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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Registrars ICANN Reform : Draft Registrars Proposals are Challenged
    posted by michael on Sunday May 05 2002, @01:33PM

    Richard_Henderson writes "Contrary to the Registrar Constituency Draft on Lynn Plan, registrars should be limited to an advisory role within ICANN because of commercial conflicts of interest. The Registrars' proposals sideline ordinary internet users."

    Reading the Draft Registrars proposals, I'm struck by this extraordinary assumption that Registrars and Registries should have so much executive authority on the Board of ICANN - notwithstanding obvious commercial conflicts of interests that exist if they participate in decision-making processes and have the right to vote.

    Surely commonsense and honesty would dictate that if the Registrar and Registry communities want their expertise and interests represented in the way the DNS is administered then their place in the ICANN structures should be reserved for advisory capacities - not voting and executive roles when many of their commercial interests are at stake.

    Furthermore, the Registrars draft makes no protest at ICANN's abandonment of elected representatives for the millions of ordinary worldwide internet users. It is extraordinary that when there are hundreds of millions of ordinary internet users and a handful of mostly small registrar companies, their proposals offer much more executive influence to this tiny vested interest than to the real internet community for whom the internet should really be administered.

    Looking at the Registrars draft proposals, individual registrants (who are a very large constituency of internet users) are listed as only ONE out of 14 categories for possible "nomination" to ten proposed 'At Large' places on the Board. If interpreted and projected in this way in real terms, this might result in only ONE ordinary registrant on a Board of 15.

    And even that ONE individual would not be publicly elected but would have to be approved by a "Nominating Committee" where registrars/registries hold a third of the positions.

    Why? Particularly given the potential for conflict of interest, shouldn't Registrars/Registries be limited to merely advisory capacities? And why should they have any voting powers or say in the kind of ordinary user or individual registrant that is "nominated"?

    The Proposals from the Registrar Constituency (if adopted) re-inforce ICANN's determination to keep out elected representatives of the public who in their hundreds of millions invest in the Internet, finance ICANN, develop the Internet, and use the Internet.

    This Registrars Draft embraces the idea of "Nominating Committees" to "vet" the kind of people who are acceptable for the Board. And at the end of the day, it seems to offer the mass of ordinary users about ONE out of 15 places (a carefully "vetted" ONE) who can be easily marginalised, outvoted and rendered powerless.

    This Draft Proposal is therefore unacceptable. The Registrar community should be limited to "Advisory" capacities. Their commercial interests should exclude them from executive positions inside ICANN. The millions of internet users among the general public have a right to a central role and representation at the heart of ICANN.

    This statement - and any responses - can be found at this ICANN mailing list.

    [Editor's note: For more by Richard Henderson see his page, The Internet Challenge , concerning ICANN's failure to intervene over registrar fraud, and his campaign for mandatory "Best Practices" for Registrars and protection for the consumer . -mf]

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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    ICANN Reform : Draft Registrars Proposals are Challenged | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 5 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: ICANN Reform : Draft Registrars Proposals are
    by Richard_Henderson on Monday May 06 2002, @05:26AM (#6155)
    User #3269 Info | http://www.atlarge.org/
    It's always interesting to know who is visiting ICANNWATCH and I was reading the Registrars mailing list when I came across these comments from Michael Palage about this article:


    Hello All:

    As the ICANN restructuring debate moves forward I thought it interesting to
    share some of the viewpoints that believe Registrars should have a limited
    advisory role within ICANN
    because of a potential conflict of interest.
    Although I respectfully disagree with this viewpoint for a number of
    reasons, I believe it critical that the Constituency be mindful of what
    other people within the process are thinking, see

    After the Execom call this afternoon, we will up the constituency on the
    next course of action.

    Best regards,

    Michael D. Palage

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Registrars Proposal is a good one
    by Richard_Henderson on Monday May 06 2002, @04:37AM (#6151)
    User #3269 Info | http://www.atlarge.org/

    Actually, its the ordinary internet users who REALLY provide ICANN with its money, surely? The Registrars charge the public and then pass on a part of the public's money to ICANN.

    WHY should registrars and registries have anything other than an advisory role within ICANN?

    Given the conflicts of interest that exist when contracts are being handed out, agreements are being written up, or registrars need to be brought into line, it seems inappropriate for registrars and registries to have voting rights within ICANN.

    Some clear "distance" should be created between these mostly commercial entities, and the decision-making executives at ICANN. Commonsense would suggest that that is ethical practice in my opinion.

    Just because you don't want governments to control ICANN, that is hardly an argument for saying that one tiny industry should get these special voting rights. There are millions and millions of other people who have just as much right to determine the way the Internet is run. Let them listen to your registrar expertise by all means - but the role of the Registries and Registrars in ICANN should be advisory not executive.

    In my opinion, the relationship between ICANN and the registry/registrar community has been incestuous and has resulted in conflicts of interest, opaque decisions in support of favourites, and flimsy agreements which abandoned the interests of the consumer... witness the .info fiasco or the "exclusive queues" submitted by registrars for their friends in the .biz 2B.

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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