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Re: Installment 2: Have Vint and Esther Got a Deal For You!
I guess I really should make this
part of the ICANN record. FYI:
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Installment 2: Have Vint and Esther Got a Deal For You!
Date: Tue, 07 Sep 1999 18:23:18 -0400
To: Robert Shaw <Robert.Shaw@itu.int>
CC: Jay@Iperdome.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Shaw wrote:
> I'm somewhat disappointed to see TELECOM Digest also become a platform
> for ICANN bashing. Having participated in the Internet Ad Hoc
> Committee (IAHC) in 1996/1997, I was once (and thankfully am no more)
> at ground zero of the three-ring circus that attempted to overhaul the
> administration of the Internet generic top level domains. How this
> has turned into a bizarre discussion of "Internet governance" is
> beyond me.
> When the IAHC started its work in 1996, I doubt that any of us had
> ever heard of the term Internet governance. In fact, we were very
> careful to limit the scope of our activity and would have been accused
> of absurd hubris to equate this work with the much grander sounding
> "Internet governance".
> Someone once said "trying to govern the Internet is like trying to
> herd cats: it just doesn't work". And as someone else noted -- "cats
> are clearly much smarter than dogs: the proof is that you could never
> tie eight cats together and get them to pull a sled in one
> direction". One could argue that what we need is a few dogs pulling in
> the same direction.
How do you reconcile your comments above,
with those of your boss in the ITU's own
I am pleased that the Minneapolis Plenipotentiary
Conference held in October-November 1998, gave ITU
a very clear mandate for a role in questions of
Internet governance (see ITU News, No. 10/98,
pages 17-18). The need for an impartial international
organization to be involved in Internet governance
was clear nearly four years ago. I recall underlining
this need at the Internet Days event, which we
organized in April 1995.
The IS Department has participated very actively,
on ITU's behalf, in key Internet governance forums,
notably the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC)
for domain name issues and the Memorandum of
Understanding on Internet generic Top Level Domain
names (gTLD-MoU), for which ITU is the depositary.
More comments below . . .
> But, of course, on the Internet, no one knows if you're a dog. I,
> along with another rotating group of committee members who worked on
> this problem, experienced enough bizarre characters, self-proclaimed
> representatives of organizations that are nothing more than a few web
> pages, anonymous people hiding behind fake identities, and conspiracy
> theories to last a lifetime.
> The IAHC was sued, attacked in thousands of emails on mailing lists,
> compared to communists against free enterprise, claimed to be lackeys
> of foreign powers, part of a secret plot to move the Internet to
> Switzerland, ad nauseum (all copiously fanned by Gordon Cook's
> writings). No motive that we could possibly have had was too base. No
> possible accusation has been left unsaid. I read enough false press
> reports about our work to forever distrust quasi-real-time web
> journalism. Getting seriously involved in this topic is the best way
> to become intimately familiar with your email filters -- and a thick
> And with ICANN, it is deja-vu all over again. In any endeavour, there
> are always going to be people who disagree with you. What is different
> is that the Internet allows those who have endless energy and access
> to email (and large distribution lists) wonderful opportunities to
> attack with whatever dirt they can dream up. Some are very clever in
> how they do it. I put Mr. Fenello into that category.
On this we agree, it *is* deja-vu all over again.
Rather than debate issues of substance, you would
rather resort to personal attacks and inuendo.
It's the IAHC all over again :-(
I'm just happy that Pat is willing to put all
sides in this debate online for public discussion,
even though his future funding may lie in the
President, Iperdome, Inc. 770-392-9480
What's your .per(sm)? http://www.iperdome.com
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is
ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third,
it is accepted as self-evident." (Arthur Schopenhauer)
> So it is especially strange to see TELECOM Digest falling into
> this same trap and being used for this platform of ICANN bashing
> by these supposed "experts". The warning bells go immediately off
> when one of your postings on this topic starts with an email from
> Jeff Williams, a one-man (?) argument against anonymity on the
> Internet. As your message from Mr. Williams shows, he claims to speak
> for a group called the INEGroup which represents over 95,000 members.
> This claim pales next to other assertions about himself: for a
> sampler, see http://www.gtld-mou.org/gtld-discuss/mail-archive/08018.html.
> Some folks got so fed up with his claims that they created a web site
> at http://www.inegroup.net/ to debunk him. He has another identity,
> Brian C. Hollingsworth, who supposedly works for some Internet
> commission of the European Union, but who has to post from the same
> ISP in Texas as Mr. Williams. :-) Of course, when confronted with
> this, Mr. Williams says he forwards on Mr. Hollingsworth's messages
> using his Nextel mobile phone in Europe to post his messages (or some
> silly stuff like that). I guess Mr. Williams' expertise does not
> include spectrum allocation or radio transmission technologies.
> Now Patrick, let's move down in your same posting where you have a mail
> from a supposed 'Jeff Mason' at Planet Communications Computing Facility
> <email@example.com> - this mail can be found at the archives
> http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/ga/Archives/msg00590.html. The mail is
> sent to a "Sr. Francis Fanego" at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Amazing coincidence
> that both use the same name 'pccf', isn't it? Well, let's go to
> www.samspade.org and find out who pccf.net is. Samspade says pccf.net
> belongs to the same person the mail is supposedly being sent from.
> And the billing contact is shown as who the mail is send to (Fanego).
> Another coincidence? Note the primary name server is vrx.net.
> O.K., so now we have another address, bigbird.earth-net.net. Who's that?
> Again we use Samspade to look it up and lo and behold, this is clearly
> somebody who wants to hide. Note no telephone or fax numbers, a public
> email service address at 'altavista', and another fake name "John Hunt"
> I recognize from the IAHC days. Again the name servers are at vrx.net.
> Who's vrx.net? It's a service run by Richard Sexton, one of the people
> that Network Solutions, Inc., the current provider of .com, .net,
> and .org services, tried to appoint to the ICANN Domain Name Supporting
> Organization (DNSO). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that NSI
> has much to gain by delaying ICANN; as ICANN and the US Department of
> Commerce have pointed out repeatedly. Is there a connection? You judge.
> The lesson here is that you should be careful what you believe and
> where it is coming from. There is no doubt that there are good people
> who disagree with what ICANN is doing (and that includes me
> sometimes). However, moving from the platitudes in the USG White
> Paper to specific decisions on how to fairly introduce competition in
> the domain name system is undoubtedly going to leave lots of people
> unhappy for economic or other reasons. Giving them a platform here (in
> many cases when you cannot even ascertain their true identity or who
> they're working for) distorts the ICANN process to no good end.
> Robert Shaw <email@example.com>
> ITU Internet Strategy and Policy Advisor
> International Telecommunication Union <http://www.itu.int>
> Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Thanks for your very informative and
> helpful note. My one main objection to ICANN and its cliquish friends
> at the Internet Society are the degree of secrecy they have maintained
> since the beginning. I certainly do not have any love lost for the
> folks at NSI either, but I believe where ICANN/ISOC has raised so much
> hostility on the net has been because of their stubborn refusal to say
> any more than they absolutely have to say, and then, they distort it
> also. If any of these folks, NSI or ICANN are going to have
> considerable power and sway over the net, its websites and news
> groups, they have simply got to be more open, forthright, direct and
> to the point about what is happening. ICANN has adopted procedures
> where *not a single netizen or small website* will have any say-so at
> all. Their policy thus far has been to place everything regarding the
> 'rules and regulations' into the hands of large, multinational companies
> and a small group of their own advisors, most of whom are venture-
> capitalists like Esther Dyson.
> Have you seen the contract webmasters will be required to sign in order
> to get or keep their domain names when they come up for renewal, and
> how the sole judge of your right and mine to be on the net (because
> without a domain name you do not exist) is going to be in the hands of
> Esther Dyson and a handful of her friends, all of whom at this point
> are deeply in debt to companies like MCI-Worldcom, Cisco and others who
> have given them loads of money? You don't think those large companies
> are going to want to get paid back eventually, one way or another?
> Your point about 'Jeff Williams' is well-taken. You are not the first
> person to write to me since I printed his thing. In fact, many of the
> anti-ICANN people have said to me not to listen to him at all. I am
> about finished printing that stuff; I have one more planned in a day
> or two, but frankly I have a lot better stuff to do with my time also
> than allow this forum to be a constant anti-ICANN medium. But my problem
> is, I am finding relatively few netizens these days who had even heard
> of Internet Society or ICANN before I mentioned it; a couple thought
> it was some sort of 'social organization' for people who had computers
> on line, and a couple who had heard of it thought it was 'a group that
> advocates free-speech for people on the web' ... when in fact nothing
> could be further from the truth. I've printed letters here from people
> who hastened to assure me that, 'they have every right to be here, why
> they are not going to harm you old-timers, etc ... they have a right
> to do things according to their own customs, etc ...'
> Well, Mr. Shaw, maybe all the stories going around the net about ICANN
> are just vicious lies being spread by NSI to discredit them. Maybe
> they have nothing but the most benevolent plans for everyone, and all
> that stuff in their contract that web sites and ISPs will be required
> to sign to keep their domain names is just there 'because the lawyers
> made them do it' and all that. Maybe when they all flew off to Santiago
> for a meeting which they kept secret even though they promised the
> Commerce Department that their meetings would all be open in the
> future it was just a clerical error that they forgot to print the
> minutes of the meeting at their website until large numbers of netizens
> were banging on their door asking for answers. They promised to elect
> a new board when Commerce demanded it, and now they say the present
> board will stick around for another year instead. Why? Couldn't
> they get any netizens to volunteer to be part of the board? They
> have not complied with a single demand made of them by Commerce; they
> remain secret, and the occassional thing we find out about them is
> when a piece of email from Vint Cerf makes the rounds where Vint is
> saying he can spin a yarn to scare all the big companies into obeying
> ICANN/ISOC demands by telling them how their internet stocks will
> all go bad if they do not cooperate. I'll openly admit I no longer
> know what to believe, but Mr. Shaw, if you maintained a newsgroup and
> web site with lots of newcomers passing through every day, wouldn't
> you feel remiss if you did not tell them there are some things going
> on in the background that may cause a very profound change in their
> net/virtual life in the near future and they had better see about it
> and decide for themselves?
> Even though I do not know what to believe, I will tell you who I
> would believe, or would like to believe: Mister Vint Cerf. If *he*
> asked for space to explain their position, I would give him all
> the space he wanted. I'll bet there are a lot of moderators and
> webmasters who would gladly pre-empt their own agendas for the day
> and host his message. It would be an important message and one that
> we all need to hear. We need the TRUTH, and we need it fast. But
> somehow I just don't think we are going to have any broadcast messages
> to the net anytime soon from anyone at ICANN/ISOC about the 'state
> of the net' which forces me to draw the conclusion maybe the other
> side isn't wrong after all, despite their three-ring circuses with
> Jeff Williams as ringmaster and their other cast of all-star clowns.
> Even losers get things right once in a while. Would you like to see
> President Clinton, or other world leaders going around secretly like
> that, whispering among themselves and responding to their detractors
> not by answering the questions raised, but simply calling the other
> side 'a bunch of losers'? Then why should the net have to endure it?
> Please give my regards to Corazon and others on the staff there in
> Geneva with whom I've had conversations in the past, and relay my
> sincere thanks for ITU's continued support of this Digest. Without
> ITU, the past few years would have been quite difficult, if not
> entirely impossible. Thank you for writing, and for ITU's continued
> financial contributions to the Digest. PAT]