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[ga] [centr-legal] Domain Council at .AT - facts

The article on www.heise.de does reflect the journalists preconceptions, 
but not necessarily the facts, as I have commented there (in german, though).

Here's some background on IPA and its Domain Name Council.

The Internet Foundation Austria (IPA), a charitable foundation and owner of 
the .at registry nic.at GmbH, has an advisory board called "Domainbeirat" 
(Domain Name Council). This was as designed in into the bylaws of the 
foundation, which was established Nov 2000. The members of this council are 
nominated by the management of IPA (= me, Rupert Nagler and Manfred Wagner) 
and appointed by the Foundation Council, on which are Peter Rastl of 
University of Vienna, Georg Hahn and Karl Hitschmann of ISPA, the ISP 
association, which is the donor of the foundation and former owner of 
nic.at GmbH. Btw the foundation council is different from the Domain name 
Council. To distinguish - the foundation council is more like a regular 
company's board with mainly a management agenda - it hires and fires IPA 
management if we steal silver spoons etc, it approves results, sets 
compensation,  etc, whilst the Domain Name Council is solely concerned with 
.at policy issues.

Members of the Domain Name Council are appointed in a personal capacity, 
and not as a member of some organisation. We have nominated seven members, 
of which two have jobs in government functions: Christian Singer of the 
ministery of public transport is also the .at GAC representative, and Ernst 
Langmantel is the technical director of RTR Gmbh, the regulator. The others 
are: Christian Mock of Vibe.at, an Internet users asscoiation, Naseem 
Bhatti of internic.at, a registrar which many of you probably know, Ronald 
Schwaerzler, an IT consultant, former manager of a large ISP and member of 
the ISP asscociation ISPA, and Franz Schmidbauer, a judge,  an expert in 
Internet law, very active in the Internet community and runs a popular 
website on legal & Internet issues. I dont have to introduce Dennis 
Jennings here. While these members are not democratically legitimized by 
some election or consultation process or a 'LIC travelling circus' :-) they 
represent a large part of the LIC constituency, and also have the 
undeniable advantage of being competent in their field and have a clue what 
the Domain Name System is about. Take that: there are members which can 
actually edit a zone file. Now that's innovative.

Basically, the Domain Name Council is our stab at a representation of the 
local Internet community.

On tuesday July 24 this council has convened for the first time, and 
approved its own bylaws, which also document its relation to IPA 
management. They say that decisions of the domain name council, although 
advisory in nature, are to be carried out by the management within its 
responsibility as defined by the bylaws of the foundation. This means if 
the Domain Name Council would go berzerk relative to the IPA's bylaws, 
management would be expected to obey bylaws first. The bylaws of the 
foundation, btw, specify that one of IPA's duties is to take care of the 
.at domain name management. Hence, the management would be free to ignore a 
suggestion of the Domain Name Council to sell nic.at GmbH to Verisign, to 
name a exotic constellation for the sake of argument. If the Council 
suggest a particular approach to local dispute resolution, the management 
would surely listen very carefully.

I think this clarifies the advisory nature of the Domain Name Council and 
its nature of a LIC representation.

Judge yourself where you find a 'co-regulatory approach' here.

-Michael Haberler

Managing Director,
Internet Foundation Austria

At 19:59 26.07.2001 +0200, Elisabeth Porteneuve wrote:

>This message just arrived to the DNSO GA list, posted
>by Alexandrer Svensson from Germany.
>Could someone from Austria give more info, please ?
>Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 19:33:40 +0200
>From: Alexander Svensson <alexander@svensson.de>
>To: ga@dnso.org
>The .at (Austria ccTLD) registry has just chosen a
>co-regulatory approach with a domain council of the
>Internet Privatstiftung Austria (IPA). Its composition:
>Someone from the registrars, an Internet users
>association, an association of judges, an ISP, the
>Ministry of Transport, an university college and the
>telecommunications regulation authority. The domain
>council decides on questions like the registration policy
>or a possible dispute resolution policy.
>There is a (German) article about this
>  http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/jk-25.07.01-004/
>with a quote by the head of the IPA:
>   "Although it is a small association we have decided
>   for [the Internet users association] VIBE, because
>   they have presented their own opinions on domain
>   policy for a long time", explains Haberler. One
>   could possibly ask the question of legitimacy, Haberler
>   concedes. "For the time being, it is a jump from zero
>   to one, we certainly have to continue the discussion
>   about the new structure." [my translation]
>VIBE.AT is a member of the Global Internet Liberty
>Campaign (gilc.org).
>Best regards,
>/// Alexander

Michael Haberler                       mah@eunet.at
Mariahilferstrasse 126/27         Tel +43 1 5261679
A-1070 Vienna Austria           Fax +43 1 526167925

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