[ga] GA summary 2002-09
This summary covers the DNSO GA mailing list's (and related)
discussions and news between February 27, and March 12, 2002.
GA list archives are available online at
feel free to forward this summary as you believe to be appropriate.
(Please note that this summary does not claim to be complete. In
fact, it does so even less than the usual summaries, since I have to
catch up two weeks of traffic. In particular, I have refrained from
the temptation to include all the bits about what's currently going
on at the ICANN meetings in Accra. - T.R.)
(i) Structure: Reactions to the Lynn Proposal. In a follow-up to
the "preliminary comments" thread covered in the previous summary,
Alexander Svensson noted that "having an Ombudsperson and a Manager
of Public Participation sounds like a good idea." However, he says,
"it is equally necessary to ensure public participation not only
personally (by making it someone's job), but also structurally (by
making it part of the ICANN process and structure)."
David P. Farrar suspected that the Lynn plan may "in fact be merely
a red herring." "It is one of the oldest political tricks," he
continues, "to propose something so extreme and controversial that
when you finally withdraw it the masses are so happy they didn't get
Proposal A they don't complain so much about Proposal B." It turned
out that David was not the only one with this particular suspicion.
In another posting, David (who also represents the GA on the
Structure TF) tried to analyze the "pros and cons of the Lynn plan."
The message is written in a very concise manner, and has a whole lot
of good points. It's required reading in its entirety, and I'm not
going to summarize it here.
Danny Younger forwarded an interesting quote from RIPE NCC's
response to the ICANN document: "Seeing that you are proposing
fundamental changes to ICANN and the principles behind the ICANN -
RIR MoU, signed in 1999, we believe that in the interest of our
members, we have to thoroughly re-assess our relationship with
In the following discussion, DPF suggested that the ccTLDs "should
carry on forming their own peer association" to negotiate with the
DoC taking "over ICANN's role with regards to any ISO3166-1 entries
in the root". In another posting on this, he also characterizes the
behavior of ICANN management as a declaration of war on the ccTLDs,
and notes that "ICANN was primarily created due to the need to
create new gTLDs not to form some mini-UN over the ccTLDs." Looking
for ICANN's functions with respect to the ccTLDs, he comes up with a
list of three functions needed: 1. Update the root zone, 2. Notify
of minimum technical standards for a TLD, 3. Establish and
administer re-delegation when needed by the local Internet
community. "This could all be done very easily by the ccTLDs acting
as a peer organization," he concludes.
Another "Preliminary Statement" on the Lynn proposal was posted by
Rob Courtney of Center for Democracy & Technology, on behalf of the
NAIS team. In that statement, the NAIS group demands that the
ALSC's report should be "openly evaluated before the whole idea of
the At Large is abandoned." It is also pointed out that ICANN Board
action during the Accra meeting will be necessary in order to hold
elections for new at-large directors. The current at-large
directors' terms end this year. Further, the NAIS team states that
the Lynn proposal "fails to provide adequate support" to the
principles of "openness, transparency, inclusiveness and
(ii) Structure: icannatlarge.com. Significant discussion took place
concerning the icannatlarge.com effort, and the steering group
established for that effort. Some of that discussion concerned
various details of the effort, at a time when the ALSC's forum list
was unreachable. Other discussion covered the question whether or
not members of DNSO constituencies should be allowed to participate
in an at large effort. The links below are to messages at both ends
of the spectrum of opinions raised.
(iii) Waiting List Service. Ross Rader forwarded comments on the
WLS from Michael Mann from Buydomains.
Abel Wisman and Don Brown proposed GA feedback on the Waiting List
Service, which lists various observations and concerns raised by GA
members. The document concludes that "the GA does not support or
endorse the WLS proposal in any manner", and suggests that attention
be turned to the ICANN Redemption Grace document, and that policy
and procedure for the handling of expired registrations be
developed. "The policy and procedure should safeguard the rights of
Registrants during the post-expiration grace period and it should
contain specific language designed to prevent potential abuses by
the Registries and Registrars."
The document was supported by Kristy McKee, Harold Whiting, George
Kirikos, Hugh Blair, Sotiris Sotiropoulos, David P. Farrar, Marc
Schneiders, William X. Walsh, and Genie Livingstone.
(iv) DNSO funding. Verisign announced that it would redraw its
offer to match any donations made to support the work of ICANN's
Domain Name Supporting Organization and Names Council for up to
Peter de Blanc followed up to state that he expects Verisign "to
match the donations to date, as small as they may be."
Elisabeth Porteneuve pointed out that she believes that an "other
donations" item of 9050 USD in 2000 "is a donation for matching
(v) ICANN staff draft towards Mission Statement. Alexander Svensson
forwarded an ICANN Staff Draft titled "What ICANN Does", and
published on March 7. In that draft, ICANN staff describes the
corporation's current activities.
The draft caused significant discussion. ICANN director at large
Karl Auerbach produced a shorter list of "what ICANN ought to do",
which is considerably shorter than the staff document.
Elisabeth Porteneuve thanked Karl for "this excellent synthesis",
and suggested to add IPv6 deployment to the list.
As a comment to Karl's posting, Peter de Blanc (.VI) noted that "it
is truly amazing that something once done by volunteers ... now
costs over US $5 million per year to sustain a bureaucracy that did
not exist prior to commercialization of the Internet." "Frankly," he
continues, "I do not see the need to pay so much for so little. Like
there is not even a [Quality of Service] guarantee on the operation
of the root server system."
Kent Crispin (now ICANN Staff) commented that there used to be paid
IANA staff, that the Internet was much smaller in 1995/96, and that
"the complexity of the things that IANA/ICANN does don't scale
linearly with the size of the Internet." Concerning the cost, Kent
claims that ICANN is "amazingly cheap," "given the demands made."
Per Kølle (.DK) responded that Kent's note was "rubbish", and argued
that "as far as TLD's is concerned ICANN/IANA is (only) managing a
database with +250 entries." In a different posting, Peter de Blanc
stated his agreement.
In response to that, Kent noted that the cost for the .DK database
(which Per had also quoted) was indeed quite high from a pure
database management point of view. "The reason it costs you $3mil
to run your database has almost nothing to do with the size of your
database," Kent writes. "The cost is caused almost entirely by
other factors. Similarly, the costs to ICANN/IANA for running the
root zone have essentially nothing to do with the size of the root
In another note from Karl Auerbach, he pointed out that "much is
*still* done by volunteers." "ICANN management," he claims, "likes
to inflate the complexity of what it is doing." As an example, he
quotes Stuart Lynn as saying that the operation of 12 root servers
would cost $10,000,000 per year, and compares that with own
estimates which yield about $3,000,000 per year. Also, he states
that the cost ICANN itself currently incurs to run one of the root
servers is not known.
(vi) Root Server Operator MoU. In a branch of this discussion, Marc
Schneiders asked where the memorandum of understanding between ICANN
and the root server operators which Karl had mentioned was
available. It turned out that the document seems to be unavailable.
(vii) dot-usa. Danny Younger forwarded a Reuters news item on
dotusa.com: The web site where users could "register" .usa domain
names was shut down by a US court, according to the Federal Trade
Commission. There was then some discussion on what the decision
could mean for various kinds of alt.roots, and where the differences
between dotusa.com and the other alt.roots, and new.net, are.
Thomas Roessler http://log.does-not-exist.org/
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