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    .org .org
    posted by tbyfield on Tuesday September 24 2002, @05:52AM

    Unsurprisingly, no sooner did the Department of Commerce renew its MoU with ICANN than ICANN, in turn, announced that it intends to award .org to ISOC:
    Considering the reports of the Gartner and Usage Evaluation teams, considering the supplemental information kindly provided by all applicants, and considering the comments of the previous section, the staff recommends to the Board that it award the .org registry to the ISOC proposal and instruct the ICANN President to finalize an agreement within ten days of the Board's decision.
    Comments to come; for now, the link. The seventh update on ICANN's damn-the-input-full-patronage-ahead appraoch ("org Reassignment: Final Staff Evaluation Report on the Proposals for Reassignment of the .Org Registry") can be found here.

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    Re: .org
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Tuesday September 24 2002, @07:37AM (#9362)
    User #2810 Info
    I don't see this as much of a smoking gun. ICANN posted the final report on Monday, see the icann.blog if you don't believe ICANN's claimed date of Monday (it is a Good Thing to not automatically believe what ICANN claims). I also got the above email from ISOC on Monday:

    Subject: PIR Board Call for Nominations
    Date: 23 Sep 02 17:02:30
    Return-Path: ...
    Received: from by mr3.ash.ops.us.uu.net with SMTP (peer crosschecked as: firewall.isoc.org []) id QQnhpj24204 for d_d@email.com; Mon, 23 Sep 2002 20:58:05 GMT

    So I'm not clear which happened first. Regardless, it is entirely possible that ISOC (and perhaps the other bidders) received notification somewhat in advance of it appearing on the ICANN website, I don't think that's a big deal. Besides, the letter states: As you are probably aware ISOC is one of the top contenders in the bid to be the new manager of the .ORG registry. That was about as true after the preliminary report as it is after the final report, except that only 5 bidders will be forwarded to the BoD. From the final report:

    It is staff's view that, given the Board's express instructions that demonstrated ability in operating a TLD registry of significant scale and continuous stability of the .org registry must receive primacy of consideration, only those proposals that are ranked "A" by Gartner and that receive high scores under Criteria 1 (Need to preserve a stable, well-functioning registry) and 9 (Preserving a smooth transition) by Gartner should receive further consideration. These are ISOC, NeuStar, GNR, DotOrg and Register.org. Indeed, Gartner recommends in its covering letter that "ICANN select the next operator of the .org TLD from among" these "five candidates".
    One wonders how many of the other bidders would have bothered giving ICANN $29 thousand, and otherwise spent time, effort, and money on their bids if they knew that they didn't meet this primacy requirement. And the top 5 bidders are all established ICANN players, the first three are ICANN's largest new registries Afilias (.info), NeuStar (.biz), and GNR (.name), the latter two are both Register.com (until recently the second largest ICANN accredited registrar after VeriSign, and still probably number 3). Note that all three of those registries have had no end of problems, and register.com once showed its willingness to file suit against ICANN. So ICANN is replacing a monopoly with a cartel, I suppose that's progress.

    Also note that the Gardner evaluation is taken as definitive, the other groups supposedly involved have fallen by the wayside, the academics weren't even asked, and the NCDNHC group is (typically) ignored. Those are just a few of a regiment of smoking guns in the .org redelegation. I'll point out some others later, time permitting. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: .org
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Tuesday September 24 2002, @01:44PM (#9370)
    User #2810 Info
    I do think Louis Touton is correct that this is not a conflict of interest as defined by ICANN's bylaws or other resolutions, but I don't think that that is Louis Touton's call to make. Doesn't ICANN have a Conflict of Interest committee? This is at least the second time that ICANN staff (and/or its General Counsel) have blithely ruled that there is no conflict of interest on a given matter. According to the bylaws, that is not the staff's, or the General Counsel's job (anyone want to take on the documenting of how often ICANN has breached its own bylaws? I know it would be a herculean task.).

    Not only is the proper party in a legal sense not looking into the possibility of ICANN conflict(s) of interest, those who are are themselves in a conflict of interest. Because the BoD has the power to hire and direct and fire the staff and General Counsel, the latter parties are beholden to the former for their continued employment, and for often considerable financial advantage, therefore they cannot be expected to act independently or in an unbiased manner.

    Meanwhile, whilst ISOC members (of which I also am one) cannot be expected to gain financially from ISOC getting .org, as the letter from ISOC to members posted elsewhere on these threads makes clear, ISOC will appoint the Board of PIR, probably from amongst its own members, and those individuals may be in a position to benefit financially. Thus one waits to see whether some ISOC members on the ICANN BoD have friends or associates who will benefit from the awarding of .org to ISOC. That still doesn't appear to be in violation of ICANN's COI policy, but, yeah, it smells, badly.

    And while I'm on the subject of PIR, why is the ICANN staff (and Gartner) falling all over themselves to name Afilias/ISOC/PIR as the best choice when PIR doesn't even exist yet? It has no Board, no members, no Bylaws, no staff, no telephone number, no address, not even an email address. Yet somehow they beat out all the other candidates apparently because they are an entirely undefined entity, therefore one can hardly find fault with them as the ICANN staff (and Gartner and others) have with the other applicants who didn't do a bait and switch.

    Let this be a(nother) lesson to potential applicants should ICANN ever again ask for tens of thousands of dollars per applicant (as in the new TLD rollout and the .org redelegation) for a chance at being chosen. Tell ICANN what they want to hear (or what looks plausible for public consumption if you know that you already have ICANN's, ear), and then do as you please, laughing all the way to the bank. If you don't already have the insider friends, or can't buy enough of them, there's no sense applying. You're throwing money down a very black hole. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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    Re: So who would you chose?
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Wednesday September 25 2002, @07:50AM (#9388)
    User #2810 Info
    Many (probably all) of the bids that didn't make the final cut have more substance than PIR, some of them are also non-profit (and can, and have, more readily proved it). And PIR's established back-end is Afilias, already an establishment of ill-repute. One can hardly wait to see what games they'll now play with .org. I'm not anti-ISOC, they may do as decent a job as any of the others, but the whole process was just another act in ICANN's theatre of the absurd. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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