[ga] Comments from Louis Touton
To the Names Council:
In an effort to clarify matters:
1. The policies that ICANN follows are not limited to those adopted
by the ICANN Board since ICANN was created. They also include the
policies previously in place, subject of course to revision through the
community-based ICANN processes.
2. At its 2 June 2001 meeting, the Names Council passed the
following resolution: "The Names Council considers that multiple roots
are outside the scope of the ICANN DNSO." Milton Mueller voted for that
3. Two days later, at its 4 June 2001 meeting, the ICANN Board of
Directors discussed the 28 May discussion draft of "A Unique,
Authoritative Root for the DNS." The full minutes are not yet
completed, but a recording of the proceedings is available though
as are the scribe's notes. As the scribe reports, the Board reached
consensus that the discussion draft should be revised based on comments
and posted in final.
4. Individual directors of ICANN have an important role, when acting
in conjunction with the other Board members, in adoption of new and
changed ICANN policies. Individual directors do not speak on behalf of
ICANN, however, except where they have been authorized to do so under
the authority of the Board. The Board has elected Stuart Lynn as
ICANN's President and Chief Executive Officer, "in charge of all of its
activities and business," and as such he is authorized to speak for
ICANN. As Dr. Lynn stated in presenting the finalized document:
"Based on those comments, I have finalized the document. This final
version has been posted as the third member (ICP-3) of the Internet
Coordination Policy series.
"Many members of the community informed me that they felt the
document is fundamentally correct and applauded it as a faithful and
well-documented statement of the long-standing policies underlying
the principle of a single, authoritative root capable of preserving
a robust, unique naming system for Internet users worldwide. Many
also provided me with constructive suggestions for improvement.
Helpful suggestions also came from some of those who were critical
of the document.
"Some of the latter raised the objection that the document is
creating new policy without going through proper process. As the
discussion draft pointed out, however, it did not create new policy,
but was carefully limited to articulating existing policy. The
creation of new policies implicates ICANN's community-based
consensus-development processes, but until those processes achieve
new policies the pre-existing policies (whether developed through
previous ICANN processes or received by ICANN at its creation)
should be evenhandedly followed.
"In evaluating the document, the essential focus should be on what
policies ICANN has developed or received, rather than what policies
one wishes were in place. This essential enquiry depends heavily on
documentation of past statements and actions; for this reason the
discussion draft undertook a careful review of these and, in the
final version, I have added some additional citations that were
suggested in the ensuing discussion. Although some of the critical
comments had very thoughtful statements about what policy should be,
they lacked specific documentation that the established policy
differs from that stated in the discussion draft."
ICANN Vice-President and General Counsel
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