[NOTE ==> The following information will
also be posted in standard html format at
<<http://dnso.association.org/>http://dnso.association.org>, a widely
accessible web site]
 

February 5, 1999

Memorandum for the ICANN Board and the Internet/DNS Community

On behalf of the undersigned, ORSC, AIP, and NSI respectfully submit the
attached draft proposal for the establishment of a Domain Name Supporting
Organization of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN).

This draft (the "Paris Draft") was developed during a two-day session involving
participants from a wide range of regions and perspectives on the DNSO
formation process, including representatives of registries that account for the
vast majority of current registrations in the domain name system and that
service registrants in every region of the world. That session began by
comparing all the outstanding drafts from every source (including, of course,
many parties who were not at this meeting) and discussing in detail the many
good ideas contained in various drafts and the significance of the differences
between them. Subsequent discussions with others who were not at the meeting
have led to constructive plans for exploring further refinements and seeking
further endorsements.

We have tried our best to incorporate into a coherent document the best views
of all who favor an open, transparent, bottom up process for the evolution of
policies and industry standards applicable to the DNS. We have sought a
structure that will ensure stability, encourage flexible change over time,
allow participation by all parties impacted by the policy development process,
and assure widespread implementation of the new policies that develop through
that process. We solicit and welcome any and all comments and suggestions.

We have sought in this draft proposal to accomplish the goals established by
ICANNís Articles and ByLaws, as initially articulated by the US Governmentís
White Paper and thereafter developed in the course of extensive discussions
among diverse stakeholders. The draft contemplates that a new DNSO structure
would be established by means of an amendment to ICANNís ByLaws, to function as
a distinct but integrated part of the ICANN process. Integration of the DNSO
into ICANN both simplifies the organizational questions (avoiding the need for
a separate board and corporate officers and staff, fund collection and
additional fiscal controls) and assures that DNSO will function to serve
ICANNís goals and will comply with ICANNís Articles and ByLaws. This approach
also allows more extensive and specific discussion of the particular processes
by which appropriate expertise and the perspectives of impacted parties may be
brought to bear on these complex and dynamic issues.

The draft provides for an open DNSO membership that may self-organize into
various constituencies, which may be adjusted from time to time. The
constituencies would select a regionally diverse Names Council, the role of
which will be to facilitate and recognize the emergence of consensus among the
membership as a whole (acting through both a General Assembly and various
Research Committees established to study and report on specific issues).  The
draft intentionally rejects a "representational" model that would empower a
small group of Name Council members to adopt or reject recommendations to be
forwarded to ICANN. Instead, it seeks to assure true, bottom up and widespread
consensus

(1) by calling for expert and diverse participation in production of reports,

(2) by submitting reports to the General Assembly for comment and ratification,
(3) by allowing any adversely impacted constituencies to request fair hearings,
and
(4) by requiring that a full report of the policy research and development
process (not just the report of a majority vote of a top down governing body)
be forward to the ICANN Board for its review once the Names Council judges that
general consensus has been achieved.

The draft further seeks to assure the enforceability of policies ultimately
adopted by ICANN and to encourage those who must implement any policies to
enter into contractual relationships with ICANN that will make that result
achievable. In particular, it lays the groundwork for contracts between ICANN
and registries that could require the registries, who must implement most
policies and flow them down to registrars and registrants, to implement
policies with which they might disagree -- provided such policies have been
accepted and will be implemented by most other registries. The mechanism
designed to achieve this result, the "implementation preview", allows a
mechanism that would prevent any small group of registries that have entered
into a contract with ICANN from vetoing or ignoring the consensus policies DNSO
and ICANN develop. It is designed to encourage all registries to enter into
contracts with ICANN, in order to participate in the implementation preview
process. This process applies only to policies the registries must implement
(e.g., those that alter their business operations or contractual relationships
with third parties) and does not apply to other policies that do not require
registry implementation (including, as a key example, ICANNís decision to add
additional TLDs to its authoritative root server).  In short, by preventing the
adoption of futile policies that cannot be enforced by means of contracts
between ICANN and a wide range of registries, and by giving registries an
incentive to participate in the ICANN process, the draft proposal is intended
to make ICANNís policy development effective.

Any proposal of this type must seek a balance between fairness and closure,
between openness and efficiency, between analytical expertise and politics,
between structure and flexibility, and between simplicity and the need to
assure participants that they will have an appropriate voice and vote. The
draft seeks to encourage participation by providing that all processes of the
DNSO should be conducted online, to the maximum extent feasible, so as to avoid
capture by those who can afford to attend in person meetings. It allows
detailed study of complex issues by experts, but also requires a broad-based
and open membership to accept the results of those studies. It requires
constituencies to demonstrate substantial support among the membership as a
condition to selection of the Name Council membership, but it allows new
constituencies to form over time, assures disaffected parties an opportunity to
present their views to neutral fact finders, and submits any final
recommendations to appropriate review by all interested parties and those who
must implement the results. It prevents capture by prohibiting the formation of
constituencies based on religious, governmental, geographic or corporate
affiliation. But it seeks to assure both functional and geographic diversity
within constituencies, on research committees and on the administrative Names
Council, whose job it will be to frame issues, initiate focused proceedings,
and recognize the emergence of sufficient likelihood of consensus so as to
submit final proposals to the DNSO General Assembly and ultimately to the ICANN
Board.

We will continue to solicit comments and suggestions (and endorsements) -- and
we have no doubt the draft is still capable of improvement. But we believe that
the attached Paris Draft is in its current form a vehicle that might lead to
trust -- one more step down the road towards even more constructive engagement
by all concerned with the substantive technical and coordination issues that
ICANN was established to address. The spirit and hope of this draft is that the
necessary trust will come not from compromise resolution of contending claims
for a limited number of seats on a board that directly adopts policies by
majority vote but, rather, from transparent procedural provisions that allow
presentation of all viewpoints, reward wide participation in meaningful
deliberation, and encourage broad implementation of measures that have real
consensus support.

In light of the brief time between the final formulation of this draft and the
required submission date, we have not yet been able to contact all the parties
we expect shortly to submit endorsements. We will of course post this draft
publicly and update that posting to reflect additional endorsements as they
arrive. We will also contact others who may submit drafts and seek to continue
an open, constructive dialogue with all concerned parties, aiming towards the
goal of either a unified submission before the scheduled ICANN Board meeting or
an even more clear delineation of any remaining issues.

Comments and suggestions should be sent to:
   dnso-app@dnso.association.org

   Sincerely,

   Jay Fenello, ORSC
   Paris Meeting Participant
 

Submitting Organizations:

   Einar Stefferud,
   Chair, ORSC
   Open Root Server Confederation

   Andrew Q. Kraft, MAIP
   Executive Director, AIP
   Association of Internet Professionals

   Donald N. Telage
   Senior VP, NSI
   Network Solutions, Inc.
 

Attendees of the Paris Meeting

   Antony Van Couvering
   Bernard Turcotte
   David Johnson
   Don Tellage
   Elisabeth Porteneuve
   Fay Howard
   Jay Fenello
   Kilnam Chon
   Oscar Robles-Garay
   Roberto Guitano
 

Endorsing Registries

   .COM, .NET, .ORG (NSI)
   .BI (Burundi)
   .BR (Brazil)
   .CD (Congo Democratic Republic)
   .CG (Republic of Congo)
   .DO (Dominican Republic)
   .GF (French Guyana)
   .GG (Guernsey)
   .GP (Guadeloupe)
   .GS (South Georgia)
   .JE (Jersey)
   .KZ (Kazakhstan)
   .LC (Saint Lucia)
   .MS (Montserrat)
   .MX (Mexico)
   .NU (Niue)
   .PN (Pitcairn)
   .PH (Philippines)
   .RW (Rwanda)
   .TC (Turk and Caicos)
   .TF (French Southern Territories)
   .TT (Trinidad and Tobago)
   .VE (Venezuela)
   .VG (British Virgin Islands)
 

Additional Endorsing Parties

   DNRC
   DSo Internet Services
   ICIIU
   Image Online Design, Inc
   ISP/C