from RFCs) of DNS, which started as a way to organize nicknames. Then a history of its development through DARPA, ARPA, NSF, NIC, the NSI and ICANN, including the objections and attempted rebellion of John Postel on the day he turned off the root server. Then a list of some of the horrors (as I see them) of the DNS system in its current form: charges of trademark and copyright infrigement, ICANN screwups, registration nightmares, WIPO suits, Madonna, Guinness, etc.

Then a parallel look at things like AOL, IM, Napster, IRC, Gnutella, Freenet, and Publius. Also, a look at semi-anonymous services like Hotmail and Geocities and how they influenced the growth of content without impacted DNS at all.

Finally, a look at the future and where the entire "domain name system" is and is headed. Are we returning to the nickname based net of the early days? Will P2P eliminate the need for domain names and even static IPs? What about DHCP and IPv6? At this point the talk will be more of an attempt to crack open the possibilities of the P2P net and find a place for traditional DNS as the haven of "established, traditional" corporate entities. Of course, there will always be a place for P2P, but it seems to have been hopelessly outmoded for most (especially anonymous, like Freenet) P2P protocols and users.