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[council] GA summary 2002-12

This summary covers the DNSO GA mailing list's (and related) 
discussions and news between March 26, 2002, and April 02, 2002.

GA list archives are available online at 


Please feel free to forward this summary as you believe to be 


(i) WLS.  In a follow-up to the last summary, George Kirikos said: 
"The only item I'd have added was a brief mention of the thread 
where Verisign has submitted WLS to ICANN (despite opposition by the 
RC, and no consensus), as that hadn't been officially mentioned 
anywhere else but on this list (i.e. except for the quiet release on 
Verisign's website)."

(ii) Request for a Working Group.  Danny Younger requested a working 
group devoted to the topic of "abuse and deceptive registrar and 
re-seller business practices." Michael Froomkin, William X. Walsh 
(and several others) agreed that this topic should be "regulated by 
the national authorities where a business is located." (Michael's 
words.) Marilyn Cade suggested that ICANN should publish the list of 
the appropriate entities. 

(iii) The Heathrow Declaration. Ross Wm. Rader published a pointer 
to the "Heathrow Declaration," "an alternative ICANN reform proposal 
crafted by Tucows." There is also a separate mailing list to discuss 
this proposal. 

(iv) Consensus.  Danny Younger quoted Karl Auerbach's "Prescription 
to Promote," and asked: "is it time to replace the consensus 
process?  If so, how to we avoid establishing a structural model 
that relegates certain groups automatically to minority status?"  

In a follow-up, Karl argued that the current "stakeholder" system of 
ICANN "is a simpleminded assignment of people/entities to a voting 
bloc (or to observer status) based on one external attribute." 
Instead, Karl suggested, "a better approach is to designate some 
'atomic unit' of voting" - for instance a single individual - "and 
let those units chose for themselves which other units they wish to 
be associated on any particular issue." He also points out that he 
does not "agree with the assertion of 'greater stake'," and compares 
the registry income with the "cumulative 'stake' as measured by the 
indirect charges that fall on those who use and pay for domain name 
services."  Finally, Karl compares all this to the political system 
in the US, "in which the voters in most of our public elections are 
people and not corporations or other collective entities."

Chuck Gomes of Verisign suggested that "it would be a good idea to 
first give 'consensus' a legitimate chance." In particular, he said, 
"it is okay if consensus cannot be reached on particular issues." 
"That allows for diversity in the marketplace and gives consumers 

In a message which should be considered required reading, David 
Johnson noted that "any restructuring plan must deal with the 
problem of the tyranny of the majority (or even supermajority)." He 
emphasized that ICANN's powers "must be based on the 'consent of the 
governed'." "The point is NOT to make rules where there is 
substantial, principled disagreement from those with a stake.  The 
point is to NOT make rules where there is such disagreement," he 
writes.  He also suggests that "there is still a way to shrink 
ICANN's mission back to the ... task of attempting to catalyze 
agreement on global issues that require coordination."  Instead 
creating a "global regulator," competition should be introduced at 
the registry level, so that the market can "provide the voice for 
the 'governed' to be heard'."  "That is," he writes, "why it is 
important not to allow the development of objective minimum 
qualifications for new TLDs to slip off the agenda."

(v) New deadline for structure input.  In a message from Louis 
Touton to the Names Council (which was also distributed through 
other channels), ICANN notes that "comments received after 29 April 
2002 are likely to be significantly less useful than those received 
by that date." The letter also contains a set of questions the 
Evolution and Reform Committee would like to hear views on. 

(vi) NC teleconference minutes posted.

Thomas Roessler                          http://log.does-not-exist.org/

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