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    ICANN Meetings ICANN Overload -- Or No Load At All? Mike Roberts Isn't Telling
    posted by michael on Thursday March 01 2001, @10:11AM

    From the But Wait! It gets better! department
    If you've been frantically trying to keep up with the blizzard of paper from ICANN during the last 36 hours, here's some news (maybe not good news): it seems that which if any of these issues will actually be decided in Melbourne, and which will be put off to later (secret) Board meetings remains to be announced. Yes, folks, that's right. With less than 10 days to go to Melbourne, everything is on the table to be discussed in a few short meetings, but you don't get to know which ones might be decided on the spot. It gets better if you read on...



    By mid-March 1, the ICANN Melbourne Agenda Page had a big headline that read
    AGENDA FOR ICANN PUBLIC FORUM AND BOARD MEETING. Under that headline, it said (only) that,
    The Agenda for the ICANN Public Forum on 12 March 2001 currently includes the following discussion items and reports:
  • New TLD agreements
  • Topic Paper on New TLD Agreements
  • ccTLD agreements
  • DNSO review
  • Internationalized Domain Names
  • Proposed Revisions to VeriSign Agreements
  • Status report by At Large Study Committee
  • ICANN Budget 2001-2002
  • Final report of the Ad Hoc Group on Numbering and Addressing
  • Other items may be added in the near future, so please check back.

    And indeed, several major items have appeared in the last few days that were not there before, along with large piles of associated reports, appendices and other things that only someone billing by the hour could love. This is an enormous amount of material to digest in a short time. A complaint just filed by Bret Fausett to the ICANN Board added it up as,

    new TLD contracts (each with 25 unique appendices, many of which are not yet posted); the discussion paper on the controversial multilingual domain names; and now, the radical restructuring of the agreements with Verisign (formerly NSI). The Agenda circulated on the ICANN Announce list today also mentions that the Board will consider the "Final report of the Ad Hoc Group on Numbering and Addressing," which, to the best of my knowledge, has not been posted anywhere, in either "draft" or "final" form.

    Now, it's true that if you read the above with an eagle eye, and especially if you note the difference between

  • the headline in all caps ("FOR ICANN PUBLIC FORUM AND BOARD MEEETING"), and
  • the little type that just refers to the "public meeting"
    then you might have discerned that there is no agenda for the Board given at all-it's just for the public meeting..

    Naturally, however, no one imagined that the Board was keeping its agenda secret, or that it had no plans to do anything at all. Everyone assumed that the two agendas were the same.

    Well, it t'aint necessarily so. In response to a complaint by Bret Fausett (of ICANN Blog fame), ICANN President Mike Roberts let one of the cats out of the bag. [Note: you can see Roberts's characteristically undiplomatic post in the middle of the item -- for some reason his messages are not automatically archived on the GA site.] It seems that the ICANN Board has not (yet) "posted...items for action" in Melbourne. In other words, they could address all the issues, they could address none of them, we just don't know. (And of course, the ones they don't do in Melbourne, they will do in their secret telephone meetings, the ones for which they don't even offer a listen-only phone patch like the Names Council does.)

    As Bret most sensibly notes, if anything could be on the agenda, you have to prepare for everything.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that of this writing, we have Mike Roberts's word for the fact that none of us has a clue about what the Board may be doing. But don't worry, there will be a bottom-up consensus supporting it in less than a week and a half.

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  • Melbourne Agenda Page
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