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November 2002 Archives

November 2, 2002

Touton on zone file inspection

The (lengthy) presentation Louis Touton gave during the Shanghai GA on Tuesday is available from ICANN's web site.

Preliminary minutes of the Shanghai meeting.

ICANN has posted preliminary minutes of the October 31 board meeting, which consist of the official text of the resolutions adopted.

November 8, 2002

Policy Development Process: How to participate effectively?

During ICANN's Shanghai Meetings, I had a number of discussions with the ACM's and NCDNHC's Kathy Kleiman. Kathy was upset about the proposed GNSO policy-development process: The short deadlines, she argued, would basically make participation in the process impossible for the non-commercial world; they were only appropriate for full-time lobbyists. The deadlines would make any serious outreach efforts impossible, in particular if directed at people or organizations from the non-English-speaking world. The conclusion: Extend the deadlines and slow down the process in order to make that kind of participation and outreach practically feasible.

Kathy's observation is accurate. However, I'm not sure whether the conclusion is the right one: Do more generous timelines really help? Wouldn't they still leave more than enough possibilities for professional lobbyists to outperform volunteer participants? (And be it by the sheer volume of documents produced or time to be spent on conference calls - remember, volunteers most of the time have a real life and job...)

(Besides all that, it may still be a good idea to slow down the process somewhat. It'll be hard for anyone to do in-depth work within that framework.)

As far as the concerns about participation from the non-commercial world are concerned, there may be a different conclusion: Leverage some professional lobbying power for the causes normally advanced by the NCDNHC, and to be advanced by the ALAC. Get professionalized advocacy groups involved who speak the language other participants actually listen to. (And that's not just about being fluent in English.) Make sure you understand the issues before they formally come up, and try to do outreach ahead of time. Act instead of reacting.

It's just like in court: It's a much better idea to hire a lawyer than to ask for a deadline extension so you can spend the next four years on law (and legalese) studies. Hiring a lawyer also greatly helps you not to loose on procedural grounds...

Now, how does one make all this happen within the ICANN context? (Or is that entire approach just the wrong thing to do?)

Note that these questions aren't academic at all: In the next couple of weeks, both the transition terms and some of the details of the ALAC's final structure will have to be worked out. Whatever comes out of that process will inevitably include an attempt to practically implement one possible answer. I hope it's the right one.

November 11, 2002

J changes IP address

As John Crain has announced a week ago to the NANOG list, the J root server is changing to a new IP address. For people operating name servers, this means that the root hints file should be updated. A rare event: The last update was on August 22, 1997.

A couple of observations: As of today, this announcement hasn't made it onto ICANN's or IANA's or InterNIC's home pages in a prominent manner - but probably, that's fine since even Gambling Magazine carries some version of the news. Also, as Perry Metzger observes on NANOG, the PGP public key which is used to sign the root hints file (C1D27AF9) isn't easily available through the usual key servers (it's also not available from the list of ICANN PGP keys).

November 12, 2002

WHOIS policy survey (German)

Ein Übersichtsartikel über die derzeit gültigen WHOIS-Policies ist in der Novemberausgabe von Datenschutz und Datensicherheit erschienen.

ccNSO assistance group posts policy-development process.

ICANN's ccNSO assistance group has posted a draft policy-development process for the ccNSO. It's modeled along the lines of the equivalent process for the GNSO. The non-trivial differences generally concern the role of the ccNSO's council, which would be in a stronger position than the GNSO's council. An unofficial (and somewhat experimental) HTML redline is available. If this doesn't display properly for you, please let me know.

November 13, 2002

Crawford and Johnson on the new gTLD action plan.

Crawford and Johnson, at ICANNwatch: How long should it take us to conclude that the Internet will not be well served by calling in the French Academy? Recommended reading.

November 14, 2002


Dave Winer and Bret Fausett are both talking about .blog as one response to Stuart Lynn's new gTLD action plan. Quite frankly, it's the first new gTLD idea which immediately appears to be useful to me - provided that the eventual proponents don't give in to the temptation of tying it to any specific technology or application service provider. Please keep the intelligence as closely at the edges as possible. Keep away from expensive centralized services.

While we are on it, here are some policy issues a proposal may have to address - possibly with some new thinking, since .blog would be a TLD mostly dedicated to (even non-commercial) free speech: (1) How do you handle trademark protection and name reservations? ICANN.blog should, as a name, be available - just like, say, mcdonalds.blog. (2) Is the traditional WHOIS policy appropriate? Of course, there's much more to think about. In particular: What (or who) qualifies for a regisration under .blog?

A propos name reservations...

In ICANN's current registry and sponsorship contracts, the names of TLDs are reserved as SLDs. This practice may be intended to help avoid confusion (and to address an old security problem documented in RFC 1535). Additionally, names like dnso.museum or icann.aero are reserved. While these specific ones certainly have some merit, it seems like a gross exaggeration to hard-wire them into a sponsorship agreement.

Conclusion: The reservations may be one of those ICANN practices which should be subject to re-evaluation.

November 19, 2002

"Bark Access"

I begin to understand why it took ICANN so long in the past to produce the transcripts of its physical meetings. I just had a look at the "dirty" transcript of a WHOIS conference call. "Bark access" (as opposed to bulk access) was just one of the lesser evils introduced by a notetaker who was obviously not familiar with the technical terms and abbreviations used by the task force members. Transcripts of some things I said were just incomprehensible to myself without looking at the notes I was using during the call. [Note that I'm not blaming anyone (except possibly myself for talking too quickly).]

WHOIS comment summaries

I have prepared summaries of the comments the WHOIS task force has received on the issues of accuracy of WHOIS data (warning: long!), and on bulk access, marketing, resale. The comments on accuracy in particular lead to the identification of a number of concerns with existing policy. I have tried to summarize some of these in a separate document.

November 21, 2002

Volunteers sought: Interim At-Large Advisory Committee.

This call for volunteers to serve on the Interim At-Large Advisory Committee is being circulated on various mailing lists. Volunteers are, in particular, needed for the non-European regions.

November 27, 2002

General Counsel on GNR WHOIS proposal.

ICANN's General Counsel has published an analysis of GNR's request for a revised .name WHOIS system: "In view of the above analysis, I recommend that the Board approve the amendment to the Registry Agreement as requested by GNR."

November 28, 2002

icannatlarge.com goes Teernstra

It seems like Joop Teernstra has, in his wisdom, decided that two distinct global at-large organizing efforts (with almost identical names) are the best thing to do. Now, what was that "control" debate about, again?

About November 2002

This page contains all entries posted to No Such Weblog in November 2002. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2002 is the previous archive.

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