[ga] Forwarded from the NCDNHC list
This was sent to ICANN Board yesterday. So far I have
received a response from only two Board members,
Karl Auerbach and Amadeu Abril-Abril, both of whom
expressed some sympathy for our concerns. Normally Vint
Cerf is quite responsive, if only to acknowledge receipt
and issue some noncommital response defending his
actions - in this case his silence is interesting.
Dr. Dr. Cerf:
I have learned how the Board acted on the .org divestiture
and am disappointed and even a little shocked. It appears
that you decided not to follow the DNSO's unanimous
recommendation that the ORG be divested to a non-profit
registry representative of noncommercial Internet interests.
Amazingly, this was the one part of the policy that was never
controversial. It was supported by business users, IPR
representatives, registrars and of course the noncommercial
I spent about 8 months working on the .org Task Force
and related activities. We followed the designated ICANN
process to the letter. We achieved a real consensus, and
a unanimous vote. Almost all of the public comments were
favorable, and the few that were not did not provide any
basis for deviating from the recommendation of a
non-profit registry representative of noncommercial
There are serious issues of credibility and commitment here.
If ICANN is to establish legitimacy and stability it must adhere
to its own processes. Its decisions must be backed by careful
documentation of their rationales (there is not, as far as I can
tell, ANY reasoning or documentation behind your decision.)
Above all, it must respect the work of the people
who devote their time to making your processes work.
Do you share that view?
If so, can you explain to me why, after this result, anyone
should take ICANN and its processes seriously and commit
any time or money to them?
Your argument, made during the Board meeting,
that the DNSO offers only "advice," and that advice can
be disregarded, is frankly insulting to the people who are
required to spend thousands of dollars to maintain
membership in DNSO and orders of magnitude more than
that in donated time and materials.
It is also legally incorrect. Please read the ICANN bylaws regarding
the role of supporting organizations.* Under the bottom-up model
that Dr. Postel designed, policy directions are supposed to originate
with supporting organizations and be passed up to the Board.
If the Board disagrees with an element of the policy, it is
supposed to return the policy to the supporting organization
for modification. The consensus-development apparatus lies in
the SOs. The Board is supposed to follow consensus not
Certainly the Board has the *power* to ignore its supporting
organizations, but should it? If it does, why are they there?
A decent respect for ICANN's own processes, a sense of public
accountability, not to mention simple common sense, would
dictate following a policy that took such a long time to develop
and commanded such widespread support.
I hope you have a good explanation for your actions in Accra.
I look forward to your reply.
Dr. Milton Mueller
Former Names Council member for NCDNHC
Former Chair, Names Council Task Force on .org
* Supporting Organizations shall have "the primary responsibility for
developing and recommending substantive policies regarding those
matters falling within their specific responsibilities." ICANN bylaws,
Article VI, Section 2(b).
"Article VI, Section 2(f) If the Board declines to accept any
recommendation of a Supporting Organization, it shall return the
recommendation to the Supporting Organization for further consideration,
along with a statement of the reasons it declines to accept the
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