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    ICANN Meetings Prof. Susan Crawford's "Letter from Rome"
    posted by michael on Wednesday March 03 2004, @06:48AM

    Prof. Susan Crawford of the Cardozo Law School has an interesting Letter from Rome on her blog. Apparently, "[t]he big story here is that ICANN is under attack for not sticking to its narrow mission -- technical coordination of the DNS and IP numbering system."

    An old critique, given new urgency by the VeriSign lawsuit.



    Pollyanna Prof. Crawford suggests that,
    The lawsuit will force a fundamental reexamination of ICANN's role in the world. It will, I hope, provide some needed clarity for the businesses that are involved in the domain name system. ICANN will survive this unpleasantness -- in fact, it is likely that ICANN will come out the better for it.
    After all, the solution is clear:
    If ICANN stuck to its knitting and focused on its coordination role, it would present a smaller target to the litigating, globetrotting community. ICANN should be boring. ICANN isn't purely technical (just notice who goes to these meetings, and read the UDRP), but it should act like a standards body -- opening new TLDs, accrediting registries, and providing a forum for discussion of multilingual issues. If it did this, no civil servant would want to be involved, and governments could more readily defer to its actions.

    There are spam, security, spyware, and content problems online. Connectivity is also a problem. But these are not problems ICANN is equipped to solve. I am optimistic for ICANN's future, as long as it sticks to its job.

    I suppose it's possible that the leopard will change its spots based on the threat via the courts. But I'll bet that ICANN's lawyers are telling it that it will win the lawsuits, so it should just tough it out. After all, no one yet has ever lost betting that ICANN will not narrow its claims of authority.

     
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      Related Links  
    · VeriSign/NSI
    · UDRP
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    · Also by michael
     
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