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July 2005 Archives

July 1, 2005

DOC Statement on Principles

People all over the place are trying to decipher the U.S. Statement of Principles 06-30-2005, which seems to assert, according to one reading, that the United States Government intends to keep its control over ICANN.

I see a number of statements in here: The first principle asserts that the USG intends to preserve the security and stability of the Internet's Domain Name and Addressing System. That could be right out of an ICANN statement of priorities, and does not imply any statement of distrust in ICANN. Notably absent from this section (and from others further on) is any mention of how long the USG is going to maintain its role.

The second principle -- Governments have legitimate interest in the management of their country code top level domains (ccTLD) -- is not so much a bold assertion of governmental influence on Internet governance, but much more an assertion of that influence's limits: On the one hand, the government role is confined to the ccTLD space, on the other hand, it's confined by the DNS's stability and security (which is, in turn, ICANN's job).

The third statement is a statement of support to ICANN, with the usual description of ICANN's role as "technical management."

The fourth and final statement -- Dialogue related to Internet governance should continue in relevant multiple fora -- is notable for its emphasis on multiple fora, and private sector leadership, as opposed to a single, multi-stakeholder thing that could be installed as the new oversight body.

What the statement is lacking is any indication of how long the USG will maintain its historical role and exercise continued oversight.

I'm sure that this statement is a direct response to the -- so far unpublished -- WGIG report. Much of the context we're missing now will fall in place when that report becomes available.

July 4, 2005

Airline invents matter transport by telefax

On the phone with my preferred airlines' frequent flyer program, complaining about a bunch of missing flights: "If you could please make a copy of your boarding passes and passenger receipts to keep for yourself, and fax us the originals." -- "yes, ma'am"

July 5, 2005

A useless Agenda

ICANN comes to Luxembourg next week, and I'll, of course, attend the conference.

Not paying as much attention to ICANN matters as I used to, I looked at the published agenda page for that meeting today, to figure out what sessions will be interesting, what are the topics I should read more about, and generally, what the agenda will be.

The experience was both frustrating and enlightening: Actually relying on the public meeting agenda, I don't find out what the agenda is for the GNSO public forum, for the GNSO Council session, for the Public Forum, or for the Board session. I'm also not informed about the details of ALAC's open meetings -- apparently, there are some, but there's, once again, no agenda published. (Or, at least, it's not linked from the meeting page.)

As far as the "At-Large European Meeting" on Sunday is concerned, I got an invitation, but no follow-up: I have no idea which organizations are going to be represented. There was no preparatory telephone conference. There were no preparatory discussions of the agenda.

One of the very fundamental aspects of holding meaninful open meetings is that those who are going to participate have an idea of the agenda.

With this ICANN meeting, they don't get that idea.

(I think I'll make this comment at the Open Mike part of the Public Forum.)

July 10, 2005

IRC backchannel

The IRC back channel for the ICANN meeting is #icann, on irc.freenode.net.

July 11, 2005

Attending closed meetings

Writes Kieran McCarthy: To make myself feel better, I sat in on a bit of a closed session of ICANN’s government advisory committee (GAC) - something they hate and which a German reporter had told me earlier they are very strict about. She was forcibly ejected last time. But with goodwill flowing like sweet honey, even this small pleasure was ruined by everyone being nice to one another. What’s the point in having a closed session is you don’t start dishing the dirt?

July 12, 2005

Registrar discontent on .net

The GNSO Council is holding its version of the public forum, which partially takes the role that the DNSO GA should have had back then. So far, the public forum has been rather uneventful, with (remarkably) not a single person stepping up to the opefn microphone to comment on WHOIS.

We are now in the middle of reports from the constituency chairs, and Bhavin Turakhia read a statement from the registrar constituency regarding the .net redelegation. They essentially consider the board's agreement to that contract a breach of trust, and have a list of fundamental aspects that they would like to see revised. There was applause in the room after that statement was read.

It will be interesting to see how the interaction between the registrar community and the board plays out in the public forum later this week, as there is little doubt that the .net contract will be the dominating topic there.

GNSO Council on Strategic Plan

The GNSO Council is now discussing the strategic plan. People are unhappy with the way in which the current state of the strategic plan was developed, and don't believe it's backed by consensus. The following resolution is accepted with a few abstentions:

The GNSO Council does not currently believe that there is a consensus of the ICANN community in the support of the strategic plan. The Council encourages the development of a consensus-based strategic plan.

GNSO Council on .net

Under "any other business", but not unexpected:

The GNSO Council expresses its concern to the Board that the final .net agreement was not posted for public comment prior to approval, given the significant changes made to the agreement from the previously posted draft.

The motion is phrased by Marilyn Cade, after a statement, and after Bruce Tonkin wondered if a one-sentence resolution was the right thing, "for clarity."

Cary Karp objects, based on lack of consultation. Tonkin calls the vote. gTLD registries, IPC abstain; NCUC, registrars, BC, and ISPCP vote in favor. Tonkin notes that he will note the concerns raised in reporting the resolution. Lucy Nichols (IPC) seconds the concerns. Tonkin suggests that the resolution attempts to summarize the community consensus he hears from the constituencies. Discussion on what the abstentions mean -- not sharing the opinion, or simply not having a clear position that would support this particular resolution. Discussion on how this be presented to the board.

"They are kicking people out of the building."

Writes Kieren McCarthy, about the site of the Luxembourg ICANN meeting: That combined with the fact that the conference centre is little more than a giant truck stuck in a massive car park in the full sun, except with carpets, doors and partition walls. Asylum seekers have died in such circumstances.

An EU presidency mostly failed in these rooms, quite recently.

Tat said, the meeting organization does, indeed, leave some desirables open. For instance, it seems unthinkable here that breaks happen when they fit the work, and that this is maybe not precisely when they are on the schedule. "You have to respect the schedule," told me one waiter, and hence refused to give me any coffee before the scheduled minute.

The GNSO Council taking a little longer than scheduled was apparently another unthinkable surprise: As one participant put it, security personnel was kicking people out of the building once Council was done. Once people had left the building, it required extensive arguing to get back in.

I'd wish conference organizers would realize that the main purpose of such a meeting is -- surprise! -- meeting, and that side discussions and hallway talks are key to a successful conference. Conference organizers shouldn't put obstacles into the way of these conversations, but should rather think about what they can do to enable them.

About July 2005

This page contains all entries posted to No Such Weblog in July 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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