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[ga] GA summary 2002-11

This summary covers the DNSO GA mailing list's (and related) 
discussions and news between March 21, 2002, and March 25, 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.


(i) ICANN structure.  In a thread started by Jefsey Morfin, Michael 
Froomkin asked participants to "remain open for the idea that many 
of the functions currently under the ICANN/IANA rubrics should be 
split off and handed to other groups, either new or existing." ICANN 
director Karl Auerbach followed up to state that "there are several 
reasons why the IANA contract should be transferred to a distinct 
and separate entity," including transparency of decision processes, 
funding, and a lack of need to "throw IANA into the political 
maelstrom that is ICANN."  

On a related topic, Danny Younger reported from a session at 
University of Pennsylvania, where Vint Cerf and Dave Farber 
"exchanged thoughts on the origins of the Internet and speculated as 
to its future." "It appears that both speakers had agree not to 
dwell on this topic," Danny writes.  "This topic" means, of course, 
the paper published by Farber, Weinstein, and Neumann last weak. 
Danny's conclusion from private conversations following the session: 
"there still remain opportunities for us to present options to the 
Board which will allow for both enhanced participation and 

Danny also submitted a restructuring proposal to the Evolution and 
Reform Committee.  J. William Semich of .NU pointed out that the 
proposal "seems very weak" on the issue of ICANN funding, and 
reposted "some of the same concerns [he] posted to Ira Magaziner and 
the NTIA in Oct 1998 on the issue of funding ICANN." In that 
message, Semich criticized that ICANN's bylaws provide "NO 
accountability for its borrowing, spending, and fee structure." As a 
counter-force, he suggested a "'budget review committee' solely 
comprised of the groups that will fund the new Internet Authority," 
plus some alternative versions of how such a committee could work. 

Also on funding, Danny forwarded a message from Elena Broitman to 
the registrars' list, where she reports on her work as a 
representative of the registrars' constituency on the Budget 
Advisory Group.  George Kirikos commented that "it's a fallacious 
argument that registrars are the real funding source of ICANN." 
"Ultimately," he writes, "it is end-users who are funding ICANN."  

In a further comment on his own restructuring proposal, Danny also 
looked at the question (which was raised by Jefsey) how the director 
selection process suggested could be made dynamic, and came up with 
a simple, but interesting suggestion: "ICANN has previously accepted 
the notion that certain threshold requirements must be met for any 
constituent entity that seeks recognition.  Carrying that logic 
forward, it may also be held that a constituent group must maintain 
a certain quantity of members lest it become disaccredited and lose 
the right to elect representatives to the Board."

(ii) Expiration date missing from some whois database entries. In a 
follow-up to the last summary, Bruce Beckwith of Verisign Registrar 
pointed out that the lack of expiration data on auction-barn.com, 
which had been discussed on the GA list, was one out of "several 
domains that have suffered data problems." Also, he writes, the 
software bug which caused this was resolved "long ago.  Any domain 
registered in the past two years [...] has accurate data, and the 
expiration date shows correctly." 

(iii) Domain name hoarding.  Marc Schneiders reported a case 
(number9.org) in which a domain had expired a year ago, "but was 
still in the 'Unpaid Names Dept' of Register.COM." He was able to 
register that domain through Register.COM after sending them e-mail 
and making a phone call.  His comment about the procedure: "In fact 
it stinks." <http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/ga/Arc09/msg01722.html>

(iv) "Advertising material" sent out by Verisign.  Sotiris 
Sotiropoulos forwarded "A Warning To Our Customers" from 
godaddy.com's President Bob Parsons. According to that warning, 
Verisign is sending domain expiration notices which "are designed so 
that it is not obvious that the notices are from Verisign, Inc., as 
opposed to Go Daddy Software." "The purpose behind these notices is 
to get the unsuspecting customer to transfer to and renew their 
domain name(s) with Verisign Inc. at significantly higher prices," 
Parsons writes.  (A scanned sample of such a notice is provided on 
the web site to which the message points.) 

Chuck Gomes commented that "the Verisign Registry has no involvement 
in issues like this nor does it have any authority with regard to 
competitive practices of registrars."

On the same topic, William Walsh forwarded a message from the 
openSRS list, with a pointer to United States Postal Service 
regulations for mail "that reasonably could be considered a bill, 
invoice, or statement of account due, but is in fact a solicitation 
for an order." William suggests that the expiration notices "may be 
a violation of US law," and that recipients should file complaints 
with the US Postal Inspectors.

Thomas Roessler                          http://log.does-not-exist.org/
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