ICANN's long time (and now paid) apologist Kent Crispin's argument that Blokzijl was acting simply as a responsible director is at odds with the known facts.|
First, at Stockholm in June 2001, the only question was:
(a) whether to designate an existing non-profit entity to succeed VeriSign as responsible for operation of the .org TLD, or to create a new non-profit entity;There seem to have been no worries at that time that a non-profit would be able to handle .org. Note also that the EU has specified that the .eu registry (which could conceivably rival .org in size) be run by a non-profit. Specifying a non-profit for .org explicitly left NeuLevel unable to apply. Blokzijl's lengthy comments (and Crispin fails to mention that Blokzijl seconded the motion and also voted in favor) went a long way to ensuring that the door was opened so that NeuLevel, his spouse's employer, would have an opportunity to bid on .org if they so wished. No amount of prevarication can change that fact.
Second, having watched most ICANN public meetings, I don't recall Blokzijl as being particularily wordy in other meetings. In fact, in the earlier part of the Accra meeting he seemed most concerned about rushing things through (including calling the question on the @large) as he said he had a plane to catch. Later, dealing with .org, he seemed to have lots of time.
So, using the scribe's notes of the various meetings, I went back and looked at how often Rob Blokzijl spoke. Admittedly the Berkman scribe's notes are not as accurate or complete as the near-verbatim Accra transcripts, but having watched most of these meetings in real time while also following the scribe's notes, I have found them to be largely accurate and complete about which Board member is speaking. Here is what I found:
November 15, 2001 Marina del Rey: The Security Meeting. 7 comments.
September 10, 2001 Montevideo:
June 4, 2001 Stockholm: 4 comments.
March 13, 2001 Melbourne: 8 comments.
November 16, 2000 Marina del Rey: Recused on new TLDs, 1 other comment.
July 17, 2000 Yokohama: Arrived late, 0 comments.
March 10, 2000 Cairo: 3 comments.
November 4, 1999 Los Angeles:
(Assumed office) 1 comment.
Some of these comments were no more than a single word. Others were no more than a sentence. Certainly he doesn't seem to have at any other time gone on at such length about a topic. There also don't seem to be many topics that cause him to speak. About half of his other comments spanning several meetings are on two topics. One is the At Large (he wants them to go away), and the other is whether country code names should be reserved in .info. Interestingly, he recused himself at MdR2k as he was on the advisory Board of CentralNic. Centralnic sells 3LD's for £65.00 in such domains as *.us.com, *.cn.com, et cetera. Other than at MdR2k he has been talkative about whether to allow, for example: us.info or cn.info.
It is impossible to measure how often, and about what, he might have spoken during the so-called Special Meetings of the Board, that is, meetings by telephone. I also took a look at those where available. These woefully inadequate minutes very rarely mention who voted on resolutions, though presumably if Blokzijl had ever recused himself it would/should have been recorded. There is no such record. As he is listed as not taking part in some of those meetings, we can assume he didn't speak then. His attendance record:
13 May 2002 Present
22 April 2002 Present
12 February 2002 Present
21 January 2002 Present
14 December 2001 Present
31 July 2001 Absent
7 May 2001 Absent
2 April 2001 Absent
22 January 2001 Absent
13 December 2000 Present
31 October 2000 Absent
17 October 2000 Present
25 September 2000 Present
30 August 2000 Present
6 June 2000 Present
4 May 2000 Present
6 April 2000 Present
10 February 2000 Present (partial)
12 January 2000 Present
9 December 1999 Present
This is less the picture of a Board member simply acting responsibly, and more of one who talked at greater length about the .org non-profit issue than he has on any other, and short of an actual wordcount by rewatching the archives, from memory it rivals his entire prior public output on all issues over the past two and a half years. That speaks volumes about where his priorities lie as a Board member. -g