Thursday, 1 October 2009

"New ICANN agreement runs into criticism"

If you’re looking for my comments on ICANN’s latest adventures in wonderland, as mentioned in this article in Macworld and PC World from Grant Gross of IDG News Service, they’re here at If you are just tuning in, check out the back story and my previous ICANNwatch articles. I’m also part of the discussion on the Internet Governance Project blog about the latest developments.

You won’t necessarily find me, or other critical ICANN observers, on ICANN’s own Web site: I’ve apparently been deemed an “unperson” by some of ICANN’s staff. Every comment I’ve ever posted in the ICANN Ombudsman’s official blog has been removed, for example, as have comments from others, distorting the public record and creating a false illusion of public support. (I know about the others’ comments only because it sometimes takes a couple of hours after critical comments are posted before they are purged.) And ICANN routinely re-writes and backdates pages on its Web site to cover up its mistakes.

I haven’t heard anything from ICANN to explain how the process of approval of the newly proclaimned “Affirmation of Commitments” (AoC) complied with ICANN’s transparency and procedural rules. My guess is that, if pressed, ICANN would say that the AoC isn’t subject to those rules because it isn’t a “policy”, which (a) would amount to an admission that the AoC in unenforceable and nonbinding, essentially nothing more than a press release, and (b) still wouldn’t justify noncompliance with ICANN’s transparency Bylaw, which applies to all aspects of ICANN “operations” and not just policy-making. (ICANN’s transparency rules — if they ever followed them, which they don’t — are actually much broader than, say, FOIA or most other open-government laws, and without most of FOIA’s exceptions).

As I have been doing since 2005, I’m still seeking an independent review, as provided for by ICANN’s Bylaws, of whether ICANN refusal to allow me access as a journalist (and a member of the public) to meetings and documents related to ICANN’s decisions on the “.travel” top-level domain name violated ICANN’s Bylaw on transparency. ICANN ignores me, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop shouting, “The emporor has no clothes!” whenever their parade passes by.

Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 1 October 2009, 16:11 ( 4:11 PM)
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