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Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law




This Article is about the governance of the Internet naming system. The subject is fascinating, not simply because the naming system is an important system affecting the Internet, although it is; and not because the Internet is important, although it is. The subject is fascinating because it offers a rare opportunity to examine and learn from the evolution of an incoherent governance structure. The naming system is special in that it is the product of a new technology; it reflects the changes and pressures brought by the new technology, and involves the interests of government and private entities, domestic and international. And while this combination is complex and special, the players are known and their motivations are quite familiar: a quest for power and money, a professional pride and national patriotism, and deep commitments to various ideologies. Can we predict or even speculate with some certainty how this governance system will develop? Regardless of whether we can, what lessons can we learn from what we see? How should we approach the questions? How can we generalize our findings?

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