Help with my 15 minutes
Date: Wednesday April 04 2001, @04:41AM
Topic: ICANN Staff and Structure

The National Academy of Sciences is beginning a study of "Internet Searching and the Domain Name System: Technical Alternatives and Policy Implications" and holding its first public meeting next Monday/Tuesday (April 9, 10) in Washington DC. At least two of your ICANNWatch editors --Michael Froomkin and I -- are going to be speaking at the meeting to help them formulate the 'key principles' for their study. ICANN's one of those things about which it's easier to speak for 2 hours than for 15 minutes. My question is: if you had to distill down the whole ICANN question into one or two "key" issues on which a study like this could be focused, what would it/they be?

ICANN presents a difficult forest/trees problem -- its easy to get lost in the details, so easy that its sometimes impossible to see the larger contours. What's the big problem? The absence of any means for identifying consensus? Secret board meetings? The composition of the board? The Government Advisory Committee? The bloated bureaucracy? The absence of a definition of the 'policy' issues ICANN is supposed to stay away from? The way the constituencies have been defined? The undue influence of certain interest groups and particular stakeholders at the expense of others? The gTLD process? The Verisign Deal? Confused in DC

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Re: Help with my 15 minutes
by michael ( on Wednesday April 04 2001, @05:09AM (#487)
User #4 Info |
Hey, how about my 15?

More seriously, here are two relevant links:

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Re: Help with my 15 minutes
by larry on Wednesday April 04 2001, @07:01AM (#488)
User #2751 Info
1. "JDRP"
2. #1

(For those who are not aware, JDRP is Jones Day Reavis and Pogue the ICANN law firm. Former home of Louis Touton ICANN's counsel, and the current home of Joe Sims. JDRP is ICANN's largest creditor, and, apparently, "Influencer Emeritus".
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Re: Help with my 15 minutes
by joppenheimer on Wednesday April 04 2001, @07:46AM (#490)
User #5 Info |
The title of the meeting is "Internet Searching and the Domain Name System: Technical Alternatives and Policy Implications".

It seems to me that sans removal of intellectual property supremacy from the domain name space, well-meaning people will spend years trying to invent and tweak Technical Alternatives to satisfy an insatiable entity.

I imagine this would be fine with the IPers, who can peer over their glasses periodically to see that we remain engrossed in our technical busy work, while they write, judge and jury more and more internet-usurping rules in their favor.

Its IP Policy that is driving technical issues. Seen in that light, discussing technical alternatives becomes a meaningless exercise.

Legislate IP rights back into some level of balance and perspective relative to the internet and other interests. Then discussion of technical innovation and policy implications, based on a level playing field, becomes useful.

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Re: Help with my 15 minutes
by Adam on Friday April 06 2001, @03:26AM (#500)
User #2765 Info |
David (and Michael) if you are talking about 'key principles' for the study why do you want to talk about ICANN?

The study is "Internet Searching and the Domain Name System: Technical Alternatives and Policy Implications", i.e. future not current.

A danger with ICANN has always been that we are creating a massive political structure around a technology that is essentially out of date --at least in terms of what we ask of it-- and the political investment many are making in ICANN risks locking that technology in place. So talk about how policy should not drive the future of the Internet's naming addressing system, invite all the IP lawyers (the good and bad alike), and policy wonk's like Milton, to take a step back from the table and leave the main discussion to the technologists. I don't mean you leave the room (or the study), advise what the policy implications of their technical discussion might be, but don't let policy and politics lead the debate.


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