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Having twice listened to the audiocast of the recent Names Council meeting, I cannot concur with our Chair’s assessment that the Names Council has “asked us to continue”; neither can I agree with the statement that the Names Council is “taking us seriously”.  We have only been given the opportunity to avail ourselves of the Public Comment Period (January 26 – February 9) subsequent to the posting of the DNSO Review Report on the DNSO website.   The consensus position articulated by Ken Stubbs was that the WG Review mandate, per prior resolutions, ends on January 15.


The Names Council has decided that they are sufficiently satisfied with our “outreach” and that the WG Review need not work to “find solutions”; they will, over the objections of our liaison, Ms. Park, publish their self-serving Interim DNSO Review report.


Ms. Park has already challenged the conclusions of the Interim Draft, strenuously objecting to what she has termed the “absurd” posting of this report, repeatedly citing a failure on the part of the Names Council Review Task Force to abide by any procedures, stating, “it doesn’t follow any rules”; she has further asserted that the NCRTF failed to collaborate with its members, failed to hold either an open forum or a teleconference, and that this report should be labeled solely as the work-product of Ms. Swinehart, and “should not be recognized”. 


I want to thank Ms. Park for having had the courage of her convictions and the tenacity to fight for the interests of the Review Working Group.


At issue now is how to best deal with the perniciousness of the Names Council.  As Roeland Meyer has stated, “Those of us who have been involved from the early stages are very well aware of the possibility of nullification, of our work. Those of us, whom have read the archives, know that this has happened in the past, frequently.”


What we will have in the DNSO document will be nothing less than a whitewash, a pathetic self-assessment on the part of a middle management more interested in preserving their jobs than doing their jobs… an evaluation from a Names Council who after several months of time and several purported discussions is still unable to even pass the most basic of budget proposals, who holds meetings of limited duration and fails to address even half of the items on its own agenda, who cannot substantially complete a Task Force report even after six months of alleged effort, and who has on the basis of their own initiatives secured no more than a handful of responses to their own questionnaire (with all the highly critical comments buried in the Appendix).
As members of this Working Group, some of us have expressed the need to eliminate the Names Council and the Constituency structure; others have pressed for the establishment of alternate Constituencies in order to secure representation and add new blood to an organization clearly in need of a transfusion.  What we have in common is a shared sentiment that the current poorly performing “Management Team” of the DNSO needs to be replaced.

If in this Comment Period we can effectively present the consensus to the public and to the ICANN Board that the current members of the Names Council have failed in their duty to act as a steering committee for the DNSO, have failed to manage consensus, and have failed to make well-considered recommendations, perhaps the Constituencies themselves will listen and order new elections to replace these members with others more suited for the responsibilities. 


I continue to have faith in the bottoms-up procedure; I also believe that the Constituencies too have already acknowledged this problem, share our assessment, and will act, if prompted, to resolve this issue.


The audio archive of the January 24, 2001 meeting of the DNSO's Names Council may be found at http://www.lextext.com/nc0124.html .   Listen, and draw your own conclusions.


Best regards,

Danny Younger







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