July 31, 2003

Listening to the hearings - Part III, Paul Twomey, CDT, Verisign, and eNOM

Paul Twomey is speaking.

He begins by reciting ICANN's "reforms".

He's mentions "consumer" issues: Redemption Grace, elides over whois privacy (or lack thereof), and WLS

Security and stability - he is describing the committees (security and root-server) but not their output (or lack thereof.)


Begins my mentioning that Verisign runs two root servers as well as creation of the root zone file itself.

He wants ICANN to expand to more stakeholders.

He wants ICANN to emphasise security of root servers. (So do I.)

He wants ICANN to evolve into an entity that ccTLD are willing to sign agreements with. (But provides no concrete details.)

He mentions excessive micromanagement by ICANN several times.

He is suggesting that ICANN be a technical umbrella and not engage in "business micromanagement".

Alan Davidson/CDT - Points out that the distributed internet depends on a few centralized name/number services.

He feels ICANN is needed, but that it needs to be more closely focused.

He is alarmed by possibility of ITU taking over and that thus ICANN must be strengthened. (He didn't mention the growth of the GAC as being perhaps being a step down the path he wants to avoid.)

He's talking about user/public representation - he's generally criticizing the lack of these and says that the Senators should not be fooled into believing that ICANN's steps are sufficient. He also said that the elimination of elections for directors might be OK. (I kinda disagree. ;-)

He's mentioning the privacy issue regarding whois, but not describing a concern that ICANN may not even begin to reach closure on this.

He suggests limited renewal of the ICANN/NTIA MoU.

eNOM - Starts of on "lack of transparency and accountability" of ICANN.

He's focusing on WLS, generally against it. "If WLS can not be stopped, it should be fair."

He's complaining that he and other registrars are not admitted to that part of ICANN that is working on tailoring the Versign WLS. My thought - welcome to the hell to which ICANN has consigned the community of internet users.


Burns asks Twomey to respond to eNOM. Twomey says ICANN ought not be in position to determination what is offered in the marketplace. Now Verisign is talking about WLS, describing the registrar polling mechanism versus the central database triger method. (What irks me about that argument is that it presumes that the existing registration technical mechanisms are "the best of all possible worlds" and that hence WLS in its current form is a necessary result to avoid the ill effects of the current technology.) CDT - Makes the point that WLS is such a hot issue because of the lack of competition between TLDS. eNOM pointing out that WLS "tilts the playing field" between the registrars. (To my mind the tilting is between the registrars and a class and the registry as a class.)

Question to Twomey - what changes to ICANN structure needed to reach agreements with ccTLD community. His answer goes in another direction - globalization: He's mentioning growth of GAC and new ccSO.

Question: what about interoperability of internationalized domain names. (I wonder whether credit will be given to the IETF or will all the glory be absorbed by ICANN.) [By-the-way, I think internationlized DNS is one of the things that ICANN has done well - by faciliting agreement rather than imposing rules.]

Question - is icann prepared for huge upserge that internationlized domain names cause? Twomey begins by mentioning accountability/transparency - to the registries/registrars (and by implication, leaving out the internet community.)

Major slip - Twomey says there is ONE internet, not many. That is a dogmatic belief. From a technical point of view there can be many distinct internets or name spaces, with explicit gateways.

Burns is citing my submission!

Burns is asking Twomey to comment on disappearance of elections for board seats. Twomey is mentioning concern for capture, etc. Twomey is claiming that ALSC structure is adequate replacement.

He is equating "voice of consumers" with public participation.

CDT responding to absence of elections - ICANN is becoming an "international trade association" (CDT reading year old statement of Twomey.)

Burns asking - how should ICANN change? (He describes ICANN as a "cowboy convention" - nobody is in charge.)

CDT emphasises "narrow mission" and "things we don't do" and "not be over regulatory".

Burns is letting the panelists ask one another questions - Oh I wish I were there! ;-)

Burns' closing remarks - he mentions that oversight may have to be a continuing part of ICANN. He also revisits the size of the impact from the Asia Pacific area.

The hearing is over but the background chatter continues....

Posted by karl at July 31, 2003 1:04 PM