ICANN Can't




(see below my rant for the actual announcement)

This continuous ICANN out-fighting and in-fighting is just a sign that the system doesn't seem to be working. No matter how many good people with good intentions and brilliant big name mucky mucks (many whom belong to far too many boards to give considerable attention to ICANN) get on board, it just seems the issues are compounding. A lot of people have worked hard to try and make the ICANN system work, maybe it's time to start anew. What if ICANN ran as a non-profit with the backbone ideals of a corporation (not the kind of corporation that bankrupts its employees' retirement fund and stockholders, but rather the kind that sustains itself ethically and continues to grow) with an ALAC type of watchdog staff folded into it. Why not put people who are qualified and want to make ICANN work on the payroll? So how does ICANN get the money to do this?

BRINGING REGISTRATION IN-HOUSE/PRIVACY ISSUES

As far as the Verisign and ICANN - HERE'S THE BIG QUESTION - why can't ICANN build the infrastructure to run domain name registration within itself? We're talking servers, open source databases and call centers - we're not talking flippin' rocket science. Why don't we bring leaders from computer science education and their students into the picture (like back in The Day) to work on this undertaking? Why not involve the thinktanks and analysts? Everyone else is treating the Internet like a business - why isn't the business of running the Internet a business?

There are a great deal of resources left untapped because of the layers of politics in ICANN and the hesitation it causes to get involved in such an undertaking. With registration in-house, there are no conflicts of interest, no bickering about how much ICANN gets to keep, and - if done correctly - a lower price for domain registration for the consumer. Even with all of the costs of building infrastructure and staff, if managed correctly, ICANN will build enough of a self-sustaining base to become much stronger, and, thus, more able to deal with the technical issues (perhaps even the issues of spam and fraud that need to come in-house to assure the prospering of the Internet since these issues should begin and end with their clients). AND I'd like to see a guarantee regarding the privacy of domain registration information. Clearly there is far too much conflict of interest involved with Verisign and other registry companies and all of their services and partnerships to be concerned about domain owner privacy.

I know that I'm paying a whole lot more than ICANN is receiving per each of my domain names - and paying EXTRA for Verisign NOT to post my personal data on its own site. Then again, although it's not posted, I have no idea what registration companies are doing with my data. Why are companies such as http://www.whois.sc/info/registries/ a business? All they do is broker private information contracted to them from companies such as Verisign. Does something sound wrong with that? I once spoke with senior counsel of Verisign about the privacy issues (before they offered to take your money as extortion to keep your information - somewhat - private), he said - "get a P.O. box and don't worry about it." So, I should pay extra to purchase a P.O.B (and take extra time to go and collect mail from the PO box) so that a company I give my private information to can post it to the world? I'd like to put a spycam in the guy's toilet (with www access and a budget to promote it) and tell him - don't worry about it, just wear your pants when you go to the bathroom.... It makes about as much sense. Companies such as Whoissource make available all records going back to 2001 - that means even if you decided to make your information private with a domain registry block available within recent years, it doesn't mean that someone can't look up past registrations of your URL (where your private data was available). I've also noticed that Verisign does not offer you the privacy block as a service when you order (letting you know that your private data will be made public before you close the deal) - you have to ask for it.

Hey - and with this bickering about money, why isn't ICANN getting a piece of the services sold with each domain name sold? I think it's time for ICANN to get serious - and for us to get serious about ICANN. The organization needs to be run like a real corporation WITH the interests of the user at heart, and the financial means to support a healthy infrastructure.

As far as this Verisign lawsuit...pehaps Gary Kremen should be brought in as a consultant.... Something has to be done - the way ICANN handles issues not only has direct ramifications on the users of the Internet, but also its future. I only have to think about Jon Postel http://www.postel.org/postel.html http://gtm.vlsm.org/in-iana.html and what he might think of the current ICANN situation to know there must be a better way of governing the name and numbering of Internet registration.

---------- Forwarded Message -----------
Sent: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 12:05:48 -0800
Subject: ICANN AT-LARGE MONTHLY ANNOUNCEMENT
ICANN AT-LARGE NEWSLETTER
October 2005

In this issue:

* Action: An agreement out for public comment would end the ICANN vs. VeriSign lawsuits, but at what price? Domain names could cost significantly more in 5 years...

* Action: Hi, Hola, Bonjour - the ICANN Community Tackles Internationalized Domain Names at the Vancouver Meeting. Your voice is needed.

* Information: New ALAC members are coming from Asia, Africa and Latin America - be gentle with them, they are just starting.

* Meeting: Don't miss the Vancouver ICANN Meeting! It's shaping up to be an action-packed week!

* Meeting: User groups are meeting in Vancouver to finalize the Asia/Pacific Regional At-Large Organization

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Action: An agreement out for public comment would end the ICANN vs. VeriSign lawsuits, but at what price? Domain names could cost significantly more in 5 years...

ICANN has reached an agreement to end all pending litigation over its long-standing dispute with VeriSign. The settlement agreement documents have been posted for public comment


and are subject to final approval of the ICANN Board. ICANN states that, under the agreement, VeriSign will: withdraw all pending litigation and arbitration relating to .COM; adopt ICANN's position on a wide range of issues concerning registry services (such as Sitefinder) and the way they are introduced; commit to binding international arbitration to prevent any future disagreements from resulting in costly and disruptive litigation; and recognize and participate in the ICANN consensus policy process. That sounds good, but we are looking into the details.

The ALAC, and many other ICANN stakeholders, have raised questions regarding the agreement. For example:

- ALAC wants to know why VeriSign should be allowed to increase the price it charges per .COM domain name registration by 7% annually from a US$6 base price (which could be passed on to Registrars which could pass it on to everyone with a .COM domain name)? Others ask should ICANN be in the business of setting price controls or should the marketplace play a greater role in setting prices through registry and registrar competition for customers?

- ALAC wants to know why the term of VeriSign's .COM registry management should be extended forever with no competition for price or service? Others note that the .COM registry agreements have included "presumptive renewal" provisions since 1999 and ask why should it be changed? Could it be changed?

- ALAC wants to know why VeriSign isn't required to invest in .COM registry infrastructure to improve stability and security? Others question whether ICANN should force VeriSign and all other registry operators to meet specific levels of capital investment (and if so, what level)?

- ALAC wants to know why VeriSign should be given the right to use .COM zone metadata for commercial purposes? Others question whether ICANN should regulate what companies can do with the information in the logs of their own servers?

- ALAC wants to know whether "registry services" are appropriately defined and should ICANN pre-approve Waiting List Service, Consolidate, Internationalized Domain Names, "Restore," and Transfer Dispute Resolution (all new registry-level services)? Others question the need for more restrictions if VeriSign has essentially adopted ICANN's broad interpretation of "registry services" and agreed to subject new registry services to ICANN's new procedures for security, stability, and competition review.

- ALAC wants to know why ICANN should receive US.50 cents for every .COM registration plus US$1,250,000, especially when it is unclear at this point how these funds will benefit Internet users? Others see this as enabling ICANN to have a stable and predictable funding source, and as potentially benefiting the user community if ICANN uses open strategic and operational planning and budget approval processes to decide how to spend the funds.

- ALAC wants to know if users would be better off if ICANN pursued litigation instead of settling - what are the pros and cons?

The ALAC is continuing to investigate and discuss this agreement and urges all Internet users, especially .COM registrants, to share their views on how this agreement might affect them. Send your emails for public posting to *and* *by 24 November if possible*. The ALAC has scheduled two forums on the proposed settlement at the ICANN Vancouver meeting . Check www.alac.icann.org for details.

* Action: Hi, Hola, Bonjour - the ICANN Community Tackles Internationalized Domain Names at the Vancouver Meeting. Your voice is needed.

ICANN's Board has just endorsed a new version of the "IDN Guidelines," which had been posted for public comments

http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-20sep05.htm
These are proposed "rules" Registries would follow in implementing IDNs, and they attempt to address such challenges as how to prevent the deceptive use of visually confusable characters from different scripts in individual IDN labels. The Board also requested that specific IDN improvement recommendations be submitted by June 2006, and supported further development of a Best Current Practices (BCP) document to ensure that the guideline directions will be used deeper into the DNS hierarchy and within top level domains.

The ALAC has released an IDN statement to inform this work. The ALAC believes that IDNs are not just a technical or business matter, but rather a fundamental element of the respect for cultural diversity and the internationalization of the Internet. The ALAC has been promoting the prompt introduction of full and non-discriminating support for all scripts and languages in domain names, as well as in other elements of the Internet that are directly used by the final consumers, in a manner that ensures an orderly and wise deployment of IDN registrations. The ALAC believes this to be one of the most pressing issues for the global Internet community and encourages all interested At-Large groups and individuals to provide input. Send emails to

*and*
The ALAC can accept comments in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Japanese, and Chinese.

* Information: New ALAC members are coming from Asia, Africa and Latin America - be gentle with them, they are just starting.

Please join us in welcoming three new ALAC members appointed by ICANN's Nominating Committee: Jacqueline Morris (Trinidad and Tobago, Latin America/Caribbean Islands); Alice Wanjira (Kenya, Africa); and Siavash Shahshahani (Iran, Asia/Australia/Pacific). Information on these individuals is posted at
They will officially join the ALAC at the conclusion of ICANN' Vancouver meeting. They will be replacing: Sunday Folayan (Nigeria - Africa); Tommy Matsumoto (Japan - Asia/Australia/Pacific); and Tadao Takahashi (Brazil - Latin America/Caribbean Islands). Please also join us in thanking our colleagues for their service and commitment to the At-Large community.
* Meeting: Don't miss the Vancouver ICANN Meeting! It's shaping up to be an action-packed week!
You are invited to join the ICANN community in Vancouver, Canada 29 Nov - 4 Dec, and participate in several meetings and fora on issues that affect the Internet's end-users. Events include:
- 29 Nov: At-Large Regional Meetings (planning and discussion for At-Large groups); At-Large Planning Workshop (review of At-Large and ALAC and discussion of long-term goals); At-Large Users Workshop (briefing on VeriSign settlement and IDNs);

- 30 Nov.: Roundtable - Welcome to ICANN, Here's What It Means To You; Lunch with the Board & ALAC for New ICANN Particpants; IDN Workshop;
- 1 Dec.: At-Large Users Forum (discussion of VeriSign Settlement, IDN Guidelines, other issues); ALAC Meeting (reports, discussion, action on pending issues);

- 2 Dec.: At-Large Regional Meetings (planning and discussion for At-Large groups); Strategic Planning Workshop (discussion of ICANN's long-term plan); WSIS Workshop (discussion of Tunis results and next steps); ICANN Public Forum (open microphone)

- 3 Dec.: ICANN Public Forum (open microphone)

You can attend in person or follow some proceedings via the Internet. Participation is free and Internet users are encouraged to come!! Check for general information and for details on At-Large-related events.
* Meeting: User groups are meeting in Vancouver to finalize the Asia/Pacific Regional At-Large Organization

All individuals involved in Internet user issues in the Asia/Australia/Pacific (AP) region, are invited to participate in a meeting on 2 December in Vancouver to plan the launch an Asia-Pacific Regional At-Large Organization (APRALO). Representatives of user groups involved in ICANN At-Large in this region have developed a draft charter, bylaws, and outreach plans aimed at enabling user groups in this region to work together to advance Internet users' needs. More information is posted at . Send questions to .

The Interim At-Large Advisory Committee
alac@icann.org
www.alac.icann.org

If a group you are involved with wants to influence decisions that shape the Internet, register as an "At-Large Structure" and participate in ICANN decisions critical to the Internet's end users. "At-Large Structure" registration is free, easy, and done via email. Groups interested participating in ICANN At-Large are encouraged to send an email to or get more information and an application online .

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