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    USA Goverment Relations .eu and Europe too
    Dear DoC & Congress: It's 2004. Do You Know Where Your ICANN Is?
    posted by michael on Friday February 20 2004, @02:31PM

    It's just possible that this week's secret board meeting by the open and transparent bottom up technical coordination policy-making body known as ICANN will be seen in ten years as the watershed moment in ICANN's history.

    After all, it's the day that ICANN set up a base in Europe, the first of several worldwide bases. Why does an Internet body need offices around the globe? The better to lobby (they can't use telephones or, heaven forbid, e-mail)? To entertain globe-trotting directors? To spend all the millions in dollars it's collecting from fees charged to end-users? No, those are just the optimistic scenarios.



    Suppose that what ICANN is doing is getting out from under the US government and laying the groundwork to declare its own UDI--Unilateral Declaration of Independence--some day? Once it can play governments off against each other, it will no longer have to pay attention to what DoC tells it to do, or what Congress wants. And if it's told to surrender the root, it just says, "NO". Of course, that won't mean it has to listen to the EU or the OAU either, but that's just a detail.

    It's possible to describe ICANN's evolution from the day it was formed as the systematic elmination of any outside check or constraint on its actions. It just could be, maybe, that this step represents a first move in the next-to-last step in that evolution. For all that the US government's control over the root is more tradition than legitimacy, is an absolutely unconstrained ICANN likely to be an improvement? To those European friends of mine who think it might be, I can only say, I understand well why you want the US out of this, but consider the dangers of getting what you wished for.

    Because if you take away DoC as a constraint on ICANN...that just leaves the root servers, which is at most a fail-safe...


    Item 2 -- Establishment of a Regional Office in Brussels

    After discussion, the Board of Directors, passed the following resolution unanimously by a 13-0 vote:

    Resolved [04.08], to open a branch office of a non-profit nature in Belgium, at Brussels, under the name of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers;

    Resolved [04.09], that, in accordance with the company's corporate purpose clause, the branch office in Belgium is allowed to perform activities in Belgium and possibly in other countries, consistent with ICANN's By-laws;

    Resolved [04.10], to appoint Mr. Paul Verhoef of the Netherlands residing in Belgium as the branch manager and legal representative in Belgium, to serve in this capacity until his appointment is withdrawn by resolution of this Board of Directors;

    Resolved [04.11], that Mr. Verhoef, the above-designated, be delegated full power to carry out the daily management of the branch, including, but without limitation to the foregoing, the following specific powers regarding the operations of such branch:

    (1) Represent the company vis-à-vis all public authorities, whether governmental, regional, provincial, municipal or other, the Commercial Courts, Crossroads Bank for Enterprises, the Tax Authorities, including the V.A.T. administration, the Postal Checks service, customs, postal, telephone and telegraph services, and all other public services and authorities;

    (2) Sign daily correspondence, receive and sign receipts for registered letters or parcels addressed to the company through the post, the customs, the rail-, air- and other transport companies and services;

    (3) Take out, sign, transfer or cancel all insurance policies and all contracts for supply of water, gas, power, telephone and other utilities for the branch, and pay invoices, bills and other dues relating thereto;

    (4) Sign and accept all quotations, contracts and orders for the purchase or sale of office equipment and other investment goods, services and supplies necessary for the functioning of the branch which do not obligate the company to expend more than Five Hundred (500) EUR;

    (5) Take or grant leases, including long term leases, on real estate, equipment or other fixed assets and enter into leasing agreements with respect to the same, upon approval from President and CEO Paul Twomey;

    (6) Claim, collect and receive sums of money, documents or property of any kind and sign receipts with respect thereto;

    (7) Affiliate the branch with all professional of business organizations;

    (8) Represent the branch in court or arbitration proceedings, as plaintiff or defendant, negotiate settlements, take all necessary steps with respect to the above proceedings, obtain all judgments, and have them executed;

    (9) Draft all documents and sign all papers in order to be able to exercise the powers listed above;

    (10) Adopt all necessary measures to implement the resolutions and recommendations of the Board of Directors;

    (11) Move the branch to any other location in Belgium.

    Resolved [04.12] that the banking powers of the branch shall be exercised by Mr. Verhoef, above designated, who will have the power to:

    (1) Open any kind of account with any bank, credit or financial institution, whether Belgian or foreign, or any kind of Postal Checks account, in the name of the company, and to operate these accounts;

    (2) Sign, negotiate, and endorse for the account of the branch, all drafts, checks, bills of exchange, promissory notes and other similar documents;

    (3) Ask for accept all loans, either short, medium of long term, in the name of the branch.

    Resolved [04.13] to declare that, in application of the Law of February 10, 1998 and the Royal Decree of October 21, 1998, the Company is to be considered as a large company since it meets the following required threshold:

    ICANN's annual balance sheet exceeds 5 million EURO;

    Resolved [04.14] to appoint Messrs. Luc Houben, Thomas De Muynck and Philippe Louviau, at Jones Day, electing domicile at Avenue Louise 480/7, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, each acting alone, as proxyholder, with full powers to prepare, sign and file all documents and in general do all what is necessary to proceed with all required formalities with the Clerk of the Commercial Court, the Belgian State Gazette, the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises and the V.A.T. administration.


     
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      Related Links  
    · Dr. Paul Twomey
    · European Union
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    · ICANN set up a base in Europe
    · More USA Goverment Relations stories
    · Also by michael
     
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Dear DoC & Congress: It's 2004. Do You Know Where Your ICANN Is? | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 3 comments | Search Discussion
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    A White Paper Promise Fulfilled
    by George Matrox on Friday February 20 2004, @03:56PM (#13010)
    User #3946 Info
    I'm missing part of the logic of your argument. Your argument starts from ICANN's movement toward setting up office in Brussels and concludes with a warning to Europeans that a Brussels office will decrease ICANN's accountability to Europeans. That surprising leap from premise to conclusion seems to flow from a viewpoint that by listening to more interests ICANN will become less accountable.

    To the contrary, to become properly accountable to the entire global community--as the White Paper promised over five years ago--ICANN needs to establish the mechanisms to fully involve interested parties throughout the world. Offices in Europe (and I hope in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Africa) are an important step toward realizing the promise. I assume that's why the US Government strongly supported ICANN's establishment of offices in other regions in connection with the recent WSIS summit.

    Also, it is wrong to assert that Europeans "want the US out of this"; what Europeans (and others) want is to be full participants with ICANN, sharing with the US responsibility for setting policies for those things ICANN coordinates.

    *George
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    I disagree
    by vbertola on Saturday February 21 2004, @01:43AM (#13011)
    User #3435 Info | http://bertola.eu.org/
    I don't think it's a matter of power, but rather a practical step forward towards the necessary evolution of ICANN.

    ICANN has to become a truly global organization, and this includes making its footprint actually global, in terms of geographical presence, internal staff diversity, support for a reasonable number of major world languages other than English, etc. It also includes establishing closer interactions with people, groups and institutions that are not based in California or in Washington D.C..

    Having regional offices, as well as other regional structures (including the regional At Large organizations!) will make it much easier to accomplish these objectives, and will help in making ICANN more open and more accountable.
    --vb. (Vittorio Bertola)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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