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

    .org Board Achieves .ORGasm
    posted by Mueller on Monday October 14 2002, @12:32PM

    The ICANN Board reassigned the .org registry to the ISOC-Afilias team today, thus proving conclusively that it is capable of not making the worst possible decision (selection of Neustar) but nevertheless managing to depress everyone outside of the winners circle. Yes, it really is an insiders' game, and no, the Board really does not care. Two former ISOC Board members, Alejandro Pisanty and Nii Quaynor, abstained from the vote; several other ISOC intimates, most notably Vint Cerf, did not. Andy Mueller-Maguhn, following his pattern of speaking loudly but carrying a small stick, abstained too. Karl Auerbach voted against it. Robert "conflict of interest" Blokzjil was excluded from the deliberations. The remaining 11 members, a.k.a. the thundering herd, voted as directed by the staff recommendation. Mooooo.

    Attention now shifts away from the selection process to the hastily-composed "Public Interest Registry" and its bylaws and Board.

    PIR's bylaws are posted here. It has one member, "the member" i.e., ISOC. It is somewhat odd to read a corporate bylaws that uses that term in the singular (e.g., "Section 2. Action by Member Without A Meeting") but on second thought that designation is fully in keeping with the theme set by our title. Interesting question: can the ISOC/PIR Board take the registry contract away from Afilias at some time in the future?

    The PIR Board has some good people on it: privacy activist Marc Rotenberg of EPIC is nobody's coopted fool (at least, he wasn't last time I checked). Andy Linton of New Zealand is an obstreperous and independent techie, if somewhat naive about techno-politics. Alan Levin of Africa is typical of ISOC's strengths: an Internet pioneer from way back. But the Board also contains the predictable bevy of ISOC insiders. David Maher, the trademark lawyer for McDonalds who was instrumental in ISOC's attempt to sell out the Internet to the intellectual property interests via the IAHC, is on the Board. As head of "public policy" for ISOC Maher typifies what is wrong with ISOC headquarters. Lynn St. Amour, the ISOC Executive director, is also on the Board, somewhat undermining the claim that PIR is "not ISOC." Larry Landweber, the Internet veteran and former ISOC President, and reputed brainchild of the IAHC, was selected, too. RIPE-NCC greybeard Frode Greisen and some sales and marketing guy from Nortel round out the bunch.

    Let's set aside the fiction of PIR independence and recognize that ISOC is running .org. Things could be worse. The .Org Board is a mixed bag that contains a couple of prospective whistle-blowers. PIR has promised to provide some support for a DNSO noncommercial constituency. And it isn't Neustar.

    ISOC is the Internet organization we love to hate. It's too genuinely Internet to be completely written off, and it's too sold-out to join or love. It's the perfect exemplar of the post-ICANN Internet.

    Why is ICANN too messed up to allow newcomers to play? Why did it place incumbency above all other values in the .org divestiture? It's no use asking those questions anymore. That's what ICANN is: the devil we know.

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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Board Achieves .ORGasm | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 20 comments | Search Discussion
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    Why the change?
    by Jannibub on Monday October 14 2002, @10:11PM (#9743)
    User #3515 Info | http://www.jan.schmidt.net/

    I've only recently started to get into the details of all the ICANN-processes and stuff, so this might be a stupid question.. but why did the .org - Registrar change? I only read something about VeriSign, ICANN and the DoC siginng an agreement to transfer the responsibility by dec. 31, and Versign promising some funds for the new registrar if it was a NPO. But what are the reasons for this, can someone please fill me in on the background?
    Thanks! :-)

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    by Robert_Burbidge on Monday October 14 2002, @11:37PM (#9744)
    User #3394 Info
    Unity gets top marks or near top marks in practically every area, and yet fails to get the contract.

    Well, here's one ex-employee of Poptel (one of the UnityRegistry partners) who is well hacked off...( For the sake of completeness I should note that I had only peripheral contact with the .ORG bid and my decision to move on was not connected directly with the .ORG outcome.)

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