Year 1999 DNSO Secretariat report

1999 milestones

History in the making, September 1998 to May 1999

    In September 1998, on request of Amadeu Abril i Abril, the ITU in Geneva registered the dnso.org domain name and provided the initial Website and mailing lists to the Internet community. This initial service offered a means to debate and to prepare the DNSO structure. The structure's final consensus principles were set during the ICANN Singapore meetings in March 1999.

June 1999

    1. The first informal DNSO GA in Berlin, 25 May 1999, http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/19990527.GAberlin.html resolved to establish the Interim Secretariat, with the initial work plan to:
      1. Set up the dnso.org server in Paris, and transfer the initial dnso.org from Geneva
      2. Set up and maintain the DNSO Website with respect to Constituencies structure
      3. Set up and maintain specified mailing lists, and the corresponding archives

    2. On 6 June 1999, the new dnso.org server in Paris is up and running, and the report from establishing the Interim Secretariat is sent out to participants in the first informal DNSO GA in Berlin, later on published for the record on the DNSO Website at http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/19990606.GAberlin-dnsoreport.html
    3. The provisional Names Council calls for creation of working groups for reviewing several issues. The Working Groups and their charters are discussed during the DNSO San Jose meetings, 25 June 1999.

July 1999

    1. The 1999 work plan for the Provisional Names Council is published http://www.dnso.org/dnso/1999calendardnso.html
    2. The contact file is set up and maintained for Names Council members and for ICANN staff providing postal addresses, phones (office, fax, home, cellular), and alternate contacts. Its scope is to provide a means to contact relevant people world-wide, taking account of local time zones.
    3. The Working Groups draft their charters and establish themselves: the Secretariat published corresponding documents.
    4. Upon request the Secretariat provide a Website and mailing lists for Constituencies under construction
    5. With regard to specifications provided by the Names Council, the Secretariat sets up and writes scripts for a voting system allowing for anonymous votes by NC members, and disclosure of full records once the results are known and adopted. This system is used for the first time for the vote on the WG-A report.
    6. Whilst the DNSO Constituencies continue to set themselves up, the newly-created Working Group A (Dispute Resolution Policy) is structured with the help of the Secretariat to allow it to start its tasks as requested by the White Paper. WG-A publishes on schedule its reports based on the various Internet communities inputs and on the WIPO document, preliminary http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/19990707.NCwga-report.html open for two weeks of public comments, and final http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/19990729.NCwga-report.html submitted to the Names Council for vote. After the vote, on 4 August, the Names Council recommendation is sent to the ICANN Board for approval prior to the ICANN Santiago meetings http://www.dnso.org/dnso/notes/19990804.NCwga-to-ICANN.html

August 1999

    1. Two main issues arise prior to and after the ICANN Santiago meetings: compliance to ICANN Bylaws with regard to implementation of geographical diversity and the organisation of forthcoming elections for ICANN Board directors by the Names Council, themselves in the process of being elected by Constituencies.
    2. Whilst a passionate debate takes place between two possible voting systems, the Secretariat prepares an automated and fast system allowing for almost real-time tally of Names Council secret votes. With NC members scattered between US Pacific Coast and Eastern Australia, who travel frequently, and change sometimes their e-mail addresses there is a need for a greater communication capacity at the Secretariat - two additional direct telephone lines and a teleconference subscription are set up.

September-October 1999

    1. Over three weeks in September, three Names Council teleconferences are held on two subjects: elections for Permanent Names Council members, respecting geographical diversity, and selection of voting procedures. The call for nominations to the ICANN Board of Directors is drafted and sent out, while the NC eventually adopts a Convention-style voting procedure.
    2. Starting with the call for nominations on 17 September 1999, and lasting until the LA meetings, 2 November 1999, the Secretariat works more than 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, collecting nominations and supports, setting up templates, drafting documents and permanently updating DNSO Website information. Voting scripts are written and validated, and the voting exercise tested once with the Names Council members, some of them being replaced before the real vote happened. During the Names Council vote itself, from 9 to 19 October the Secretariat work is particularly difficult – committed to strict secrecy in the voting and under great time pressure it is a critical testing point for the whole system. Eleven NC teleconferences are held between 15 September and 27 October. Eventually, and with unforeseen additional difficulty (glitch in one ballot), the three ICANN Board Directors are selected and ratified by the Names Council, and on 26 October 1999 the Secretariat notifies the results http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/council/Arc03/msg00017.html to Mike Roberts, the CEO and President of ICANN. After the approval of this selection by the ICANN Interim Board on 2 November 1999, the full record of votes is made publicly available.
    3. Starting in September the issue of the DNSO Business plan and Budget is the subject of every NC meeting, without any conclusion. As currently structured the DNSO is part of ICANN, but financially autonomous. The NC resolves to request every constituency to fund the NC in 1999 with US$5000 with 30 days delay after LA meetings. Preliminary estimates for DNSO expenses are US$300,000.

November-December 1999

    1. In the beginning of November the dnso.org server is targeted by one of DNSO GA members with denial of service mailbombs as well as spoofing attacks. The Secretariat spends many days and working hours in consulting with legal advisers: French lawyers and ICANN staff.
    2. The DNSO Business plan and Budget remains the subject of each NC meeting, still without any conclusion. The Constituencies re-confirm their commitment to pay $US 5000 each for 1999 expenses.
    3. The Names Council calls for proposals for procedures to elect the DNSO GA Chair and Alternate Chair. The Secretariat provides help for public consultation.
    4. Pursuant to selected procedures, the Names Council calls for nominations of candidates for election to the Chair and Alternate Chair of the General Assembly. The Secretariat takes care of call for nominations and endorsements, as well as providing the Names Council with the voting system, and once the selection ended, discloses the full records of votes.
    5. The Secretariat is on vacation for two weeks, 18 December 1999 to 2 January 2000.

1999 cost


$US 8000 for computer purchase, paid from AFNIC budget

Security and backup

Hosting dnso.org server in secure building under permanent supervison, paid from AFNIC budget

Local backup, shared with AFNIC

Remote backup, offered by Cegetel

Internet connectivity

High speed Internet connection, shared on AFNIC lines

Dial up access to accomodate the round-the-clock Secretariat needs, shared on CETP/CNRS lines


Physical equiped office: offered

Usual office facilities (copier, printer, fax, postal street service, commodities): offered

PC computer hardware and software, offered

Travels cost

Not considered in 1999, shared on travels paid by AFNIC

Working hours paid from AFNIC budget

Approximately 300 hours

Working hours voluntary offered

Approximately 1000 hours

Telecommunications cost

Approximately $US 1000, invoices paid by AFNIC, reimbursement requested to the Names Council

Elisabeth Porteneuve