Board of Directors Why ICANN Should Not Be in the Grant-Giving Biz
posted by michael on Wednesday December 22 2004, @06:32AM

It's rare for the editors of ICANNWatch to disagree much, but this may be one case where I don't quite see an issue the same as Milton. I think there are two very serious problems with the Board's recent decision at at secret meeting to vote $100,000 to the WGIG.

First, the procedure stank. I'm told there was no advance notice of the meeting, and no posted agenda. (Someone please correct me if this is wrong; I'm working with very limited Internet access this week and next.) Certainly there was not wide attempt to open this issue for discussion, even though giving grants to (quasi)governmental bodies is a radical new move for ICANN, and quite far outside of what we understood its mission to be to date. A decision of this magnitude deserved wide ventilation, much community discussion, and decision in a public meeting -- not one in secret, and most certainly not one that (I gather) was held in violation of ICANN's own rules about notice. [Can the new ombudsman do anything about this violation other than wring his hands? If not, what use is he?]

Substantively, it is if anything even worse. This is more mission creep. Now that ICANN is rich with its doubled budget -- and soon to be even richer with the extra 75 cents per domain name it will extorting from domain name registrants, which it will apparently feel free to use for whatever it likes.

Remind me again about how ICANN was now reformed and was going to stick to narrowly defined responsibilities? Bigger budgets --> function creep. Or function gallop.

One of the most serious arguments against giving ICANN the independence from the US government that it so ardently desires is that there will then be no one who can stop it from taxing and spending as will. This latest proves that this is no theoretical worry.


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Registrars should be pissed
by Anonymous on Wednesday December 22 2004, @09:12AM (#14606)
ICANN's new budget was supported by the larger registrars, really as a show of support for ICANN. They should be pissed that their increased fees are now being used to fund useless committees.

Let's hope they remember this the next time ICANN asks for more money.
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