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Last update: Sun Aug 17 22:48:44 CEST 2003





Here's a summary of most of the documents currently available on what went on during the ICANN meetings in Bucharest. The summary is organized chronologically, so you can easily find the various items in this blog, Bret's Bucharest.BLOG, and in the Bucharest Protocols collection. I'll try to update the document regularly; an RSS feed pointing to the latest updates is also available.

Bret has also started a list of final links.

Sun Jun 30 17:41:52 CEST 2002 #



Google's news search proves to be a very helpful tool when you're looking for recent online coverage of current topics. With respect to ICANN, the following articles may merit some attention: At BBC News, there's a brief report on ICANN reform and the relationship to ccTLDs, with an interesting picture from Romania. It's not the Marriot, I suppose... The Mercury News run two new articles: A very brief AP piece, and Dan Gillmor's column, titled ICANN's accountability just a charade. Gilmor characterizes the reform process as bana-republic moves. The ICANN-related part of the article ends like this: Prediction: Governments will step in. And ICANN will have only itself to blame. Finally, there is David McGuire writing on He discusses the reform process, the at-large elections, and quotes James Love's note and the CDT press release linked earlier by Bret. (Unfortunately, the second half of the article is currently inaccessible due to server maintenance at the Washington Post.)

Sat Jun 29 16:44:12 CEST 2002 #



Jon Weinberg has an ICANNwatch story on the .biz Startup Trademark Opposition Policy's effects. Bret Fausett further recommends an article by Patrick Jones in which some trends of the first 166 decisions are discussed.

Sat Jun 29 16:03:48 CEST 2002 #



Bret says that he has the final text of the resolution on ICANN reform.

Fri Jun 28 19:12:35 CEST 2002 #



Reports and comments after ICANN's Bucharest meeting start coming in. For instance, Jamie Love sent out a statement which paints the meeting's outcome from his unique perspective. Quite frankly, I don't see much point in complaining that ICANN is even going so far as to remove the ability of the public to [...] have votes in public forums that have no legal power. Why vote when it's pointless and meaningless (the sentence alludes to the E&R committee's recommendations on the GA) anyway? If you read the entire message, it looks like the author is entirely frustrated with the reform process and looks for ways to change ICANN from the outside. On the other hand, Izumi Aizu has sent an interesting message to the atlarge-discuss list. He writes: I think the At-Large Advisory Committee idea is not in anyway the best or idea [...] It is a difficult situation and difficult judgment. I hope those who stand with the principle of direct representation and participation will not simply deny the other approach who still think direct representation and participation is the goal. The difference to me is not the goal, but how to reach there.

"Mainstream" net media are also taking up the ICANN topic: For instance, the San Jose Mercury News has taken up some criticism from European ccTLDs; a Reuters Story is covering the reform decisions. Monika Ermert has this story (in German) at Heise, including some remarks from board member Andy Müller-Maguhn on the reform process.

In order to stay up to date on the "press coverage", you may wish to do an occasional Google News search.

Fri Jun 28 14:50:52 CEST 2002 #



The ICANN meetings in Bucharest are over now. I hope that the notes in the items below are useful. More about what went on during the meeting is available from Bret Fausett's Bucharest.BLOG. Official minutes of some of the meetings will probably show up quite soon on the ICANN site (as far as the board meeting is concerned), on the GAC web page (as far as their communiqué is concerned), and with the DNSO (for the Names Council meeting). For some part of the meetings, there will even be professional word-by-word transcripts. Video archives for a significant part of the meetings are already available.

Fri Jun 28 11:27:34 CEST 2002 #



The board unanimously adopted resolutions to thank the local organizers, Andrew McLaughlin (adopted with standing ovations), and Karen Rose. Andrew is going to return to the Berkman Center; Karen is going to leave her position with the US Department of Commerce.

Fri Jun 28 10:14:41 CEST 2002 #



A visibly moved Vint Cerf read a resolution in memoriam Peter de Blanc. Elisabeth Porteneuve read an address on behalf of the ccTLD managers' community, in which Peter's achievements for the Internet Community were recalled. The board resolution was subsequently adopted unanimously. Those attending the meeting then expressed the community's deep respect for Peter by a minute of silence.

Fri Jun 28 10:03:11 CEST 2002 #



Jonathan Cohen just seems to indicate that the next meetings after Shanghai are going to happen in South America, and Africa. However, the number of meetings in 2004 is still open, and the meetings' structure will be reviewed and revised.

Update: Bret apparently had a better audio feed than I during that part. You better read his notes.

Fri Jun 28 09:59:16 CEST 2002 #



The motion was read by Vint; Stuart asked for special acknowledgement of the work done by Andrew McLaughlin (and some other individual), who were not mentioned (Stuart was). Resolution accepted unanimously.

Fri Jun 28 09:51:18 CEST 2002 #



Two more resolutions: There's a $6,000 reimbursement to .org applicants, and an Executive Search Committee to find Stuart's successor is formed.

Fri Jun 28 09:21:25 CEST 2002 #



In the budget, the heading had to be changed from "2001-2002" to "2002-2003" (in order to avoid informing the SEC about substantial changes to past bookkeeping, as Vint put it jokingly). No changes to RGP. WLS: Andy introduced an amendmend to condition WLS approval on implementation on RGP. Stuart opposed, since this would concern the board's action, instead of the proposal's implementation. The amendmend was voted down. Schink wanted the PSO to check for open standards, so no competitive distortions among registrars occur; satisfied by a note in the minutes. The resolution was accepted (Andy abstaining).

Fri Jun 28 09:07:11 CEST 2002 #



Someone sent me a copy of the resolutions, and agreed that I could publish these with the changes made incorporated. Well, the discussion is going too fast to do the latter thing (in particular when you'd have to work through the discussion so far). Thus, I point you to Alexander's notes from the meeting which give some rough description of the changes. The resolutions: Vote on reconsideration requests from Russ Smith and Tony So; MoU with .MW; Evolution and Reform.

Fri, 28 Jun 2002 08:46:50 +0200 #



I'm sorry for the late update - real life took priority this afternoon. Alexander sent in some brief notes during the Public Forum, which are now in the Bucharest Protocols archive: 1. A joint statement was made by four of the DNSO's constituencies (business, ISP, IPC, ccTLDs) on ICANN reform. 2. Becky Burr made a proposal about "unjustifiable objections". This sounds very much like this IcannWatch story authored by Burr, Johnson, and Crawford. Bret Fausett made this comment at about the same time. 3. Chuck Gomes proposed some changes to the WLS proposal. Most notably, the preferential treatment for SnapNames customers is apparently supposed to go away.

Those of you who understand German may wish to read Monika Ermert's article on the GAC communiqué. (The communiqué's text is not available online!) You may also give Google's translation of the article a try.

For some more comments on what else has been going on during the afternoon part of the forum, please visit today's Bucharest.BLOG.

Thu Jun 27 20:06:26 CEST 2002 #



Elisabeth Porteneuve broke the sad news on the Names Council list: It is with great sorrow that I write to inform you that our colleague and friend of several years, Peter de Blanc, .VI (US Virgin Islands Registry), passed away yesterday morning, 26 June 2002, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Peter brought his resources and energy, smile and wisedom, to the ccTLD Constituency, Names Council and ICANN. Our condoleances go out to his family and close friends.

Thu Jun 27 14:41:43 CEST 2002 #



German-language Internet news ticker Heise.DE has an article on the dot-org re-delegation, with the nice headline Die

Thu Jun 27 13:58:25 CEST 2002 #



Some of the GAC discussion following the reading of the communiqué was actually quite interesting. You could, for instance, watch a contribution from James Love (including shouting at Vint and Alejandro [or was it Amadeu?]), and Esther Dyson "disassociating" herself from this kind of behaviour. James tried to ask for a public input channel into the GAC's discussions (Twomey seemed to refer him to individual governments' outreach processes, if I understood him correctly). Esther asked about whether an at-large approach had been considered by the GAC. I didn't understand all of the answer, and from Esther's follow-up question, it wasn't too clear to those in the room, it seems. Marilyn Cade then tried several times to get a clear statement on "private sector leadership" out of Twomey, who wasn't overly clear once again.

Thu Jun 27 13:27:41 CEST 2002 #



Note: Alexander has also scribed the communiqué part of the session; his notes are available here.

Paul Twomey begins with communiqué. Extensive dialogue of GAC. Dedicated much time to developing a statement on ICANN reform. Attached in appendix to Communique. Dialogue with ccTLD community and ICANN. Joint working groups with ccTLD. Improve interaction between ICANN, local government, ccTLDs. Dot-info country names: Discussed implementation aspects. IPv6: GAC wants ICANN session on this. Consultation process: GAC needs to receive important documents in a timely fashion. Precise language in documents: Internet terms may not be understandable and subject to interpretation.

Statement on ICANN evolution and reform. GAC endorses principles behind ICANN's foundation. Observations on blueprint and previous document. Note: Some members of GAC don't support this; annexes to written statement. GAC satisfied with mission statement and core values. (Twomey then reads the mission and core value bullet points from the blueprint in full length.) Suggest revised core value 11; US govt disagrees with change suggestion. (...) Proposal for private-public partnership: Essential to ICANN's future success. ccTLD principles. Majority of GAC members (except Germany, France) agrees that GAC is principal public policy body for discussion of ICANN. Relation to govts, public authorities crucial for ICANN's success. Don't want to fund ICANN, with exception of GAC secretariat. Beneficaries should pay. Funding crucial. Sufficient staffing important for policy-making and technical functions. (...) Board composition: Majority of GAC members supports non-voting liaison function for GAC chair. DE, FR, ES, CH don't support participation of GAC liaison on board. DE: Smaller board. GAC encourages board to discuss better multi-way communication channels. No strong opinion on nominating committee. Internal corporate governance. FR, DE: Discomfort with nominating committee. DE: Evaluating individuals by blueprint criteria subjective. (...) Structure of nominating committee would mean to replace bottom-up by top-down. ES: Discomfort at having GAC delegate on nominating committee. (...) No view by intl. treaty organizations. GAC does not support public authority employees on board. Transparency, fairness, diversity, representation. Number of regions should be reexamined. Liaison to SOs and adv. committees. Most support voting (?) ex-officio liaison position of organisations on board. (...) Liaison with IANA. Majority support establishment of contact point. Policy-development and process: GAC expects that all proposals are circulated to constituencies, including GAC. Timely notice!! DE, ES: Disassociate from wording. Alternative language in annex. Mechanism for GAC to put issues to board directly. Consultation process should ensure that advice of GAC on public policy is taken into account in the policy-making. Inform GAC on how advice has been taken into account. In case of conflicting views between GAC and board, try to find consensus. Best judgement of board in case of no consensus. DE: Alternative language. GAC supports external advice, in particular: Public policy. Competition, consumer protection, IP protection. Constructive participation by intl. treaty organizations. WIPO's beneficial contribution to UDRP. Institutionalize ability of board to reach external expertise. Relevant inter-governmental organizations have significant contribution to make. Accountability. Transition: GAC expects close involvement. Contiune to operate registry and root server? Progress on ccTLD delegations needs continued action.

Annexes. Alternative wording suggested by some delegations, in particular DE, ES, FR.

Thu Jun 27 12:37:58 CEST 2002 #



The agenda has slightly changed, it seems: Right now, the IDN committee's report (originally schedule for 11:20 Bucharest time) is only beginning now. The GAC report is supposed to be the next item on the agenda, followed by the evolution and reform discussion, and the WLS proposal.

Thu Jun 27 12:19:21 CEST 2002 #



E&R committee has taken some things into account, other things to be desired. Discussion in the afternoon. Will publish response to blueprint. Considered functions and service level required from IANA. Establish differentiated processes for different types of database update requests which can be made by ccTLD managers. Expedite routine requests. Automatically process all requests from ccTLD manager which don't relate to change of manager. Devise authentication mechanism. Formal change control system, so changes to database can be tracked. Maintain audit trail available to ccTLD managers. Procedure for emergency or urgent technical changes. Time zone differences! KPNQwest failure has underlined need, highlights stability risks in absence of procedure. Reports that ICANN has refused or delayed urgent technical changes for procedural reasons; requested zone transfer. Regret that Internet stability was impacted as a result. RFC 1591 sole guidance. ccTLD managers committed to funding of necessary IANA services. Contribution to more general community services, like coming to ICANN meetings. Joint WGs with GAC on certain topics. Useful and constructive discussions.

Cerf, Andy MM: Issue to be addressed, problem to be solved. Amadeu: Technical changes most frequently mentioned problem. Wants table of different situations which can arise around change requests.

For more on the problems related to the KPNQest failure, you may also wish to look at this draft, which was linked earlier from ICANNwatch. The ccTLD managers' communiqué (which is essentially what was read in the public forum, see above) is also available online.

Thu Jun 27 09:04:36 CEST 2002 #



Elliot Noss, Tim Denton, and Ross Rader from Tucows have published a public discussion draft concerning "ICANN's role in relation to contracted parties." In that document, they call for the establishment of a process by which registrars and registries could resolve commercial disputes arising out of the respective ICANN agreement: We are talking about creating an adjudication process for commercial disputes, and a process of confirmation, referral, amendment, or denial of these adjudications by the Board of ICANN. The document does not push for a "contracted parties SO" separate from the DNSO.

Thu Jun 27 08:31:24 CEST 2002 #



In Germany, there is a saying: "The opposite of 'well done' is 'well meant.'" Applied to dot-org, this means that I get somewhat skeptical when a proposal like GNR's (which looks technically solid - after all, they do run a registry already) indirectly promises funding to the NCDNHC, and wants to have that constituency's leadership on a so-called Steering Committee. In fact, I'm wondering how this mixes with the NCDNHC's demand to play a more active role in the evaluation of the proposals. Conflicts of interest, anyone?

Note that I don't have any objections against the travel funding suggested (indeed, that's an extremely good idea which should be pursued by more of the wealthy players in the ICANN process), or against philantropy in general - but some of this just looks too well-targeted in this particular context.

Writing from the point of view of an individual .org domain name holder, I hope that the board will mostly base its decision on the .org redelegation on the technical merits of the respective proposals (and on business stability), and use the community aspects of proposals only as auxiliary factor in its decision-making.

Bold (and possibly even risky) experiments with TLDs are fine - as long as they happen with new TLDs, and every registrant knows what's possibly going to happen. With a well-established TLD such as dot-org, there's considerably less room for experiments.

Thu Jun 27 01:10:22 CEST 2002 #



I was curious enough about this to finally take the time to thoroughly read that part of the application. If I understand this correctly, "validation" is suggested to be a separate service which could only be purchased by .org registrants. Registrants themselves would make certain statements subject to third-party validation (examples given include category of organization, financial policies and practices, governance structures, and the like). The validation status would be available online, and the organization would have the right to put a "DotORG seal" onto its web page, with a link to validation results. Included with the package would be an SSL server certificate.

Wed Jun 26 22:24:55 CEST 2002 #



Alexander Svensson has sent in a summary for the Bucharest Protocols.

Wed Jun 26 20:30:29 CEST 2002 #



Bret Fausett is providing coverage of the current .org re-delegation presentations; I'll drop out of the webcast again in a couple of minutes. If I interpret the webcast correctly, there's also some professional real-time scribing going on, so we should see an archive of what's being said in these presentations in a couple of days (I'm optimistic).

The one presentation which I partially saw and listened to (until the audio feed went away) was the one by DotOrg Foundation. One of their "interesting" elements (and one of the first things mentioned in the presentation) seem to be some kind of Validation services. Quite frankly, I neither understand how these are supposed to work, nor do I understand what they'd mean for simple, individual .org domain name holder like myself. Maybe someone in the know can shed some light on this?

Wed Jun 26 18:10:50 CEST 2002 #



The notes I took during today's Names Council meeting in Bucharest (which I attended through the realaudio/video feed) are available in the blog items below. If you want to have something which is sorted chronologically (and not blog-wards), and can reasonably be bookmarked, you can go to the Bucharest Protocols version of the notes. Misunderstandings are mine, of course, and I encourage anyone who notices any misleading notes to e-mail me.

Wed Jun 26 16:35:51 CEST 2002 #



Harold Feld has introduced this on behalf of NCDNHC. A number of bidders made presentations to NCDNHC. Briefing helpful. But: Concerned that there is need to fully participate in evaluation of applications. Constituency believes to have expertise. Board should instruct staff to work closely with team headed by NCDNHC, including volunteers from other constituencies. Portion of funds collected from applicants should be given to NCDNHC, so they can do due diligence and produce input to ICANN board for consideration of applications. Would seek foundation funding to assist in this significant undertaking. Hopes that NC would at least make request to board. Further: Request that board makes .org decision during open telephone conference. Because questions regarding conflict of interests have been raised, this is particularly important. At the very least record meeting, and place recording on web page. Wants stable delegation, avoid law-suits. Last point is adopted by NC.

J Scott Evans (IPC): Experience from new gTLD process, discussion with applicants. NCDNHC could do this too. Doesn't want NC recommendation. Board has fiduciary duty. No need for special procedure.

Roger Cochetti: Necessary to evaluate ability of applicants to reach out into non-profit sector. If reach-out, may remind them (board? applicants?) about NCDNHC. Even absent such procedures, can remind board of existence of this constituency.

J Scott Evans: Excellent suggestion to remind them. But much different than what Harold has suggested.

M. Cade: Not just non-commercials in .org.

Bruce Tonkin: Asking for public comment more appropriate; .org incredibly diverse.

Harold Feld: 1. JSE: Request grows out of gTLD delegation experience. Treatment of DNSO report by board. Found difference between having consultive relationship and asking staff to work directly work with constituency. Will do their best in the time frame allotted to provide input to decision-making process. In this particular instance: Consistently identified as ("most") interested constituency, greatest expertise in how non-profits are run. Board should direct staff, so experience can effectively be shared. Money request: Useful that money paid for evaluation should be used by NCDNHC to evaluate aspects within constituency's expertise. Will enhance process, prevent questions as to the legitimacy of the process.

P. Sheppard is going to remind board of interested constituencies.

Wed Jun 26 15:40:28 CEST 2002 #



Marilyn Cade: Extensive consultation. Lateness of delivery of paper makes complete response difficult. Value greatly the fact that board members made themselves available yesterday. Paper departs from whitepaper in key areas. Adjustments can be made. Framework where details can be worked out. Funding: Businesses represent significant user community in using and buying names. No one is more affected by instability. BC on record: 2/3 of funding from gTLDs, 1/3 from RIRs and ccTLDs. Mission: Policy development. Support language in statement. Oppose outsourcing of ICANN functions. On nominating committee: Concerns about implementation. Support concept for selection of board members. Don't support nominating committee for SO councils. Could imagine at-large sending reps to gTLD council. Support strongly separate ccSO. Expect ongonig dialogue on matters of mutual interest. Better engage in dialogue than appoint someone. 19 people on nominating committee will have great difficulty. If four unaffiliated persons on NomCom, they should come from At Large. (Consistent with ISPs.) No justification to change of number of board members. Movement forward in electing board members, as opposed to earlier top-down approach. Board authority: Policy-approval, not policy-development. Lead to believe that board agrees on this. Generally: If board doesn't like policy, pass it back to SO for another attempt. Emergencies: Interim policies. Governmental participation: GAC and rest of ICANN are relatively new at this. Believe that there is better way for consultation than appointing liaisons. Need methodology for bringing issue to GAC, and consult with GAC. Have the right people on both sides for particular issues. Core value: Stability. Private-sector leadership can be successful. Has been remarkably successful.

Wed Jun 26 15:13:44 CEST 2002 #



Tony Holmes: Will make statement tomorrow. Pleased to see step back from more radical original approach. Many things they don't like. Prefer different board make-up. Concerns about viability of nominating committee, still have reservations. Board terms. Don't want nominating committee appointees on SO councils. Would consider one non-voting GAC member on the DNSO (council?). At-large has made considerable progress. If four unaffiliated persons on NomCom, they should come from At Large. One of the largest problems with ICANN: Lack of support. [...]

Wed Jun 26 15:08:47 CEST 2002 #



Ellen Shankman: [audio gap] J Scott Evans: Can't come forward with formal position. Constituency members who looked at material encouraged that board listens to various voices. Glad about evolutionary instead of revolutionary approach. Concern that many solutions come at a cost. How exactly should cost be recovered?

Wed Jun 26 15:05:47 CEST 2002 #



Cary Karp: Two aspects of blue-print require change. Request different way of discussion for those constituencies which have contractual relationship with ICANN. Registries and registrars can more easily be aggregated than any of the other constituencies. Cochetti: Both speaking on behalf of constituency which operates unanimously. Section 5 of blueprint suggests non-binding arbitration. Constituency finds approach inadequate. [incomprehensible] Jordyn Buchanan (?): GNSO constituencies ought to have voice which should be heared beyond gTLD policy. Separation of SOs.

Wed Jun 26 15:00:36 CEST 2002 #



Note: This one owes much to support from Alexander via ICQ.

Harold Feld: Non-commercial presence in ICANN is shrinking. Only 5-6 of them in the room at any given time. Foundations which have funded travel to ICANN meetings in the past are no longer doing so. They think that it's not a reasonable investment. [audio gap] Deals are cut behind closed doors. Believe it's important for non-commercial voice to be heared within ICANN. Personally believes that they can and do have an impact in ICANN process. ... Not happy with direction of evolution and reform. Greatly concerned that input isn't heard and not given equal weight. Very few ressources to participate in face-to-face meeting. Consideration should be paid to comments submitted via e-mail. [audio gap] Wish to remind board of critical principles: 1. Individuals have important role to play. Need formal place within structure. 2. Top-down processes run risk of imposing unpracticable solutions. (?) Bottom-up processes critical. May be slower, but products more sustainable. 3. ICANN was intended as instrument for Internet coordination without direct governmental supervision. Concerns with blueprint: Currently only one individual representative among 19 members of nominating committee without At-Large and with GA as cross-constituency forum. Note, however, that there is $0.25 additional domain charge which is imposed on individuals. Users asked to provide funding, but denied representation promised in 1988, reaffirmed in Cairo compromise, recommended by ALSC. Board guiding policy-development bears danger that illusion of consensus is created; controversial policies may sneak in. Governments invited, individuals pushed out is wrong way. Commends blue-print in these elements: Recognize non-commercials and academics, and doesn't throw them together with individual interests. Glad not to have been forgotten, but concerned that voice is diluted within structure.

Wed Jun 26 14:51:24 CEST 2002 #



Ken Stubbs: Blueprint an additional step in the right direction of funding and staff for stable operation. Agree with NomCom and streamlining. Need additional clarification about increased per-registration fee. [audio gap] Need judicative contract interpretation and enforcement. Proposals weak in this regard.

Wed Jun 26 14:48:10 CEST 2002 #



Elisabeth Porteneuve: In favor of number of aspects, including ccTLD SO; provision of staff. ccTLDs prefer "ccSO" in spirit of bottom-up discussion. Continuing dialogue. Will produce written paper on various details. ccTLDs remain committed to funding ICANN. Wish to make several observations. Like to know exact cost of various ICANN items relating to various SOs. ccTLD group willing to pay for ccTLD-related matters. ccTLD group has been considering that if ccTLD IANA function requests whatever number of stuff, will agree to pay for this. Rservations about cross-subsidizing between various ICANN activities. Observation: gTLD space is space where ICANN develops policy rules. Cost of this is related to domain name cost. In each ccTLD there is local policy-development, and cost for this is borne by ccTLD. ccTLDs not prepared to have Nominating Committee appoint members to ccTLD council. Are prepared to work closely with GAC. Do not believe that appointed liaison officer is efficient way.

Wed Jun 26 14:40:24 CEST 2002 #



Note: The audio feed has been failing occasionally, so this is not necessarily complete.

Grant Forsythe gives presentation as BC representative to Transfers Task Force. Process. Gather information from people, constituencies. Four major areas of concern: Registrant concerns, competition, registrar concerns, registry concerns. Legitimate frustration by prospective registrants, concern by existing registrants. Competition is not a concern for specific company interests, but concern that participation in market should be open to any company. Existing services would be eliminated by introduction of WLS - reselling a single standardized service is NOT a preferred substitute for competing choice. TF has not been able to conclude report; draft recommendations: 1. The ICANN Boards movewith all haste to implement and actively enfoce the proposed Redemptions Grace Period for Delted Names policy and practice. 2. The ICANN Board rejects VeriSigns's request to amend its agreement to enable it to introduce irs proposed WLS. 3. The ICANN Board rejects VeriSign's request to trial the WLS. WLS does not address deletion and lapsing domain name issues. TF recommends that board rejects WLS proposal. Should the board not accept recommendation, there are four contingency recommendations. 1. Implement RGP first. 2. Lower price. 3. Inform registrant. 4. Transparency on WLS subscribers, like WHOIS.

Cochetti: Procedurally confused. Draft preliminary report. Not status of Names Council document. Don't forward to board? Sheppard: Board has set deadline. Status reports / work in progress requested. Ken Stubbs: So we looked at exactly the same set of recommendations sent to Board at 10 June? Grant Forsyth: My presentation is current TF work, for NC information. Based on proposal from June 4; no objections received. M. Cade: This will be recommendations out of task force. H. Feld: Hopes that RGP can move ahead without waiting for WLS. Ken Stubbs echos this. J. Scott Evans (?): Price recommendation discussed. Understands monopoly concerns. Trademark interests hope that high price could deter speculators.

Wed Jun 26 14:15:33 CEST 2002 #



Note: I missed part of this presentation. Task Force works on survey; separate surveys for registrants and intermediaries. Work was slow - reform process and WLS took lots of ressources. Work plan: Revisit survey concept. Get more registrant experience (including from at-large). Have drafted documents. Task Force to think about uniform deletion policy.

Wed Jun 26 14:08:34 CEST 2002 #



Just one thing: Read the report, and comment. Also, one follow-up remark on the presentation held at the NC session: When you look at question 17.d and add up the numbers, you'll see that > 75% of responses were interpreted to be about opt-in or stricter protection of data, an additional 10% were classified as generally calling for stronger privacy protection. That's pretty similar to the results from question 16.

Wed Jun 26 13:45:30 CEST 2002 #



Two resolutions. 1. Approve spending $ 8,000 + something for reimbursement to ICANN on teleconference costs. Budget committee doesn't have power to approve spending above $ 5,000. Council approves. 2. Consequences of procedures relating to constituencies not paying their dues. During 2001, NCDNHC failed to pay dues. NCDNHC filed "show cause" notice. Budget Committee recommends that Names Council waives sanctions. No request or recommendation that dues be forgiven. No implication for 2002 dues. Philipp Sheppard: Formally discuss at next conference call.

Wed Jun 26 13:08:02 CEST 2002 #



On the GA list, Chuck Gomes writes that controls were in place continuously during the audit period (2001) to ensure equivalent access, but the auditors were not easily able to go back to points in time in 2001 to verify that.

Tue Jun 25 23:47:43 CEST 2002 #



Bret points to the ccTLDs' remote participation page.

Tue Jun 25 19:23:20 CEST 2002 #



From what you can read on the atlarge-discuss list, some heated debate may be going on concerning at-large structures. Currently, we have James Love making comments in a form which is considered unconstructive by Esther Dyson, which James can't accept, talking about "Borg pep talk". I suppose there's more going to come. The list archive's index is here.

Tue Jun 25 18:18:55 CEST 2002 #



The Annual Independent Audit report posted today by ICANN notes two non-compliances (which may be considered minor), and makes no statement on requirements H.V.1, H.V.2, H.V.4, I.2 due to lack of historical records. These requirements refer to appendices H and I of the registry agreement.

The requirements from appendix H: V. ACCESS TO THE REGISTRY FACILITY VGRS provides access to all VGRS customers through the following mechanisms and separates VGRS systems and information from systems and information of any affiliated registrar through these processes: 1. All registrars (including any registrar affiliated with VGRS) connect to the Shared Registration System Gateway via the Internet by utilizing the same maximum number of IP addresses and SSL certificate authentication. 2. All registrars have the same level of access to VGRS-generated data to reconcile their registration activities from VGRS Web and ftp servers. All registrars may perform basic automated registrar account management functions using the same registrar tool made available to all registrars by VGRS. [...] 4. No registrar affiliated with VGRS will be given any access to the registry not available to any other registrar except with regard to information specific to their registrar.

The requirement from appendix I: 2. All registrars accredited by ICANN who are authorized to register domain names in the {.com,.org,.net} registry shall have equivalent access to Registry Services provided by VGRS.

Tue Jun 25 17:39:07 CEST 2002 #



GAC member Robert Shaw reports, in his weblog, that his committee colleagues were "extremely surprised" by the Blueprint for Reform. He also mentions that the board apparently plans to actually adopt a revised version of the blueprint in the end of this week, according to statements made by Alejandro Pisanty in a meeting with the GAC. Shaw doesn't sound too amused that the board didn't tell the GAC before.

On a (not obviously) similar front, there is a story worth reading up at ICANNwatch: Under the title Legitimacy and Effectiveness Through Consensus, David Johnson, Susan Crawford, and Becky Burr argue that "for a number of reasons, both practical and profound, we think that eliminating the consensus requirement is the wrong answer to solving ICANN's legitimacy problem." Instead, they suggest that "the Board should be more active in pushing the consensus policy process along", by "appointing a facilitator who would be personally responsible for creating the written consensus policy report (and could be trusted to do an unbiased job)" within a tight deadline. The "facilitator" would work by gathering position papers, "facilitating consensus" (whatever that means), performing outrach to those "likely to be affected." According to the authors, the process outlined can "force dissenting parties to articulate the reasons why they oppose a proposed policy". It would then be the board's job to check for "unjustifiable opposition", and to possibly override some of the dissent observed. However, the board is not supposed to define the "public interest" by itself.

Of course, the document is more elaborate than what I can summarize in a couple of sentences here - you should really read it yourself. What makes this even more interesting is an anonymous comment, allegedly coming from Richard Hill (ITU-T). He writes: "Fascinating. While the details differ, the general principles and the outline of the working methods proposed by David, Susan, and Becky are remarkably similar to the working methods of ITU, and, for that matter, of all international treaty organizations and of many goverernments. [...] In the case of the ITU (and I believe that the ITU is unique in this respect) the working methods have been agreed not just by 189 governments, but also by industry (the 650 ITU Sector Members). As noted elswhere, the ITU Sector Members include many (or even most) of the well-known players in the Internet, whether equipment manufacturers or service providers."

Tue Jun 25 13:04:29 CEST 2002 #



The DNSO GA's alternate chairman, Alexander Svensson, has gone to Bucharest, and is attending the ICANN meetings there. He's sending short reports of some of the events to the DNSO's GA. I'm archiving these reports separately. An RSS feed pointing into this archive is also available.

Bret Fausett is, it seems, also tryig to cover as much as possible of the ICANN meetings in a special Blog.

Tue Jun 25 12:10:12 CEST 2002 #



ISOC Luxembourg is hosting An Afternoon with Vint Cerf on July 4, 2002.

Mon Jun 24 13:38:41 CEST 2002 #



According to this story, Verisign has been removing some of its domain name auctions because names were found objectionable, or trademarked.

Mon Jun 24 13:36:16 CEST 2002 #



The Evolution and Reform Committee's blueprint for ICANN reform calls for a "moderated" GA. It's not entirely clear what this means, but the objectives are laid out reasonably clear: The GNSO GA exists for the exchange of information and ideas, the discussion of particular issues, and as a resource for the creation under the direction of the GNSO Council of working groups, drafting committees, and task forces. The GNSO GA is not a forum for making decisions or recommendations, or taking formal positions. As such, the GNSO GA should take no votes, although working groups under the direction of the GNSO Council can provide advice as a group. To encourage informed discussion free from personal attacks and undue disruption, the GNSO GA shall only support moderated electronic discussion lists and forums (in which all interested individuals and groups can participate). Those interested in participating in unmoderated lists can do so in other fora, not under the auspices of the GNSO GA. While I agree with the part on votes, I'm not so sure about the approach to take for managing the list's discussions. One possible approach I'd like to see tried is in this posting I sent to the GA list earlier today.

Sun Jun 23 18:25:39 CEST 2002 #



The archives for the icann-europe mailing list have been moved to FITUG's web server, and are availabe at now.

Mon Jun 17 21:13:19 CEST 2002 #



I've submitted some comments on the mission and core values working paper to ICANN's Evolution & Reform committee: Quite a bit of what they are saying there just doesn't make sense. If you try to make sense out of it, you quickly see that the actual conflicts are hidden beyond rhetorics. Some more general comments are available here.

In related news, the Names Council has arrived at another iteration of its recommendations. I'm rather unhappy with some of these - in particular, I don't believe that the recommendation to restrict GA membership to constituency members is a good idea. (Nor is the Nominating Committee approach for board member selection.)

Sat Jun 1 01:27:47 CEST 2002 #



Thinking a bit more about some of the recent discussions on the GA mailing list, I arrive at the conclusion that a considerable part of the problems we are experiencing is caused by the use of an inappropriate tool: Votes like we are using them right now are _not_ the tool we _should_ be using in order to make declarations of the intent of the members of the GA.

More precisely, a vote is an instrument by which some well-defined body comes up with a collective decision. The accountability for the outcome of the vote is collective; individual members are not held accountable for their individual votes. For this reason, votes are held in secret. In particular, a vote deliberately withholds a considerable amount of information from the public.

It is also bad to arbitrarily add new members to the voting registry for a particular vote: Suddenly, the body making the decision is no longer well-defined; the result of the vote ("body x says y") itself becomes ill-defined as a consequence.

Such votes are an appropriate tool when the GA actually acts as a homogeneous body, that is, when it elects a chairman or representatives to task forces, or when it votes on its internal procedures: Votes are appropriate whenever the question at hand is how the GA as a group of individuals can best organize its activities.

Votes are, however, not appropriate when GA statements are made on substance. There are several reasons for this.

Most importantly, the GA is _not_ acting as a homogeneous body when it comes to substantial topics: We are a mix of constituency members and interested individuals, of stakeholders and slashdotters. We may even want to take into account outside support for substantial statements (Jamie tried this; similarly, it may be interesting to shop for support for a uniform deletions policy or certain transfer policies at What the resolutions discussed here are about is not a _decision_ within a homogeneous body, but a demonstration of support (and, possibly, objection!) from those who want to demonstrate that support (or objection).

For such a demonstration, the deliberate loss of information which is connected with the current voting mechanism is not desirable: An explicit list of supporters of a resolution makes a lot more sense than the apples-and-oranges statement that "the DNSO's GA has voted for xyz". In particular, it would include information on what members of different constituencies think - remember, the constituencies are what ultimately matters in the DNSO's process. In fact, I'd even go a step further than just making the voting process transparent: Let's get rid of the voting registry and the complex apparatus we are using altogether, as far as substantive resolutions are concerned (as opposed to questions of the internal organization of the GA).

So, here's my suggestion for how to deal with future resolutions: Just do a simple, open poll via e-mail. Spread the call for signatories widely. Include the members of the GA voting registry with it. Just collect signatures.

To summarize, the process suggested has the following benefits over the current approach:

  • The resulting statement is well-defined.
  • The process is transparent and can be implemented with considerably less effort than the voting process; in particular, the safeguards necessary to ensure the integrity of a secret vote are not needed here.
  • The very concept of capture does not make any sense, since it is reasonably transparent who does and says what. In particular, there is no voting registry to be stuffed.


Sat Jun 1 01:00:44 CEST 2002 #





This is the personal blog of Thomas Roessler.

It's mostly used for comments regarding ICANN, and matters of ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization and At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC).