I attended Melbourne via remote, and witnessed first Stratton Sclavos' incredibly over-the-top sales pitch, then the rigid and condescending inflexibility displayed by VeriSign and ICANN. You could choose "Option A" or "Option B". That's it.
An associate writes, "So it looks as though the proposed agreement, together with the April Fool's amendments, will be approved. And of course, the real fools are those who thought the choice was Option A or Option B and failed to submit proposed revisions."
I think that's too harsh, and misdirected.
Check the scribes notes - cryptic and abbreviated, yet the point comes across - http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/icann/melbourne/archive/scribe-icann-031301-bod.html.
Vint Cerf was asked over and over if there wasn't the opportunity for an Option C. People wanted to know if their proposed modifications would be accepted for consideration.
Vint Cerf, Father of the Internet, coached his children resolutely, "Practically, we cannot assume that there is any option to modify "B." Time constraint for adopting A binds us also." ... "Keep in mind the May 10 deadline. Changes would require DoC and Verisign's agreement also. Not impossible, but impractical at the moment." ... and finally, a stern "the current decision is between A and B."
So when did that position, this "current decision between A and B" only, change? There was no email notification, no ICANN website notice -- no "open and transparent" process.
I agree that Congressional involvement goes a long way, but as long as ICANN Staff is enabled to blindside, blindfold and hogtie its own committees, working groups and constituents, the outcome makes for good press, but no progress.
ICANN wants Congress to look at the new revisions as adequate enough political gamesmanship to warrant its approval.
Hopefully Congress will stick to its recently loaded guns. If not it will only have taught ICANN new rules to play the same old game.