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    The Big Picture Brock Meeks Pulls No Punches
    posted by michael on Friday May 31 2002, @03:49AM

    "The issue of Internet governance has all the appeal of a rare intestinal disease and less political clout than an orphan drug." That's Brock Meeks introducing a pungent description of the current state of ICANN over at MSNBC.com: ICANN, he says, has "become a real-time parody of its acronym.

    "The brutal truth is, ICANN can't. It can't handle the task initially given to it, can't handle the tasks it usurped along the way in classic Washingtonian mission creep style, can't keep its promises and can't manage to stay away from controversy. ICANN has eaten itself and then proceeded to ask for seconds and thirds."



    There's lots more, and almost all of it on target. My only quibble is that I think Meeks misdescribes the danger to Internet stability. The odd truth is that if ICANN were to vanish, in the short run the Internet would keep on running fine. (There are a few critical IANA tasks that need doing for updates, but this it a one or two person task. And ICANN isn't doing its job here anyway, preferring to refuse to update ccTLD records in order to blackmail the ccTLDs into signing ICANN's "obey and pay" contracts.)

    The real ICANN danger isn't that it collapses and things go bad -- it is that ICANN centralizes power, escapes accountability, and then misuses its expanded powers. There are good things a good ICANN could enable others to do; there are a few very bad things a bad ICANN does and plenty more it could do. No ICANN at all would be a pretty easy problem to cope with.

     
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Brock Meeks Pulls No Punches | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 12 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Brock Meeks Pulls No Punches
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Friday May 31 2002, @04:37AM (#6600)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    Let's not go overboard -

    Yes, ICANN has made some BIG mistakes, but the UDRP is BASICALLY a good idea... It just needs some more revision and Review and Appeal Procedures implemented.
    UDRP a good idea?
    by dtobias (dan@tobias.name) on Friday May 31 2002, @08:09AM (#6612)
    User #2967 Info | http://domains.dan.info/
    Well, I guess the one good thing I can say about the UDRP is that it is an improvement over what went before, which was the Network Solutions "Cover-Our-Asses" policy that aimed not to promote justice or fairness of any sort, but only to try to keep Network Solutions from getting sued (not entirely successfully, as there were a number of lawsuits challenging their policy). Under that policy, anyone with a trademark that matched a domain could challenge it and the only permissible defense was if the registrant had a trademark of their own -- no defenses based on the generic nature of a name or it being an unregistered trade name or common law trademark were recognized. Challenged names were put on hold so that nobody could use them, a result not particularly satisfactory to either party in such disputes. At least in the UDRP, the parties get their "day in court" (even if it's often a kangaroo court), and get a decision that's at least supposedly based on the merits of the case.
    Re: UDRP a good idea?
    by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Friday May 31 2002, @11:30AM (#6619)
    User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
    Well, it's better for *some* people who were victimized by the NSI policy, I agree; it's worse for *other people* who had their domain names taken by very dubious claimants without registered trademarks.
    Re: Brock Meeks Pulls No Punches
    by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Friday May 31 2002, @06:56AM (#6606)
    User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
    You obviously don't know who he is, either, then.

    ++Peter
    Re: Brock Meeks Pulls No Punches
    by dtobias (dan@tobias.name) on Friday May 31 2002, @07:40AM (#6609)
    User #2967 Info | http://domains.dan.info/
    I know who Brock Meeks is... he's the one that the makers of the censorship software CyberSitter referred to as "but a trickle of piss in the river of life," as noted on my anti-CyberSitter page. :)
    Re: Brock Meeks Pulls No Punches
    by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Friday May 31 2002, @09:55AM (#6616)
    User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
    Considering the source, I would hope that Mr. Meeks took it as a compliment.

    ++Peter


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