[nc-org] Re: [ncdnhc-discuss] Board conflict of interest on .org
On Sun, May 19, 2002 at 06:26:47PM +0200, Norbert Klein wrote:
> Greetings from Cambodia.
[discussion of various political systems]
> You remember, Alejandro, what you said when I referred to these functional
> mass organizations which were not self-organized? I think you said they were
> A long time ago you told me you observe that I do not post frequently to
> this list, but when I do – well, you said some nice words. You may have observed
> that I did not post anything since Ghana. I continue to read almost
> everything, but I could not see how ICANN came to where we are now from where we
> started in 1998.
> The blocked discussion about a possible conflict of interest (for which we
> have COI rules), denounced as character assassination, in spite of the COI
> regulations quoted in detail, and then the allegation that no fair hearing is
> possible after questions have been raised – why call them “a juicy piece of
> gossip”? - made me finally come back to write.
They were called a "juicy piece of gossip" because that's precisely what
they were. In fact, the transcript of the meeting simply does not
support what Milton claimed. Here are all of Dr Blokzijl's comments
during that discussion:
ROBERT BLOKZIJL: YEAH, I WANT NOT SO MUCH TO COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED
I WANT TO MAKE CLEAR THAT THE BOARD AND STAFF UNDERSTAND THE FACT THAT
THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM CREATING A NEW TOP-LEVEL DOMAIN.
SO WE DON'T HAVE MUCH FREEDOM.
I'M TALKING FROM A TECHNICAL POINT OF VIEW.
WHOEVER IS GOING TO RUN DOT ORG IN THE NEAR FUTURE INHERITS AN EXISTING
USER BASE OF ABOUT 3 MILLION PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS, SOME OF THEM
INDIVIDUAL PERSONS, SOME OF THEM LARGE ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE REALLY
DEPENDENT UPON THE PROPER OPERATION OF DOT ORG. JUST TO NAME ONE, THE
INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS TODAY COULD NOT DO ITS WORK WITHOUT THE REGISTRY
ROBERT BLOKZIJL: ICANN, MAYBE.
THERE IS ALWAYS ICANN.NL.
WHICH IS RESERVED FOR ICANN, BY THE WAY.
SO THERE ARE NOT MANY ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE A DEMONSTRATED EXPERIENCE
IN RUNNING A REGISTRY WITH 3 MILLION REGISTERED NAMES.
A REGISTRY WHICH HAS ABOUT 10, 12 SERVERS SCATTERED AROUND THE WORLD ON
CRUCIAL SPOTS OF THE INTERNET.
THIS IS A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN RUNNING A COUNTRY CODE TOP-LEVEL DOMAIN,
ROBERT BLOKZIJL: A WORD FROM THE PAST.
DOT ORG WAS CREATED AT THE SAME TIME AS DOT COM.
DOT COM WAS FOR COMMERCIAL ENTITIES AND DOT ORG FOR NONCOMMERCIAL
ORGANIZATIONS, NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS.
AND WE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED FROM THE FACT THAT IN AN INTERNET SPACE THAT
WAS INCREDIBLY MORE SIMPLE TEN YEARS AGO THAN IT IS TODAY, EVEN THEN IT
WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO DRAW A CLEAR LINE.
AND THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS IS THAT THERE ARE ABOUT CLOSE TO 30
MILLION REGISTRATIONS IN THE DOT COM AND ABOUT 3 MILLION UNDER DOT ORG.
UNDER DOT COM YOU WILL FIND, I'M SURE, IF YOU DO AN ANALYSIS, A LOT MORE
COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES THAN UNDER DOT ORG, BUT YOU WILL FIND NON-PROFITS
UNDER DOT COM AND YOU WILL FIND PROFITS UNDER DOT ORG.
THE SECOND POINT IS I THINK IN ANY INDIVIDUAL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, IT
IS VERY DIFFICULT TO GIVE A PROPER DEFINITION OF WHAT IS A
SO DOING THIS ON THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL, IT'S AN IMPOSSIBLE TASK.
SO LESS RULES ARE BETTER THAN MORE RULES, I WOULD SAY.
ROBERT BLOKZIJL: YEAH, I UNDERSTAND THE CONCERNS. BUT, AGAIN, LOOK AT
THERE ARE ABOUT 30 MILLION DOT COM NAMES AND ABOUT 3 MILLION DOT ORGS.
SO THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE COMMERCIAL WORLD IS NOT INTERESTED IN
PROTECTING THEIR NAME UNDER DOT ORG. SO OTHER PEOPLE CAN USE NAMES
WHICH OTHERWISE MIGHT BE CONTESTED.
THIS IS HOW I INTERPRET THE VAST DIFFERENCE IN NUMBERS OF REGISTRATIONS.
That is the absolute totality of Dr Blokzijl's contribution to the
discussion on this issue. I've read the above comments several time,
and I really can't find any indication whatsoever of Dr Blokzijl in an
advocacy position for for-profit entities taking over .org. All he does
is make the fairly commonplace observation that .org is a relatively
large registry, and it cannot be run from a kitchen table.
Yet Milton says:
"According to the transcript, the Board member who pushed the Board
away from non-profit was Robt. Blokzijl."
Milton is simply fabricating that. It has no basis in fact whatsoever.
Later in the transcript, Dr Blokzijl was directly asked his opinion on
the subject, and he replied, as anyone would. It is worth noting that
Karl Auerbach was also asked immediately prior to Blokzijl, and he
supported the Board's position in *precisely* the same way:
[Vint Cerf]: SO MAY I ASK ONCE AGAIN FOR THE SENSE OF THE BOARD. MAY I
SEE IF ANYONE WOULD OBJECT TO CONVEYING TO THE PRESIDENT THAT WE ARE
NEUTRAL ON THE NATURE OF THE ORGANIZATION THAT OFFERS THIS SERVICE?
AMADEU, YOU WOULD OBJECT?
>>AMADEU ABIL I ABRIL: YES.
>>VINTON CERF: THANK YOU. KARL AND LINDA, WOULD YOU RESPOND TO THIS,
>>LINDA WILSON: I'D LIKE TO LEAVE IT OPEN TO EITHER KIND.
>>KARL AUERBACH: YEAH, I'D LIKE TO LEAVE IT OPEN AS WELL.
>>VINTON CERF: ROB BLOKZIJL?
>>ROBERT BLOKZIJL: I WOULD LEAVE IT OPEN.
>>VINTON CERF: YOU WOULD LEAVE IT OPEN?
>>ROBERT BLOKZIJL: YEAH. I AM MORE INTERESTED IN GOOD SERVICES.
>>VINTON CERF: I BELIEVE THE SENSE OF THE BOARD IS THAT WE SHOULD LEAVE
[Vint Cerf]: SO, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I NOW CALL ON YOUR VOTE ON THIS
RESOLUTION. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR OF THIS RESOLUTION, PLEASE RAISE YOUR
FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN, 11, 12, 13, 14 HERE. 15. DID
I MISCOUNT? 15 HERE.
KARL AND LINDA?
>>LINDA WILSON: I FAVOR.
>>KARL AUERBACH: AND I'M IN FAVOR AS WELL.
>>VINTON CERF: IT IS UNANIMOUS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THAT EFFICIENT
Unanimous, including Karl Auerbach.
A couple of other points worth mentioning:
1) Note that the Board vote was not to favor for-profits; it was to
simply be neutral.
2) It is a simple fact that .org is a large registry, with many registrants
that truly depend on it. It really can't be turned into an experiment
in social studies. Pointing this out is simply responsibile; it is not
a conflict of interest.
In sum, Alejandro called Milton's allegations "juicy gossip" because
that's all they are. That the rest of the ICANNwatch muckrakers leapt
into the fray is to be expected.
> But I do so in despair, as I
> almost lost the hope that communication is possible.
Kent Crispin "Be good, and you will be
Technical Support Manager, ICANN lonesome."
email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org -- Mark Twain