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[ga] Reform proposal

New.net responds to the Lynn "roadmap": http://www.new.net/WhitePaper_v2.pdf
Cover letter sent to DoC below:

March 8, 2002

The Honorable Donald L. Evans
United States Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230

        Re:     ICANN Reform

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We reviewed with great interest the report recently issued by the CEO of the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that describes
ICANN's significant shortcomings historically and proposes dramatic reforms
that effectively would turn ICANN into an international regulatory body with
substantially more duties, governmental funding and expansive authority.
While we agree with the report's dim assessment of ICANN's success to-date,
we believe that the proposed reforms, if implemented, would be very bad for
the domain name industry, users of the Internet generally and the overall
interests of the United States.  Moreover, we think that the proposed
reforms are predicated on a utopian vision of world government that is
entirely inconsistent with the views of the current Administration that tend
to favor localized and market-based approaches over centralized regulation.

As the Department of Commerce considers what position it will take with
respect to such reforms, we offer a substitute proposal for reforming
governance of Internet domain names and addresses set forth in the attached
paper entitled "A Proposal for More Realistic Domain Name Governance."  Our
proposal contemplates:

.   Limit ICANN Role to Consensus-Based Trade Association

New.net proposes that ICANN continue to do much of what it currently does
well in its capacity as a trade association for parties interested in issues
related to domain names, IP addresses and Internet protocols instead of
trying to become a powerful, global quasi-governmental regulator.   As a
trade association, ICANN would be able to continue serving its educational
and advisory functions, but with no pretense of authority over U.S. or
international Internet infrastructure assets.

.   Greater Reliance on Market Forces Instead of Regulation

New.net proposes that market forces should be the dominant factor in
regulating the conduct of persons buying, selling and using Internet-related
products and services.  New.net believes that the market, and not
centralized regulation, is the most efficient means to drive persons and
companies to innovate and introduce new products and services using the
Domain Name System (DNS), and regulate their conduct, much in the same
manner that market forces drive innovation and regulate conduct in virtually
every other industry.

.   Local vs. Global Regulatory Decision Making

New.net proposes that where formal governmental regulation is needed to
supplement industry practices and market forces, such regulation already
occurs at the national or local level in the same way that existing laws
regulate most businesses.  Prior to the advent of ICANN, few bodies had
sought to be international regulators without the establishment of treaties,
and formation of a special private or governmental global regulator of
Internet naming and addressing matters simply is not needed.

.   Continued Control of Legacy DNS Root by U.S. Government

New.net proposes that the U.S. Government continue to maintain control over
the legacy DNS root and not ever cede control to an organization with ICANN'
s characteristics.  By maintaining control over the legacy DNS root, the
United States would be assured that its national interests are protected,
and the legacy DNS root likely would continue to be the most widely used

.   Recognize Country Code Operators' Unique Issues in Relation to the Legacy
DNS Root

New.net proposes that country code top-level domain (ccTLD) operators form a
new organization to represent their interests vis-a-vis ICANN, the U.S.
Government and other entities involved in Internet addressing matters.
New.net believes that any reform of the current process for managing the DNS
needs to acknowledge the legitimacy of the interests of non-U.S. country
code top-level domain operators and must do a better job of addressing their

Overall, we think that our proposal much more realistically balances the
divergent interests of the numerous parties affected by domain name and
addressing governance issues.  Our proposal would protect vital U.S.
interests in the domain name system, streamline the coordination of
international domain name issues, and support private sector innovation and
flexibility in this sector.  Moreover, this proposal is more consistent with
the original goals of the "White Paper" that led to the creation of ICANN of
truly privatizing management of the DNS, involving international interests
and promoting competition, increased consumer choice and continued
innovation.  Ours is not a perfect solution, but one that is significantly
better than perpetuating a regulatory regime under ICANN that has proven
unworkable or exacerbating ICANN's poor track record by giving it more
power, money and scope.

If you or any other Department of Commerce officials would like to discuss
any of these or other issues with us, please do not hesitate to contact me.


David Hernand
CEO, New.net, Inc.

cc: Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and
Commerce, Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and 
Transportation, Hon. Nancy J. Victory
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