This summary covers the DNSO GA mailing list’s (and related) discussions and news between March 26, 2002, and April 02, 2002.
NOTE THAT THE ABOVE URL HAS CHANGED: A NEW VOLUME OF THE LIST ARCHIVES HAS BEEN STARTED.
Please feel free to forward this summary as you believe to be appropriate.
(i) WLS. In a follow-up to the last summary, George Kirikos said: “The only item I’d have added was a brief mention of the thread where Verisign has submitted WLS to ICANN (despite opposition by the RC, and no consensus), as that hadn’t been officially mentioned anywhere else but on this list (i.e. except for the quiet release on Verisign’s website).” [www.dnso.org]
(ii) Request for a Working Group. Danny Younger requested a working group devoted to the topic of “abuse and deceptive registrar and re-seller business practices.” Michael Froomkin, William X. Walsh (and several others) agreed that this topic should be “regulated by the national authorities where a business is located.” (Michael’s words.) Marilyn Cade suggested that ICANN should publish the list of the appropriate entities. [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].
(iii) The Heathrow Declaration. Ross Wm. Rader published a pointer to the “Heathrow Declaration,” “an alternative ICANN reform proposal crafted by Tucows.” There is also a separate mailing list to discuss this proposal. [www.dnso.org]
(iv) Consensus. Danny Younger quoted Karl Auerbach’s “Prescription to Promote,” and asked: “is it time to replace the consensus process? If so, how to we avoid establishing a structural model that relegates certain groups automatically to minority status?” [www.dnso.org].
In a follow-up, Karl argued that the current “stakeholder” system of ICANN “is a simpleminded assignment of people/entities to a voting bloc (or to observer status) based on one external attribute.” Instead, Karl suggested, “a better approach is to designate some ‘atomic unit’ of voting” – for instance a single individual – “and let those units chose for themselves which other units they wish to be associated on any particular issue.” He also points out that he does not “agree with the assertion of ‘greater stake’,” and compares the registry income with the “cumulative ‘stake’ as measured by the indirect charges that fall on those who use and pay for domain name services.” Finally, Karl compares all this to the political system in the US, “in which the voters in most of our public elections are people and not corporations or other collective entities.” [www.dnso.org]
Chuck Gomes of Verisign suggested that “it would be a good idea to first give ‘consensus’ a legitimate chance.” In particular, he said, “it is okay if consensus cannot be reached on particular issues.” “That allows for diversity in the marketplace and gives consumers choices.” [www.dnso.org]
In a message which should be considered required reading, David Johnson noted that “any restructuring plan must deal with the problem of the tyranny of the majority (or even supermajority).” He emphasized that ICANN’s powers “must be based on the ‘consent of the governed’.” “The point is NOT to make rules where there is substantial, principled disagreement from those with a stake. The point is to NOT make rules where there is such disagreement,” he writes. He also suggests that “there is still a way to shrink ICANN’s mission back to the … task of attempting to catalyze agreement on global issues that require coordination.” Instead creating a “global regulator,” competition should be introduced at the registry level, so that the market can “provide the voice for the ‘governed’ to be heard’.” “That is,” he writes, “why it is important not to allow the development of objective minimum qualifications for new TLDs to slip off the agenda.” [www.dnso.org]
(v) New deadline for structure input. In a message from Louis Touton to the Names Council (which was also distributed through other channels), ICANN notes that “comments received after 29 April 2002 are likely to be significantly less useful than those received by that date.” The letter also contains a set of questions the Evolution and Reform Committee would like to hear views on. [www.dnso.org]