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[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 
<http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/ga/Arc09/maillist.html>.  Please 
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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