Re: [ga] ITU Resolution 102 -- four years later
Roberto Gaetano wrote:
> ICANN is exaggerating now, and is stretching the thing too far.
> On one hand it seems incapable to curb the monopolistic/oligopolistic
> ambitions of some powerful actors, and on the other hand is denying
> representativity to the less powerful, like individual users.
> On one hand it allows free hand to the major gTLD, and on the other hand it
> is trying to impose unnecessary rules to the ccTLDs, that should be
> answerable to their local community (and to their individual governments),
> not to a centralized body.
It is even worst with regard to the gTLD space, which is an
extra-judiciary one, a planetary public resource.
What is really a gTLD space ?
There are databases of Registrants (whois), and corresponding
domain names (zone files), which has been collected from companies,
organizations and individuals from many countries. The access
to those databases in bulk permits to get information of companies'
relationships, and to deduce many things like that.
The handling of such important databases is extremely political
issue, and request for careful considerations: there are a lot
of legal and business aspects, which are of interest to all governments.
Another issue of interest is financial. There is circa 28 million
domain names in gTLD space - what is the distribution of Registrants
per countries? Is ICANN collecting and publishing that fundamental
statistic data? There is an estimate that 40% of gTLD Registrants
are outside of the USA, circa 11 million domain names.
What is the nature of Registrants fees, which at the end of worldwide
collection process are reversed to gTLD Registries, with the cap
of $6 per name ? That is circa $168 million per annum, and 40% of it,
circa $67 million are collected from the non-US Registrants.
I admit $6 is a cap, I admit there is a cost of running Registry
- and we know from some big ccTLD ones, run as not for profit,
that the real cost is many many times lower.
The question then arises: are that $67 million per annum collected
by gTLD Registries from the non-US Registrants a tax?
I guess some users and now governments feel concerned by something
which looks like a planetary tax.
Why ICANN maintain that enormous $6 cap fee per domain name
in extra-judiciary international space? Why ICANN does not use
that money collected worldwide for the benefit of international
domain name Registrants?
From: "Roberto Gaetano" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Re: [ga] ITU Resolution 102 -- four years later
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 11:38:47 +0000
Ross Wm. Rader wrote:
>Someone more versed in the matter might want to correct me, but a layperson
>could simply read the resolution thusly;
I'm not more versed than you, and do not want to correct you, but will
nevertheless propose a different reading.
What the ITU is doing is simply to encourage its members to participate
*directly* in the management of the process. This does not mean that the ITU
wants to candidate itself to replace ICANN (although it is not impossible
that some people in the ITU might think so).
But maybe the interesting question is, rather than arguing again over
"bureaucracy", "government vs. private sector", and the usual amenities,
"why is this position different from the previous position?", namely the
encouragement to participation in the entities that manage the process.
My answer is simply that it is because ICANN has failed to address some of
the concerns of the members of the ITU, and therefore the ITU is encouraging
its members to take direct action to correct the problem.
Some of you might remember the comments of Wilkinson and Twomey about
representation in ICANN, I think it was in Yokohama, but I might be wrong.
They both stated that, should ICANN fail in providing a mechanism for
representation of the individuals (the discussion was about AtLarge
Directors), governments would have stepped in.
Some oldcomers might also remember that this was exactly my point in some
discussions at the times of the IFWP, and in the creation of ICANN: let's
try to have self-governance, but be aware that we better get it right the
first time (and therefore be prepared to compromise for the sake of broader
consensus rather than to push one specific solution upon other unwilling
stakeholders), because we might not have a second chance.
Well, here we go.
But this, as I said, does not mean that the ITU will take over. It only
means that the governments cannot accept a situation in which a supposedly
private entity, de-facto run by one of the Governments of the world, has the
power to rule over the Internet world-wide.
ICANN is exaggerating now, and is stretching the thing too far.
On one hand it seems incapable to curb the monopolistic/oligopolistic
ambitions of some powerful actors, and on the other hand is denying
representativity to the less powerful, like individual users.
On one hand it allows free hand to the major gTLD, and on the other hand it
is trying to impose unnecessary rules to the ccTLDs, that should be
answerable to their local community (and to their individual governments),
not to a centralized body.
But where do we go from here?
It was Karl, if I remember correctly, who advocated that there was no need
to have just one organization that fulfills all tasks and duties of the
current ICANN. We could have a "functional" breakdown allocating tasks to
different entities (existing ones, or created "ad hoc").
If this is the way to go, it might well be that one or more functions be
delegated to the ITU. For instance, the assignment of IP addresses, that
seems similar to the management of the frequency spectrum or the telephone
system, and seems to be perfectly adequate for an International Treaty
Organization. Or the management of the A-root, a typical thing that should
be protected by international law, and not be left under the authority of
Of course, other tasks might be completely out of scope for the ITU, or even
for any other similar organization, and should be left to a different body
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