Tuesday, 5 April 2005

Questions for ICANN about ".travel"

Yesterday ICANN's Web site announced that, "A teleconference press conference is scheduled for 12:00-13:00 (local time [in Mar del Plata, Argentina]) on Tuesday, 5 April. Participation details are available upon request."

I immediately responded to "press@icann.org", "Please send information on how I can participate in the telephone press conference on Tuesday, as mentioned on the ICANN Web site."

I have received no response to this request, nothing further has appeared on the ICANN Web site about the press conference, and -- being 10,000 kilometers away -- I can't tell if the press conference was held, much less who was allowed to participate or what was said.

This is a serious violation of ICANN's Bylaws , and a serious infringement of my rights as a journalist (as well as a stakeholder in ".travel") and the rights of my readers who have been following the ongoing ".travel" scandal through my reporting over the last four years.

I have requested that I and any others who were not given an opportunity to participate be given another opportunity, at the earliest possible time, for a telephone conference to question those who participated in the original press conference.

Here are the questions I would have asked, if I had gotten a chance, about the ".travel" scandal:

  1. When did ICANN learn of the 25 February 2003 purchase option agreement between Tralliance Corp. and TheGlobe.com/Voicego (details still secret), the 24 February 2004 agreement between Tralliance and the Travel Partnership Corp., TTPC ("Appendix A" to the proposed ICANN-Tralliance ".travel" agreement), and the 22 October 2002 memorandum of understanding between TTPC and IATA (details still secret) mentioned in that "Appendix A" ? Specifically, were these 3 agreements reviewed by the ICANN Board of Directors before or during their 18 October 2004 conference call?

  2. In light of the fact that the latest TTPC financial statement shows that as of 31 December 2004 TTPC was insolvent , and that revenues from TTPC's proposed share of Tralliance/TheGlobe.com/Voiceglo's proposed share of ".travel" registration fees will not commence until after the start of ".travel" registration, does ICANN know who will actually absorb TTPC's start-up costs of formulating ".travel" policies? What, if any, mechanisms are proposed to ensure that TTPC would not be a financial captive of those financial backers, subject to having funding cut off and being forced to shut down for lack of money if TTPC were to adopt policies counter to their interests?

  3. The proposed ICANN-Tralliance agreement provides that, "Registry [i.e. Tralliance] may assign this Agreement as part of the transfer of its registry business if such transfer and assignment are approved in advance by ICANN in accordance with its procedures." Has such a request been made to ICANN in relation to the contemplated sale of Tralliance to TheGlobe.com/Voiceglo ? Has ICANN begun the process of developing a consensus on the criteria and procedures that should be used to evaluate such a request?

[Addendum, 6 April 2005: Bret Fausett links to this article from Computer Business Review, which doesn't mention ".travel" (not surprising since I wasn't allowed to be at the press conference to ask about it) but does confirm that the press conference took place: "ICANN chairman Vint Cerf said here at the organization's meeting in Argentina ... at a press conference yesterday."]

Link | Posted by Edward on Tuesday, 5 April 2005, 13:45 ( 1:45 PM) | TrackBack (1)
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