What is the Naming Authority?
According to the ISO 6523 rule, the Naming Authority is the body which establishes the operational procedures and rules to which the national Registration Authority conforms. Because of this precise distinction of roles, the Naming Authority must be a bod y separate and independent from the Registration Authority.
At the end of 1993, ISO requested the activation of the ISO 6523 specification by the national bodies of the member countries (UNI in Italy and in particular UNINFO for matters related to computer science), by establishing the national N.A. and R.A. Due t o this fact, in a meeting held on 26 January 1994 at the Rome office of the Istituto Superiore del Ministro delle Poste e delle Telecomunicazioni (ISPT), UNINFO was entrusted with the creation of a working group called "UNINFO-GL application and extension of the ISO 6523 rule in Italy". This group (composed of experts in the field of naming both from the R&D world and from the telecommunications area) started activity with a meeting held at the CSELT in Turin on 15 February 1994. Work proceeded in subsequent meetings on 21 March 1994, 27 June 1994 and 15 December 1994.
On the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding between the ISO, ITU and the Internet Society, the working group has recognised the need to maintain a strict relationship between registration services for OSI and for IPS protocols; thus it was decided to create a single ensemble of bodies concerned with all of the questions relating to naming and registration. At the same time the liaison with the TLC Commission of the Ministro delle Poste e delle Telecomunicazioni (representative of ITU in Italy) was establ ished for the co-ordination of activities in progress. Meetings of the UNINFO group therefore proceeded in conjunction with those of the TLC Commission. In the meeting of 8 March 1995, the creation of combined documents and bodies to deal with the matters of naming and registration for both OSI and ISP protocols was decided.
On the basis of the indications received, the UNINFO working group requested the creation of the ITA-PE group, entrusted in the mean time with the role of Naming Authority until the TLC Commission of the Ministro delle Poste e delle Telecomunicazioni shou ld make a final decision regarding the matter. At the same time the operational structure which had already been dealing with domain name registration both for the top level ".it" and the country code "C=it" was entrusted with the role of ad-interim Registration Authority.
The Naming Authority group ITA-PE was established in October 1994, and assumed the form of an open working group, basing its operational procedures on the model of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) groups. Free participation in the activities in the group thus resulted, the work being undertaken both in the group's periodical meetings and through the ITA-PE e-mail discussion list. Decisions were made according to the principle of "rough consensus" and votes were not taken.
Subsequently, the need for a structure able to make operational decisions rapidly, alongside the difficulty of acting according to the principle of "rough consensus" in areas where the opinion of the assembly was not always uniform, led to the revision of the form of the ITA-PE working group, and to the formal constitution of the Naming Authority Italiana, modifying its operational procedures and endowing it with a formal statute, which was approved in the meeting of 2 October 1998. The documents and minutes of the group, and participation in its meetings, are open to the public.
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