Wednesday, 29 March 2006
ICANN public forum today
Even knowing I was 10,000 km away, ICANN went to new lengths to exclude me from their current meeting in Wellington, New Zealand. (More on that in a later article.) But less than an hour before the start of ICANN's 2-day "public forum", I succeeded in pressuring them to post an agenda for their decision-making meeting, and an e-mail address, email@example.com for comments from the public to ICANN's Board of Directors.
If you support my effort to get ICANN to follow its own rules and my effort to report on how travellers have been excluded from the ".travel" and ".aero" top-level Internet domain names; if you think the travel industry shouldn't have been given exclusive control of ".travel"; and if you think ICANN should have listened to its own consultants who found that the travel industry doesn't represent the travelling public, and recommended against the .travel proposal ; this is your chance to let ICANN know that you want them to give my requests a fair hearing.
Please send an e-mail message today to "firstname.lastname@example.org", asking ICANN's Board of Directors to act on my request for independent review. Even a brief message will help.
[Addendum, 2 April 2006: The forum for comments sent to "email@example.com" appears to have been closed. So if you still want to send a message of support, send it to the Chair of ICANN's Board of Directors, Dr. Vint Cerf, at firstname.lastname@example.org , with a copy to ICANN's Corporate Secretary and General Counsel, John O. Jeffrey, at email@example.com .]
The public forum is scheduled to end at 12:30 p.m. Wellington local time Thursday, which is 4:30 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday in the USA. But ICANN has been known to cut the public forum short , so try to get your comments in sooner if you can.
Almost a year ago, during your meeting in Mar del Plata on 8 April 2005, I made a timely request, in accordance with ICANN's Bylaws, for independent review of your decision at that meeting to approve an agreement for the creation and sponsorship of a "travel" top-level domain (TLD), and for a stay of that decision pending independent review.
Almost eight months later, during your public forum and meeting in Vancouver on 3-4 December 2005, you publicly promised to refer my request to an independent review panel, in accordance with ICANN's Bylaws.
Almost four months later, you have not done so.
I have repeatedly requested that you provide me with a copy of any procedures which ICANN has in place for independent review. You have not done so.
I have repeatedly requested that you provide me with any agreement(s) between ICANN and any independent review provider(s). You have not done so.
I have repeatedly requested that you provide me a copy of any ICANN decision to designate an independent review provider (IRP) or to approve procedures for independent review. You have not done so.
I have described in detail my diligent but unsuccessful efforts to find a record of any such decisions on the ICANN Web site, and the procedures that would have to be followed, under ICANN's Bylaws, for such decisions:
I have repeatedly requested that, if you believe that ICANN has made such a decision in accordance with the procedural rules in ICANN's Bylaws, you provide me with your basis for that belief. You have not done so.
My most recent messages to the Board have not been answered at all:
To the best of my knowledge and belief -- after diligent search and review of the ICANN Web site, and repeated unanswered requests to you for any evidence to the contrary -- ICANN has not, in fact, designated an IRP provider, and does not have in place procedures for independent review.
If you are sincere in a good-faith offer to have my request referred to a duly appointed IRP according to duly-adopted procedures under ICANN's Bylaws, the first steps toward keeping your promise are to designate an IRP provider and to put in place procedures for independent review.
I again demand that you initiate a policy development process to implement ICANN's Bylaw on independent review by designating an IRP provider and putting in place procedures for independent review.
Your continued refusal to do so violates ICANN's Bylaws, violates ICANN's contractual commitments in the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) between ICANN and the USA Department of Commerce (DOC) , and violates your obligation as directors of the corporation to conduct the affairs of ICANN in accordance with its Bylaws and its contractual commitments.
I call to your attention, and that of other observers, that your refusal to comply with ICANN's Bylaws provides the Secretary of State of California with grounds to dissolve the corporation. And your refusal to comply with the MOU provides the DOC with grounds to revoke the MOU for material breach of contract by ICANN. If your inaction on my request for independent review leads to the dissolution of ICANN or the removal of its authority over the Internet, you will have only yourselves to blame.
Since there is no Web forum at which messages to "firstname.lastname@example.org" are being posted, please reply to confirm that this message has been received and forwarded to each member of the Board of Directors.
[Addendum, 29 March 2006: Susan Crawford, one of the newest members of ICANN's Board of Directors, has apologized in her blog for the lack of openness and transparency in the current ICANN public forum and meetings: "Dear Edward, I apologize. I know that's not good enough, but it's all I can do. I don't understand why an email address wasn't posted; why there wasn't an agenda; why email comments aren't posted. I'm trying to get to the bottom of this. I'm new on the job, but we're having a lot of discussions about communications and I'll make sure we discuss this." No comment on what, if anything, she or the rest of the Board of Directors will do about my request for independent review or my other requests.]Link | Posted by Edward on Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 03:40 ( 3:40 AM)