Re: [ga] Last minute changes to Verisign agreements
At 11:20 AM 4/2/2001, DPF wrote:
>On Mon, 02 Apr 2001 08:39:15 -0700, you wrote:
> >The tiny number of participants in ICANN discussions is not the whole
> >world. It is an extremely selective sampling.
>I was not referring to just people on mailing lists. I agree it is
>unrepresentative. I also refer to the almost entirely negative
>coverage in the media, the critical comments from Congress and also
>the first hand comments from people who have gone to ICANN meetings
>with absolutely no vested interests and come back shocked.
OK. Let's consider your list:
With few exceptions, media reporting simply looks for controversy. So what
they report is essentially the same as what takes place in these public
exchanges. The media makes no effort to probe deeper, such as to explain
whether a given position is reasonable or whether a given speaker has any
Critical comments did not come from "Congress". They came from a few
elected officials in Congress. The best example of their careful, informed
commentary came when one of them criticized Vint Cerf and ICANN saying that
by not creating .kids ICANN was "inviting" the US Congress to pursue the
matter of pornography. The august representative was unaware of just how
irrelevant .kids (and .xxx) are to matters of content regulation.
Elected officials do quite a lot of posturing for their constituency. It's
difficult to take a few of their indignant outcries as anything serious,
both given how superficial their knowledge is and how little they do with
their supposed concern.
And then we have your citing the tiny number of people who go to ICANN
meetings "with absolutely no vested interests". It might be interesting to
discover who these people are, since there are so few people at the
meetings, and therefore almost no one likely to be there with no vested
However, let's consider these hypothetically ideal observers that you
cite. What is their experience with public decision processes? What is
their understanding of serious operations administration for critical
infrastructure services? How much experience do they have balancing ideals
with practical constraints?
>I have a lot of respect for those who have put hard work into making
>ICANN work but I get frustrated at what appears to be a blinkered view
>that all criticism is wrong and ICANN could not be performing a lot
It is facinating you would make such a statement, since there is no one who
has ever expressed such blinkered view.
The real difficulty is that hyperbole, personal posturing, personal
attacks, and focus on irrelevant or incorrect details has made it
impossible to conduct serious, public discussion about serious, practical
>Ironically I still think overall ICANN Board has made more right than
>wrong decisions but it is not enough to merely be "okay" when with
>some common sense one could be "good".
Given the highly distorted history of mis-steps that ICANN inherited from
the US government, and the thoroughly politicized pressure-cooker that
ICANN lives in now, you should be astonished, impressed and delighted that
it has forged anything even close to "okay".
> >Professionals make contractual decisions in minutes, not months.
>If it was merely contractual matters at issue one could agree. But
>the issues of the proposed agreements and changes go beyond that.
No. What is at issue is a contract. Contracts pertain to substantive
matters, and substantive matters, well... matter. But what is at issue is
> >Since you are so concerned about process, I am sure that you will
> >appreciate the need for carefully attending to what people really say.
>I made my comments based on the totality of your comments in the last
Since you attribute to me a position I do not hold and have not expressed,
it is pretty clear that your assessment is based on something else.
> >This takes us directly back to the core fact that Verisign is running a
> >business and has no philosophical interest, and even less business
> >incentive, in the casual process that you want.
>Verisign however it seems were never even asked as part of the
>negotiations for an extension.
1. How do you know that?
2. You are wrong. The question was put to them, explicitly, during public
exchanges in Melbourne and they declined.
> >What is Verisign's incentive for agreeing to a delay?
>Huge huge incentive. If they are told not agreeing will increase the
>chance of the status quo remaining.
That would require that Verisign be desparate to change the status
quo. Not just interested or willing, but absolutely desparate. What is
your basis for believing that retaining the current contract is such a
horrible outcome to Verisign?
> >For all of the claim that people want to do careful analysis, they have not
> >been doing it.
>The 19 NC members certainly have done so.
Actually, no they have not. The NC had a lengthy, open session in
Melbourne, during which they discussed Alternative B. They spent the
entire time complaining that they did not have enough time to consider the
matter -- the document had, by then, been out for 2 weeks -- and they spent
no time at all considering the content.
>It would have been proper
>IMO to give the NC a chance to comment on whether the last minute
>changes are in accordance with what they wanted.
You appear to believe that the DNSO is supposed to participate in contract
They are not.
Dave Crocker <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Brandenburg InternetWorking <http://www.brandenburg.com>
tel: +1.408.246.8253; fax: +1.408.273.6464
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