This summary covers the DNSO GA mailing list’s (and related) discussions and news between March 13, 2002, and March 20, 2002.
Note that, once again, no claims of completeness of this summary are made. A lot was said during the time covered, and a lot of this is left out of this summary. However, I hope that this summary can provide readers with a helpful collection of starting points for their own reading of the list archives. If you believe that I missed a significant position or sub-thread, please don’t hesitate to follow up with your own summary of that.
The posting rights of Jeff Williams have been suspended by the list monitor for eight weeks because of repeated violation of the list rules; the suspension was announced on Monday, March 18. No appeal was received by the GA’s chairman as of today, March 21. [www.dnso.org]
(i) WLS. Verisign announced the publication of a collection of comments received regarding the WLS proposal at [www.verisign-grs.com]. At the point of time at which this announcement was made, the registrars’ constituency had, however, not yet submitted its commentary. [www.dnso.org]
(ii) Verisign removing expiration dates from WHOIS data. George Kirikos pointed out that, for the domain auction-barn.com, the whois data as accessible at whois.networksolutions.com does not contain an expiration date. (As of this writing, the expiration date is still not given; T.R., 2002-03-21, 00:15 CET.) [www.dnso.org]
No explication for the lack of the information has, so far, been provided by Verisign.
(iv) “Substance over rhetoric.” ICANN’s former chairman Esther Dyson suggested that ICANN should hire GA co-chair Alexander Svensson “to manage At-Large outreach for the next year,” and offered to contribute to the funding; her pledge is supposed to be “matched by institutions such as Harvard’s Berkman Center […], Markle, Bertelsmann, and the like.” [www.dnso.org]
This suggestion caused considerable debate on the mailing list.
During that discussion, Barbara Simons noted that “the number of ‘instant’ at-large members would be a six digit figure if you count everyone who registered and five digits if you just count those who confirmed their registration.” [www.dnso.org]
In her response, Esther Dyson mentioned that the ALSC had asked for the list of at-large members, “to no avail.” Asked by Barbara who turned down the ALSC’s request, Esther noted that “Denise Michel would know the details, but it was staff (since the board did not meet to consider the request).” [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].
In a different branch of this thread, current ICANN chairman Vint Cerf noted that “the resolution that implemented the ALSC proposal, except for the election component, should be on the website already.” (It certainly is now.) Michael Froomkin commented: “Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?” to which Vint responded: “Please also note the verbatim board discussion in which a number of directors expressed the hope that elections might be possible if/when the deficiencies documented in the ALSC report and elsewhere can be overcome.” [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].
Peter de Blanc commented that the proposal that ICANN should charge each ccTLD $ 7,200 was “a disturbing concept,” and pointed out that some ccTLDs have few registrants (with, in part, less than 500 names registered). “Those ccTLDs can hardly afford US $ 7,200. In fact in one of the countries I am referring to, a special permit is required to convert local cash to US $,” Peter continued. He then reported about a conversation with Josh Eliot, who used to “perform the IANA function” prior to ICANN, and now works for a company which “provides DNS as a paid service to large clients […]. They do this for a fee based on the number of ‘DNS inquiries’ they get […]. Josh’s company gives incredible QoS (Quality of Service) level guarantees,” Peter writes. With root server operations in mind, he suggests that it “will be interesting to see what fees Josh’s company will charge.” [www.dnso.org]
Another note by Danny, stating that “perhaps we can obtain necessary funding without the need to actually seat governments on the board of ICANN,” provoked a response from Vint Cerf, who stated that “the proposal that Stuart made would not put government employees on the board but would offer governments an opportunity to choose among a slate of candidates developed by a nominating committee.” To this, Jon Weinberg responded that the proposal as published leaves the nomination process of board members to the governments. Vint replied that his statement reflects “the evolution of thinking since January 24.” “The nominations process was one area that Stuart left kind of loose, not knowing what he might hear from the GAC,” Vint writes. [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].
James Love suggested a “much different model for the governments” than the one imagined by Vint: “Giving (some) governments a direct role […] will blur issues such as the legal authority of the entity and its accountability to the public.” Also, Jamie asks, “what are you going to tell China?” In his reply, Vint conceded that “you may well be right that this won’t work – which is one of the reasons we have asked the GAC to respond with its own ideas.” Jamie then focused on the model of public-private partnerships used by Stuart Lynn, and commented that the structure suggested by the Lynn proposal “is pretty much the worst way to structure this.” [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].
In the subsequent debate, some agreed, some didn’t.
Mike Roberts (ICANN’s former president and CEO) pointed out that he doesn’t “detect support for the Lynn plan from any significant stakeholder group thus far.” The “Board has bent over backward not to endorse the plan,” he notes. With respect to director representation and accountability, he notes that there are “three years of experience in which nomination, selection and seating of the Directors from the names, protocols and address areas has functioned better than one might expect.” “Let’s not be in a rush to jettison structures that are getting the job done, especially those, such as the DNSO, that are showing considerable recent improvement in quality and process,” he writes. Concerning at-large elections, he notes that the board “left a door open for an initiative.” He then goes on to comment on various points of the Lynn proposal, and opinions raised in the recent debate. I suggest you just read these comments in Mike’s own words. [www.dnso.org]