At-Large Representative for Canada and the United States on the
ICANN Board of Directors
Karl Auerbach

Diary - May 13, 2002

These notes were written on May 14, 2002.

This was a telephone meeting.  As usual it was at 6am my time.  I do not know who was on the conference call who was not a Director of the corporation, but from the minutes that were approved its possible to make a guess.

The preliminary report is visible at:

The agenda consisted of the following items:

Although the agenda was posted about a week before the meeting, the actual items being proposed were not made visible to me (and presumably not to the other board members) until between 30 and 12 hours prior to the meeting.  This did not allow adequate time for research and preparation.  (And it, as in other instances at other meetings, goes against the chimerical 48 hour "rule" that prevented me from making two resolutions in Stockholm last year.)

ICANN's staff has to begin to do a better job of making its materials ready sufficiently far in advance that it may be reviewed not only by Directors but also by the public so that the public may have time to make its points of view known to the Directors.

It was "staff" that set the date for the meeting in the first place.  If they weren't ready then they should not have put a meeting onto the calendar.  None of these decisions couldn't have waited another week or two.

Approval of Minutes

Minutes for 2 April 2001, 7 May 2001, 31 July 2001, and  21 January 2002 were lumped into one resolution.

Louis Touton is working very hard bringing the minutes up to date.

And I have no particular reason to suspect that there are any errors or flaws in the minutes that he is presenting.

However, three of these meetings occurred very long ago.  My memory of them has faded and I have no independent recollection of what transpired.   (These "diary" entries are intentionally limited and focus only on my own acts and my own impressions and thus do not really serve the purpose of refreshing my memory of what the board as a whole did or did not do.)

I interpret a vote to approve minutes as an endorsement of their accuracy.  Since I had no basis to make such an endorsement, I abstained.

Conversion of President's Committee on Security and Stability to the Security Advisory Committee

The security committee chaired by Steve Crocker has many members with strong technical credentials.  However, I do see significant gaps in the committee membership -- nearly all the members come from network security backgrounds.  I see few members, if any, who are experts in matters such as business recovery (e.g. where is the emergency cash going to come from in order to immediately begin rebuilding infrastructures even if there are usable backups?), physical security, insurance, protection of evidence (unless proper custodial measures are taken evidence of a security event may not be usable in court), etc.  I would have liked to see the committee have additional members such as police officers, insurance investigators, architects (building protection and security), attorneys (protection of evidence), and possibly even some non-civilian experts.

Nevertheless, one has to start somewhere.  So I voted yes.

Approval of Legacy Agreement for .bi (Burundi)

I almost abstained or voted against this - not that I have any knowledge of anything wrong with the motion but rather because I simply felt underinformed.

However, as this resolution uses the model MoU as its basis, I felt reasonably positive that this agreement ought to be allowed to move forward on substantially the same terms as the other ccTLD contracts that have been entered into so far.  So I voted yes.

President's Update on Finances

This was not a matter subject to a resolution or board decision; there was no vote.

It is worth noting that this "update" was made in the form of words, sentences, and paragraphs that have to be unraveled to extract the meaning.  It would be much clearer to everyone involved if ICANN's management were to deliver a monthly financial report in a standardized tabular format.  This would make it much easier to track changes of position.

Update on Evolution and Reform Process

Again, this was not a matter subject to a resolution or board decision.

However, during the report I too frequently heard references to "stakeholders".  I am very concerned that we avoid a repeat of the flawed, secretive, and selective "process" in which the original ICANN design was conceived and refined.  The ICANN of 1998 was given the benefit of the doubt by the public; the ICANN that emerges from this "evolution and reform process" will need all the good will it can get.  A flawed process today will squander the good will that ICANN will need tomorrow.

My own initial submission to the "evolution and reform process" may be viewed at:

Update on .org RFP Process

As with the two previous points, this was not a matter subject to a resolution or board decision.

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2002 Karl Auerbach, All Rights Reserved.
Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2002 12:32:35 AM