It is neither warranted nor wise to allow the destructive actions of a small number of criminals to completely divert the Internet community from its ongoing agenda. I can understand why the staff might add a discussion of security to its agenda. But to pre-empt all other controversial issues on these grounds is just a bit too convenient. It seems to this observer like a conscious attempt to avoid the real issues facing the organization.
One needs to think carefully about the sweeping scope of Stuart Lynn's announcement. He is not asking us to add a discussion of security to the agenda, he is stating unequivocally that the meeting will "focus exclusively" on it. According to the announcement, "Every constituency and supporting organization will be asked to report on its efforts to ensure the stability of the Internet's naming and addressing systems and what additional steps it proposes to take to improve that stability and security among its member organizations. Agenda items will be assessed for inclusion by what they contribute to the overall focus of the meeting."
The effect of such requests will be to crowd out entirely numerous unresolved policy issues that have been on ICANN's DNSO agenda for some time:
* Representational structure
* New TLDs
* UDRP reform
* ORG divestiture
* Multilingual names
* Registrar-registry relations
Indeed, the effect will be to give ICANN's self-appointed management total control over the agenda of this alleged bottom-up policy making apparatus.
Where did ICANN's staff get the authority to set the agenda for every SO and SO constituency? No advance consultation with the DNSO Names Council or constituencies was conducted. Lynn seems to have lost sight of the fact that supporting organizations and constituencies are autonomous entities that are supposed to define their own agendas.
One might excuse this behavior if there were good cause for it. But there is only the slightest connection between the Internet naming and addressing system and the decade-long war between Bin Laden's international terrorist network and the United States government. ICANN is primarily a policy making and regulatory organization for the DNS. There is very little it can do about attempts by murderers to blow things up; such problems are in the hands of international alliances, law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and military forces. The pretext for completely revamping ICANN's agenda is so patently thin one can only draw the most cynical conclusion about why the proposal was made.
Once again, ICANN's management has made us all feel manipulated.
In this painful context, it is truly hard to bear, even for those of us with the lowest of expectations.