Green Paper

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The Green Paper, formally titled "A Proposal to Improve the Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses," was released by the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) in the Federal Register on February 20, 1998. It called for the creation of a new non-profit corporation to take over the management of the DNS. It also proposes competition and registration of domain names.[1]


On July 1, 1997, President Bill Clinton instructed the Department of Commerce to privatize the management of the DNS as part of the administration's Framework for Global Electronic Commerce. The administration's objective was to increase competition and to encourage international participation. The Department of Commerce responded immediately to the President's instruction and issued a Request For Comments (RFC) to discuss the government's overall framework of the DNS administration, the creation of new top level domains, policies for domain name registrars, and trademark issues on July 2, 1997. NTIA received 430 comments. The Green Paper was released by the NTIA based on the input provided by the Internet community on the RFC.[2]


The Green Paper proposed the establishment of a globally represented not-for-profit corporation to handle the technical management of the DNS. Stability, competition, private, bottom-up coordination, and representations were designated as the guiding principles in establishing the new organization to handle the DNS of the internet. [3]

Response to the Green Paper

IAB Comments

On February 28, 1998, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), through its chairman Brian Carpenter, expressed several comments regarding the Green Paper to then White House Senior Policy Advisor Ira Magaziner, including:[4]

  • The IAB supported the proposal of the Green Paper for the creation of a new corporation to take over the technical administration of the Internet from the U.S. government.
  • The definition of registry was confusing for the Internet community and needed clarification. IAB also emphasized that there are no technical limitations for the management of registration databases and suggested that the U.S. government should allow self-governance for the new corporation and let it determine how many registries or gTLDs should be implemented.
  • The IAB was concerned about the proposed coordination responsibility of the new corporation with regards to the development of other technical protocol parameters as needed to maintain the connectivity on the Internet globally. Instead of using the word "development," IAB suggested to replace it with the word "assignment" to make it more consistent with the current relationship between IANA and IETF.
  • IAB supported the current authority of IANA and expressed its willingness to provide technical assistance to strengthen that authority.

DNRC Comments

The Domain Name Rights Coalition (DNRC), a working group under the Association for the Creation and Propagation of Internet Policy (A-TCPIP), supported the Green Paper, however the organization identified four key issues that needs to be addressed:

  1. Failure of the Green Paper to affirm that communication and free speech is the core principle of Internet development
  2. A diverse representation is needed in the Board of the proposed new structure
  3. The Green Paper must clearly explain how to achieve accountability and transparency and provide opportunity for the Internet community to comment on ongoing policy developments
  4. The Green Paper needs to provide a better option in implementing Trademark Law[5]