ICANN v VeriSign re whois -- in context
Date: Wednesday September 04 2002, @12:35PM
Topic: The Big Picture

ICANN's recent saber-rattling at VeriSign over inaccurate whois data has occasioned quite a bit of speculation as to what the folks in Marina del Rey are up to. Is it a cocky little mating dance to lure the DoC to renew the MoU at the end of the month? A nuzzle-up to House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, which held hearings on the subject in May? A puffed-up fighting posture to intimidate VeriSign into backing down from urging the DoC to downsize ICANN? Or, alternatively, is it the corollary to WLS that allows those who covet a domain name to file a WLS on a domain name, complain about contact info, wait 15 days, then -- if the domain name holder doesn't respond in time -- grab it? Whatever the case, one thing is certain: ICANN is, by its own criteria, guilty as sin. Why? Because it refuses -- in some cases for years -- to update ccTLD managers' contact and nameserver info unless the ccTLDs submit to a one-sided contract with ICANN.

Despite endless diktats about the "security" and "stability" of the net, ICANN has consistently failed to achieve one of its basic goals as stated in its 30 June 2000 "Second Status Report to the Department of Commerce": to establish "agreements or other documents that will better define the relationships of the ccTLD managers, relevant governments and other public authorities, and ICANN." (ICANN's 3 July 2001 "Third Status Report Under ICANN/US Government Memorandum of Understanding" and its 15 August 2002 "Fourth Status Report to the US Department of Commerce" increasingly equivocate on this failure.)

The ccTLDs have again and again bridled at what they widely perceive to be ICANN's truculent efforts to milk them for funds in exchange for nebulous or even vaporous "services," to encroach on their policy and operational authority, and to impose a one-size-fits-all agreement on them. (For an overview, see Elisabeth Porteneuve's overview as of 19 February 2001, "Country code Top Level Domain-names - ccTLD - history in the making"). As a result, only a handful of ccTLDs have formalized any agreement at all with ICANN. Many, many more, have reacted with increasing pessimism about ICANN, both unilaterally (in the case of InternetNZ, which placed its donations in escrow in part due to "the inadequate performance of the IANA function") or collectively (in the case of CENTR, which objected to ICANN's efforts to shove the dubious ICP-1 down ccTLDs' throats in the wake of the KPNQwest collapse [IW coverage here]). A fine exposition of one such problem can be found in the Christmas Islands' (.cx) account of its dealings with IANA (PDF here).

If indeed ICANN is swaggering about to impress the US government, hopefully the officials in question will consider ICANN's absurd -- and, more important, destabilizing -- hypocrisy when it comes to accurate contact information. The "seventeen instances of breaches of sections 3.3 and 3.7.8 of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA)" fail even just to pale before the millions of domains whose authoritative record chains have been threatened for months and even years by ICANN's procedural antics.

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Re: ICANN v VeriSign re whois -- in context
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Wednesday September 04 2002, @11:34PM (#9040)
User #2810 Info
Excellent points t. This shows what a hodgepodge of inconsistent policies one comes up with when one isn't truly the consensus based, bottom up, transparent, etc. organization that one claims to be. John Berryhill points out another collision that happens because no-one in charge is watching the big picture. I had previously pointed out on the GA list some of these aspects (and others) of how the system can be gamed, but of course no one is listening. If there is one law that ICANN seems to consistently obey, it is the law of unintended consequences. If they were truly listening to anything but the IP lobby and the ka-ching of coinage coming in from their monopoly partner registrars and registries, they could save themselves, and more importantly the internet community that they claim to serve, some grief. It's all holus bolus hocus pocus.

ICANN's own accredited registrar list is also notably short of supposedly necessary accurate contact data. As I
said earlier about another example, do as we say, not as we do. There's really only one word for this: hypocrisy. -g

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This article comes from ICANNWatch
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