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[ga] GA-REVIEW & Other Mailing Lists

Hi Cindy

Thank you very much for your most welcome explanation of the work of the
WG-REVIEW.  You have clearly gone to a lot of trouble which I am certain
will be most appreciated by those of this GA list who were not involved

It does seem, however, that I unintentionally caused some confusion writing:

> As you know I was not a member of WG-Review but it is clear to me
> that there are very few subscribers currently.

My reference to *subscribers* was in relation to the recently created
GA-REVIEW mailing list (which you have called "GA DNSO REVIEW").
I was not referring to the former WG-Review which, as you say, is no
longer in existence or the external mailing list through Yahoo!.

I'll refer to the current list as GA-REVIEW and the former as WG-REVIEW.
The external list we could simply reference as the Yahoo! or external list.

Perhaps I can try redress the misunderstanding by saying that there are
currently 11 mailing lists relating to the DNSO General Assembly:

GA                     GA-FULL      GA-ABUSE        GA-ANNOUNCE
GA-RULES       GA-SYS         GA-UDRP

The first four were set up some time ago.  The remaining seven lists have
been called "GA Specific Purpose Lists" by the DNSO Secretariat.  Most
people refer to them as sub-lists.  Six were setup on 30 April 2001.  Some
were renamed on 21 May 2001.  GA-ORG was added on 7 June 2001.

When these were first set up, the idea was to have one list for everything
related to Internal Processes (GA-INT) and one for all External Issues
(GA-EXT).  The other three lists were specialised areas Alternate Roots
(GA-ROOTS), Registration Systems (GA-SYS) and Trade Marks (GA-TM).

This system was both simple and comprehensive.

Danny decided on his own initiative, to add another list GA-REVIEW for the
purposes you have outlined.  Whilst I had no objection to the list, I saw
there was a possible difficulty as it was not clear where the new boundaries
were between the several lists.  It was a "scoping" problem.

Perhaps due to internal division, very few people (less than 20) joined the
new GA-REVIEW.  Those that did were people, like me, that subscribed to most
or all of the new lists.  Importantly, there was not a mass transfer of
people from the external Yahoo! list to the new GA-REVIEW list.  There was
thus no continuity of membership.

To encourage participation in the new mailing lists, GA-INT was renamed
GA-RULES and GA-EXT was renamed GA-ICANN.  At the same time, the GA-TM name
was changed to GA-UDRP giving the present system (listed above).

Recently, Derek Conant and others made a call for the restructuring of ICANN
as a whole.  A number of emails were posted to the main GA list on this
subject.  I felt that this issue should be addressed on the GA-ICANN list.

I tried to encourage people to use the GA-ICANN list and even proposed a
*terms of reference* for the task.  This approach met with some resistance.

I can understand that some people are reluctant to use the new lists but I
was most suprised when Danny made a strong statement that the issue was
one that should be addressed by the GA-REVIEW mailing list.  The terms
of reference of the Working Group, as you have shown, state:

> Ongoing DNSO review:  To consider and recommend proposals that
> improve operations of the DNSO as it is constituted today and those\
> which may result in changes in the structure of the DNSO and/or major
> changes in its functioning.

It is clear to me that Danny is mistaken.  The GA-REVIEW was set up to
consider the restructuring of the DNSO not ICANN.  Even if both issues were
discussed, the wider scope would have been outside its terms of reference.
Thus the ever present *scoping* problem needs to be addressed.

It  would be most confusing, not to say, nonsensical to have no less that
three different opinions on which list was most appropriate to consider a
restructuring of ICANN.

It also seems to me inappropriate for either the Chair or the Alternate
Chair to disagree when the prime determinant will be the wishes of the
members themselves.  Hence my comment that there were two fundamental

(1)  Viability of the List.  There are 11 mailing lists.  Some are little
used.  The question is whether these lists are all likely to be viable.  For
example, if nobody wishes to use GA-REVIEW (or any other list) perhaps it
could be retired from service.

(2)   Boundary or Scope.  What I need to know is to what extent the 11
present mailing lists overlap.  We need to establish these boundaries very

In other words, I don't care very much how the work is allocated between
lists but, for each list, whether it is viable and, if so, what purpose it
will serve.  Unless we address that issue the lists will not be very
effective as a tool for policy formulation.

Personally I think seven sublists is too many.  I would value input from the
list members in relation to how the see the system working most effectively.

Best regards
Patrick Corliss

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