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[comments-gtlds] Comment on Interim Report of Working Group C

      Comment on Interim Report of Working Group C of the 
            Domain Name Supporting Organization, 
      Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
                Submitted to: comments-gtlds@dnso.org
                    December 17, 1999

                         Hans Klein
              Assistant Professor of Public Policy
                Georgia Institute of Technology
                     Atlanta, Georgia USA

I hereby express my support for Working Paper B of WG-C in the DNSO.  Plan
B is equitable and efficient and promotes continued creativity in cyberspace.

Paper B promotes equity because it relieves scarcity.  The artificial
shortage of domain names has resulted in inflated prices being paid for
character strings, a situation that would be laughable if it were not so
damaging to users of the Internet.   The losers in this situation are
individuals, non-profits, people in developing countries, and small
businesses, none of whom can afford to spend thousands of dollars for
characters strings.  It is ironic that a medium that has otherwise so
dramatically reduced the cost of communication should see the price of
addresses rise.  More gTLDs would reduce the barriers facing smaller players.

Paper B's plan is efficient because it creates a mechanism for adaptive and
decentralized administration of new gTLDs.  It defines a role for ICANN
consistent with the charter: ICANN should coordinate but not govern.  By
having ICANN "define clear, objective, quantitative indicators of problems
that would justify an interruption or cessation of the process of adding
new gTLD registries and names to the root" it minimizes the role of a
central bureaucratic apparatus.  Administrative costs are minimized.

By reducing artificial scarcity and avoiding central bureaucratized
governance the plan will promote innovation and opportunity.  The
creativity unleashed by the Internet shows no sign of abating.  Only
barriers of cost and administration could impede continued development.
This plan minimizes those barriers.  This plan is consistent with past
practices of the Internet and shows the most likelihood of enabling
continued creativity such as we have already witnessed.

In summary, for reasons of equity, efficiency, and creativity I support
Position Paper B on New gTLDs.

  Hans K. Klein
  Chairman of the Board
  Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR)

  CPSR is an organization that addresses the benefits and risks to
  society of information technology.  For information, please visit the 
  CPSR web page at http://www.cpsr.org  
      NEW! :  See the proceedings from CPSR's conference:  
  "Governing the Commons: The Future of Global Internet Administration"

  Hans Klein
  Assistant Professor                                  Tel: 404-894-2258
  School of of Public Policy, MC:0345                  Fax: 404-894-0535
  Georgia Institute of Technology        hans.klein@pubpolicy.gatech.edu
  Atlanta, GA 30332-0345    http://www.spp.gatech.edu/faculty/hklein.htm