Tuesday, March 01, 2005

ICANN Strategic Plan Comments

A last minute flood of comments on ICANN's Strategic Plan as the comment deadline elapses...

Comments from: APTLD, JPRS, CENTR, IPC, Sebastian Bellagamba, gTLD Registry Constituency, NRO, International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys FICPI, ccNSO, Marilyn Cade, and Vittorio Bertola.

Note: For those who are interested, I also submitted a 21-page document as part of the GNSO Amsterdam session. The Strategic Plan is important because it should be painting a picture of what the At-Large can expect in a post MOU ICANN (although version 1 doeesn't really do that).

A point that I raised in my own critique regarding ICANN's mission and the operator of the "L" root server is echoed below in comments submitted by the NRO:

"There are a number of references (p.22) to ICANN operating the "L" root name server. It is difficult to see how the operation of a root name server contributes to the ICANN mission. In fact, an argument could be made that operating a root name server puts ICANN into a conflict of interest situation as being responsible for the security and stability of the root server system and at the same time being a root server operator. It also prompts the question: would ICANN's concerns as a root server operator trump its overall management of the root server system?A good example of the potential points of conflict that would arise from ICANN's role as the operator of the "L" root server can be seen in the subsection entitled "Standardised relationships with Root server operators" (p. 27). Finally, the legitimacy of ICANN operating the "L" root server needs to be questioned. Without providing any further detail, the plan simply states that:"The community has entrusted ICANN with the responsibility of operating the "L" root name server." (p.23)"

Reading through these documents one notes many complaints by many parties; the most consistent objection, however, has been to the claim that ICANN "consulted" with the various communities. Each group is basically saying: You lied to the U.S. Department of Commerce when you submitted this report because the Strategic Plan claims that multi-stakeholder consultations were held, but you sure as hell didn't consult with us!

Here's an interesting tidbit from the gTLD Registries submission:

"The majority of gTLD registries are concerned that different registries (such as ccTLDs or .edu) are subject to very different contractual relationships with ICANN. In order to ensure Internet security and stability globally, ICANN should bring these groups into parity and move forward with the minimum necessary degree of contractual control exercised by ICANN over all registries."

I guess the gTLDs didn't have the resolve to also point to .gov and .mil as examples of registries still not under contract with ICANN.

There are so many excellent well-considered commentaries that I advise you to take the time to read them all. Get to know what others in the community are thinking. After all, ICANN is supposed to be a deliberative body within which informed participants can contribute to consensus-based policy-making.


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