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





The .org applicants' comments on the preliminary staff report have been posted to the ICANN web site. From a quick first glance on some of the reports, several (if not most) applicants were not at all amused by the process and by the quality of the underlying evaluations, offering detailed comments and corrections. I'm looking forward for the responses from those who did the evaluation. But maybe this entire process is unnecessary anyway.

For some nice quotes picked from the individual comments, I'd recommend you read this selection which was just posted to the GA list.

Sat Aug 31 11:37:09 CEST 2002 #



The DNSO secretariat has announced that the nomination period for the ICANN board member to be determined by the DNSO is closed. Candidates who accepted their nomination: Vivek Durai, Alejandro Pisanty (current board member), and Youn Jung Park. For a candidate to be accepted, the candidate will need 10 endorsements from members of the DNSO's GA. Endorsements can be made until September 20, 2002. Accepted candidates will then be forwarded to the Names Council for selection. For more details, see the nomination procedure document posted to the DNSO's web site.

Fri Aug 30 17:23:10 CEST 2002 #



The DNSO secretariat has posted preliminary minutes of yesterday's Names Council telephone conference; an MP3 recording is also available. Besides the election of Bruce Tonkin as the NC's new chair, there was some decision on whether or not the Transfer Task Force should also handle deleted domain name issues in general.

Fri Aug 30 17:17:21 CEST 2002 #



As Philip Sheppard has just announced, Bruce Tonkin (registrars constituency) has been elected Chair of the Names Council. Congratulations and best wishes to Bruce!

Thu Aug 29 16:35:40 CEST 2002 #



Just in case you didn't already see it on ICANNwatch: There's a highly remarkable comment in the public forum on the preliminary .org evaluation report. It's certainly worth reading.

Wed Aug 28 13:35:09 CEST 2002 #



Here's a first fragment of a draft for a WHOIS policy primer. This one's a walk-through of the registrar accreditation agreements (actually, there are two of these, with small differences), which is hopefully at least a bit more understandable than the agreements themselves. Missing bits: A review of the .name appendix to the RAA (which is currently missing from the ICANN web site), which may contain changes to query-based access, and an overview of registries' WHOIS provisions. In any event, the most important policies (at least from a privacy point of view...) are contained in the RAA: Even the thick registries basically make the same query-based access available as registrars (with .name as an exception), with the same non-restrictions on use of the data, and, possibly, advanced query possibilities. Bulk access to thick registries' whois data is more limited than with registrars. So I hope that this is useful even in its current incomplete state. I'll add more when I find the time. That means, in particular, not this week.

Tue Aug 27 19:48:34 CEST 2002 #



Peter Dengate Thrush has sent a message to ICANN chairman Vint Cerf and to the GA mailing list in which he asks a couple of questions on the status of ICP-1, and points to the ccTLDs' response to the ERC's Blueprint for ICANN Reform.

In his response, Cerf claims that ICP-1 is simply a statement of long-standing practice and doesn't seem to represent new policy. ICP-1 makes explicit a way to implement the policy outlined in RFC 1591 but doesn't appear to create new policy, as I understand it. The response does not address Thrush's comments about ICANN's zone transfer requirement.

Mon Aug 26 12:15:06 CEST 2002 #



The ICANN board has, according to the preliminary report of today's meeting, passed a resolution approving Verisign's Wait Listing Service proposal. The resolution was passed with Auerbach and Abril i Abril opposed, Müller-Maguhn and Kyong abstaining, and 11 others in favor.

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Fri Aug 23 20:00:27 CEST 2002 #



On the GA list, Karl Auerbach writes that he has been convinced by the discussion there that he should vote against WLS today. I'm not sure he should be.

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Fri Aug 23 11:33:50 CEST 2002 #



ICANN has posted the Names Policy Development Process Assistance Group's recommendation. If you find that document too long, Alexander Svensson has an excellent chart of the process suggested.

Thu Aug 22 13:23:07 CEST 2002 #



ICANN has set up a public archive of comments received on the preliminary .org report.

Thu Aug 22 02:05:44 CEST 2002 #



Here's a short digest of .org coverage in the online press: The Register emphasizes ISOC's need for sustainable income, and quotes anonymous rival bidders who pointed to criticisms of favoritism. C|Net has a very high-level round-up of the basic facts, opinions, and conspiracy theories. The Washington Post discusses these conspiracy theories (and their rebuttal from Stuart Lynn) in some more detail, and quotes Milton Mueller as saying that ICANN should have simply presented the board with the data from the evaluations. discusses this whole thing from a more local point of view, and pays particular attention to Unity Registry's bid and their experience in migrating an existing registry to EPP, as opposed to building an EPP registry from scratch. Finally, an article mentions doubts about ISOC's ability to run .org - from a financial point of view: But one source close to the bidding process wonders why ISOC's own auditor's had doubts about the company's financial ability to take over the .org registry, one of the key criteria for selection as registry. "If you look at their bid, it talks about their balances and their liabilities, and says that "these factors and others to the company raise substantial doubt about the Internet Society's ability to continue as a going concern," the source said. "If their own auditors are concerned, then why are they getting this recommendation?"

Wed Aug 21 10:50:25 CEST 2002 #



Milton Mueller and Dany Vandromme have taken up the comments on corrupted tables and inconsistent numbers, see the ncdnhc-discuss list's archive for details of that discussion. A readable version of a lenghty message I just sent to that list is avaiable here. That message includes my suggestion for a more readable presentation of the NCDNHC's evaluation, inspired by the excellent presentation of the results from the Gartner group.

Finally, Bret is also thinking out loud on .org and asking questions.

Tue Aug 20 22:57:13 CEST 2002 #



You have to wonder how this goes together: The same board and staff who believe that public elections (with significant outreach organized independently of any individual candidates) are not suitable to select the members of the board, are partially relying, in their decision on .org, on a self-selected survey of the worst kind, namely, on the public support for bidders: As far as that part of the evaluation is concerned, my earlier remark that the NCDNHC's report looks sound was rather premature.


Tue Aug 20 16:08:43 CEST 2002 #



The Advisory Group on an at-large advisory committee has released its report; the report is available from the archives of the atlarge-discuss list: (1), (2). The report will probably be posted quite soon to ICANN's web site.

Tue Aug 20 14:07:41 CEST 2002 #



ICANN has published a preliminary report on the .org re-delegation. The report suggests that ISOC should run .org in the future.


Tue Aug 20 12:10:46 CEST 2002 #



The CDT's Rob Courtney writes on the GA list: This afternoon, CDT transmitted the following letter to Asst. Sec. Nancy Victory and Robin Layton at the Department of Commerce. The letter urges Commerce to commit to adding new provisions to the ICANN MOU, including provisions to create meaningful limits on ICANN's authorities, establish accountability mechanisms, and provide representation. The letter also urges that the MOU's duration be short, not to exceed one year, and that ICANN submit bi-annual public reports on its progress to Commerce and the GAC.

The letter is available from CDT's web site.

Mon Aug 19 21:25:45 CEST 2002 #



An abcNEWS article, titled Can ICANN?, discusses various aspects of ICANN reform, with Michael Froomkin as one of their interview partners. Ross Rader has already commented on Froomkin's remark that meetings outside the US mean less transparency. What is more interesting (thanks to A.S. for the heads-up!) is the remark on a possible "re-bid" of ICANN's functions when the MoU expires in September: It isn't an attractive problem [for Commerce] to fix. Now, dear friends from the American NGO community, where are your contingency plans just in case ICANN should continue to exist? Where's the blueprint for a consumer interests' constituency? Quite frankly, I agree with much of the recent criticism against ICANN. But I'm missing contributions from certain groups on ICANN's actual business.

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Mon Aug 19 10:45:18 CEST 2002 #



As C|Net reports on August 9, that is, three days after the FTC investigation against Verisign became public, Verisign [is] playing by the rules. I'm impressed. Interestingly, the C|Net article is about the Annual Independent Neutrality Audit, which was published in late June.

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Mon Aug 19 10:25:33 CEST 2002 #



This week-end, there were various indications of growing frustration. One example for that frustration was an exchange between ICANN board member Jonathan Cohen, Michael Froomkin, and ICANN's external counsel Joe Sims.

Other postings worth your attention: Roberto Gaetano on ICANN funding for the GAC, and on possible reasons for being frustrated with participation in ICANN. A follow-up to the latter one came from Bret Fausett. Writes Fausett: The fact that people have stuck around longer than less sentient animals would have under similar circumstances is a testament to their goodwill, their desire to assist ICANN (not tear it down), and the belief in the importance of ICANN's mission.

Mon Aug 19 09:57:29 CEST 2002 #



Richard Hill (ITU) has posted, to the GA, an interesting message concerning the recent discussions about ICANN providing interim funding for the GAC secretariat.

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Fri Aug 16 17:56:41 CEST 2002 #



In Donna Wentworth's excellent Copyfight blog, I had read that Prof. Felten has started a blog of his own, called Freedom To Tinker. I looked at the site, found it interesting, and sent a brief recommendation to a discussion list to which I've been subscribed since (at least) 1996. Felten's work is highly on-topic on that list, and has been discussed there in the past.

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Thu, 15 Aug 2002 21:36:34 +0200 #



Sotiris Sotiropoulos has posted his notes from a telephone conference on possible at-large structures for ICANN 2.

Thu Aug 15 18:36:20 CEST 2002 #



This has been linked to all over the place. Just in case you didn't listen to it, here's a reminder: Lawrence Lessig's speech at the Open Source Conference 2002 is available online, in MP3 and Flash formats. The flash version includes the slides, synchronized with the audio recording.

Thu Aug 15 11:40:51 CEST 2002 #



Re-reading the text of yesterday's executive committee resolution, I notice that it's not just about the Australian government's costs for being the GAC secretariat, but about its actual costs of providing chair and scretariat services to the GAC. I wonder what that means.

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Wed Aug 14 11:24:56 CEST 2002 #



ICANN has posted preliminary minutes of the Executive Committee's meeting on August 13.

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Wed Aug 14 00:26:54 CEST 2002 #



From the DNSO secretariat: The Public Comment Period on the WHOIS Final Report of the Names Council's WHOIS Task Force is extended to AUGUST 28, 2002. Archives / Final report.

Tue Aug 13 21:18:18 CEST 2002 #



The Names Council is going to elect its new chairman during its telephone conference on August 29, 2002. The nomination period lasted from August 2 to August 8. Bruce Tonkin is the only candidate. He was nominated by the NC's current chairman, Philip Sheppard, and seconded by Ken Stubbs.

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Tue Aug 13 09:37:56 CEST 2002 #



second-system effect: n. (sometimes, more euphoniously, second-system syndrome) When one is designing the successor to a relatively small, elegant, and successful system, there is a tendency to become grandiose in one's success and design an {elephantine} feature-laden monstrosity.

(The Jargon File 4.0.0.)

Mon Aug 12 23:29:37 CEST 2002 #



During today's WHOIS task force conference call, an interesting proposal from GNR on modifying access to the .name WHOIS database was discussed. The proposal attempts to take .name's character as a TLD targeted at individual registrants into account. A brief summary of the proposal is available from the nc-whois list archive. There is also an MP3 recording of the telephone conference.

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Mon Aug 12 19:46:11 CEST 2002 #



Bret Fausett, who is a member of the Names Policy Development Process Advisory Group, has posted some comments on that group's current work.

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Mon Aug 12 12:18:33 CEST 2002 #



You may have noticed that strange link to Jabba's Trashcan. As you certainly have guessed, Jabba is a spam trap. I set it up last Thursday. The address was published in two ways: First, it's included on that ugly web page, as a mailto link. Second, I went to the "remove" forms of some spams I regularly get, and entered Jabba's address. Guess what, the first real spam to that address arrived on Saturday. Quite frankly, I knew things are bad, but this is really faster than I expected.

Mon Aug 12 09:37:21 CEST 2002 #



The DNSO has started the nomination process to find candidates for a successor for current ICANN director Alejandro Pisanty, whose tenure ends in September. The nomination process will be followed by a period of time during which GA members may endorse candidates. Ultimately, the Names Council will select the new board member.

Fri Aug 9 15:21:00 CEST 2002 #



One reader of the WHOIS Task Force's report sent me a private comment about the statitsical considerations section of that report, pointing out that there is no reason to suppose that the statistics of a self-selected sample can be modeled by a Gaussion or any other random model. This is, of course, true: The fact that the respondents were self-selected can add any systematic bias, and we don't know what that bias looks like. However, we know that this bias makes the results worse. Thus, error margins derived from a random model underestimate the errors. Put differently: If you couldn't derive a conclusion assuming the sample is random, you certainly can't derive it when the results come from a self-selected sample.

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Fri Aug 9 11:38:56 CEST 2002 #



Don't link to us is a blog worth an occasional look if you want to see how (big!) businesses are trying to make their own websites useless by nonsensical legal restrictions. The point of the site: Linking to stupid linking policies, blogging the unbloggable sites.

Thu Aug 8 21:58:55 CEST 2002 #



The DNSO's WHOIS Task Force is taking comments on its report until August 14. The comments should be sent to <>. They are archived on the DNSO web site.

Tue Aug 6 18:55:33 CEST 2002 #



The DNSO secretariat has posted draft minutes of the Names Council's August 1 telephone conference.

Tue Aug 6 15:40:07 CEST 2002 #



The folks at have elected a new panel: Vittorio Bertola, Vivek Durai, Michael Geist, Satyajit Gupta, Richard Henderson, Hans Klein, Joanna Lane, James Love, Jefsey Morfin, Judith Oppenheimer, and YJ Park. The full results of the vote are going to be published on the DNSO web site.

Tue Aug 6 12:06:01 CEST 2002 #



John Berryhill has posted a pointer to patent applications by SnapNames. William Walsh says that he has prior art dating back to 1999.

The patent applications: Domain name acquisition and management system and method; Registry-integrated internet domain name acquisition system.

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Mon Aug 5 19:04:25 CEST 2002 #



Over the week, there were some more WLS-related news showing up which I didn't link to so far:

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Sat Aug 3 09:16:04 CEST 2002 #



The Evolution and Reform Committee has published its First Interim Implementation Report. Among other topics, this report includes comments on the ERC's ideas on ICANN's future policy-making process, and some comments on the Names Policy Development Process Assistance Group's Preliminary Framework.


Fri Aug 2 11:14:17 CEST 2002 #



During the latest Names Council call, Bruce Tonkin gave a short overview of the Names Policy Development Process Assistance Group's work. Alexander Svensson, who participated in the call, has transcribed the statement:


Fri Aug 2 10:14:51 CEST 2002 #



Elliot Noss, Tim Denton, and Ross Rader from Tucows have presented another paper on their ideas for ICANN's future. They believe that participation in ICANN should no longer feel like being inside a washing machine, with no idea when the cycle will end.


Fri Aug 2 08:26:44 CEST 2002 #



The Names Council has adopted a resolution on ICANN reform (doc / pdf / html) during its telephone conference today (MP3 recording). The Council requests that the GNSO Council should contain three representatives per constituency, as opposed to the two representatives suggested in the blueprint. The reasons quoted are geographic and cultural diversity with in the GNSO, and the work load within the council. Danny Younger has posted some thoughtful comments on this to the GA list.

Thu Aug 1 21:35:14 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).