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[council] GA summary #15: April 16 - April 22, 2002.

This summary covers the DNSO GA mailing list's (and related)  
discussions and news between April 16, 2002, and April 22, 2002.

GA list archives are available online at  

Please feel free to forward this summary as you believe to be  

		   Deadline: 7 days until E&R-day

The deadline for useful input to the Evolution and Reform Committee  
expires on April 29, i.e., in 7 days (of these, only 5 are work 
days). <http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/council/Arc10/msg00004.html>


(i) Names Council telephone conference on April 18.  The telephone  
conference's original agenda is available from  
<http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/ga/Arc10/msg00362.html>.  An MP3  
encoding is available from  
<http://www.dnso.org/dnso/mp3/20020418.NCteleconf.mp3>.  Also,  
Alexander and Thomas posted a short note collecting some of their  
recollection of a key section of the call; Alexander later sent a  
more precise transcript of what was said there.  

Most of the phone call was spent discussing the then-current draft 
for Names Council recommendations on structure, including the BC's 
suggested edits. 

Roger Cochetti of the gTLD registries' constituency suggested 
various changes, too; during the discussion of these, strong 
disagreement between DNSO constituencies became visible on a number 
of key points.

Here are some pointers into the MP3 file: The really interesting  
part begins about 53 minutes into the recording, when Cochetti  
started to make his suggestions for changes.  In minute 55, it was 
discussed for whose benefit ICANN should work (part of 
recommendation #1): Originally, it said "the public" (suggested by 
Cary Karp, also from the gTLD registries), after the BC edits "the 
Internet's users". The gTLD registries considered the previous 
language "disturbingly vague", because "ICANN represents a 
cooperative effort between registries, registrars, and registrants," 
working for the benefit of all these parties. In minute 62, the list 
of ICANN's contractual enforcement missions was discussed.  Between 
minutes 71 and 82, recommendation #9 was on the table: Who should 
drive consensus process?  The gTLDs' suggestion was that the 
"affected stakeholders" of the original text (or "all stakeholders" 
according to the BC edits) should be replaced by the "stakeholders 
principally affected".  In minute 82, the gTLDs suggested to strike 
recommendation 11, which included the recommendation that the DNSO 
should remain intact ("in function" after BC edits).  Seek to 82:15 
in order to hear the key comment on this, which was also transcribed 
by Alexander.  104 minutes into the call, you can finally hear some 
discussion of what the gTLD registry and IP constituencies think 
about ICANN policy; this is also contained with Alex' transcript.

The NC's next telephone conference is scheduled for the 24th.  It's 
expected to last 3 hours, and Stuart Lynn and Alejandro Pisanty are 
expected to participate.

(ii) Task forces at a glance: A list of DNSO task forces is 
available at <http://www.dnso.org/dnso/nctaskforcesindex.html>.

(iii) CNN vs. cnnews.com.  As a follow-up to the previous week's  
discussion, James Love forwarded a message he had received from  
Louis Touton.  In that message, Touton explains that the cnnews.com  
registrar had filed a "Registrar Certificate" with the court in  
question, in which it "tenders to the Court complete control and  
authority over the registration for the CNNEWS.COM domain name  
registration record." 

(iv) Whois.  Danny Younger started a discussion on whois (and, in 
particular, bulk access), by forwarding a message posted by Tim 
Ruiz to the registrars' list.  In that message, Tim writes that "in 
this day and age of privacy concerns it's a little insane that 
registrars are required to make their customer data available to the 
public in bulk.  One-offs through a web interface are one thing. 
Requirements for bulk access, including open ports, to the data are 
just too much."

In a follow-up message, Joanna Lane claims that "disclosing personal 
data in the whois is unlawful in the 15 member nations of the 
European Union."  (Note that reality is more complex than that.)

George Kirikos asked "what would folks do who are after abusive 
registrants (e.g. UDRP cases for TM infringement, or other matters".

To that, Joop Teernstra responded that "there is a fundamental  
tension between two positions and ICANN is being asked to come up  
with a reasonable compromise.  Perhaps registrars should provide the 
service of a PO Box address," so "parties with a legitimate reason 
to contact the registrant could be given the details on a 
case-by-case basis."

In a reply to Joanna's message, William Walsh wrote that, assuming  
Joanna was right, "all this will do is require ICANN to not accredit 
European registrars.  The whois data is, and ought to remain,  
public, without exception," William believes.  On bulk whois, he  
notes that "the downside to not allowing bulk whois access is that  
it will bring back the massive automated mining of the whois  
databases again." 

In a different branch of the thread, Ross Rader suggested that the 
"opt-out" clause of the whois policy should be examined and possibly 
revised.  He pointed to an earlier proposal Tucows had circulated.

In a long essay posted Saturday afternoon, George Kirikos  
elaborated on various arguments for and against public whois access. 
As one example, he takes the OCDE.org case (see  
<http://www.oecd.org/pdf/M00027000/M00027316.pdf> for details), and  
writes: "Ultimately, what moved things forward towards a favorable  
outcome was that the registrant was being forced to put TRUE and  
PUBLIC contact information into the WHOIS database." He concludes  
that having "absolute privacy become standard would only encourage  
and embolden those who seek to commit abuse." He also notes that  
there are, generally, "no absolute rights to certain privileges,"  
but that privileges come with responsibilities.  After discussing  
some more arguments from different mails in the thread, George asks  
about what a compromise between the different positions could look  
like.  He suggests that, for the administrative contact (which could 
be replaced by a dedicated "legal" contact for that purpose), there  
"should be enough details to be identified and legally served a  
process," but that these details should be minimized. No other  
contact information should be needed for the public."Having a third 
party to be the administrative contact could work," he also  
suggests.  He finally makes an economical point, and suggests that  
those who find their privacy important should assign some value to  
it, and then look if they can't find a third party willing to be  
their admin-c for an adequate fee.

In an earlier message from that day, Michael Froomkin also takes up 
the idea of the third party, and notes that the procedure available 
to have a third party listed in the WHOIS is "expensive, since not  
routinized, and has nasty potential legal consequences (they can  
steal your domain name) unless you draft a contract (which is  
expensive), and even then gives them the power to do it (which would 
take an expensive lawsuit to win back).  Saying, 'use a lawyer' as  
your nominee ignores the happy reality that most people don't have a 
lawyer on retainer, and the unhappy reality that most people  
couldn't afford what most lawyers might charge."  

Thomas Roessler                          http://log.does-not-exist.org/

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