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Fwd: IP: ICANN & the DNSO

Dave Farber has been named one of the 25
most influential people on the Internet.
This was sent to his 25,000 member IP
("Important People") list. 


Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 08:54:41 -0700
To: ip-sub-1@admin.listbox.com
From: David Farber <farber@cis.upenn.edu>
Subject: IP: ICANN & the DNSO

From an old and valued friend who asked for anonymity. he is NOT a flamer in any sense of the word, so the tone of this surprises me and makes the note worth sending out.


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Have you been following the strange attempts of the Business
Constituency (BC) of the DNSO to form a working group and decide
on policy & whom to vote for?

Both of our companies are founding members of the BC.  The whole
operation is a typical European-style bureaucratic "consultative
committee" operation.  Hardly any of the reps seem able to format an
email message that can be displayed correctly with any MUA -- including

Decision making and strategy are now being made via conference
calls that are scheduled for 1300 CET.  I can't convince myself
it's important enough to get up at 0400 (0300?) to participate.
I'm probably wrong, but what happened to the well-known and well-
understood mechanisms for reaching consensus on the Net?  Partly,
I think it's because ICANN seems to be pushing for decisions at a
rate that's much too fast for the usual consensus-building
techniques, but it's also due to the fact that people who are
making the decisions seem, for the most part, not to have been
involved with the Internet until very recently & just don't know
how things are supposed to work.  Vote taking seems to be very
haphazard with none of the safeguards that we've found desirable
over the years.  For example, I voted in the latest "election",
but still have no idea if my vote was received.

I'm not necessarily anti-ICANN.  I'm just very concerned that things
are moving too fast out of control.  And the general feeling I sense
in the community is very negative -- much more so than my reaction.

I still think it is possible for a half-dozen backbone ISP's to decide
it's gone too far, establish their own root nameservers and take 80%
(wild number, just a feeling, but >50%) of the *users* of the Internet
with them.  I *don't* think that would be good for the community, at
least until everything else has failed.


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Jay Fenello,
New Media Relations
http://www.fenello.com  770-392-9480