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Grey Ribbon Campaign calls for open ICANN board meetings
GREY RIBBON CAMPAIGN
CALLS FOR OPEN ICANN BOARD MEETINGS
TIBURON (January 22) - A website concentrating on domain name system (DNS)
issues today launched a grey ribbon campaign, targeting the new non-profit
corporation that will administer Internet names and addresses.
The website is protesting the decision of the Internet Corporation for
Names and Addresses (ICANN) to sit in closed session when it meets as a
board. Those who support the call to "bring ICANN out of the shadows" are
encouraged to add the grey ribbon posted at WWW.DOMAINHANDBOOK.COM to their
In November 1998, the Department of Commerce issued a Memorandum of
Understanding to develop jointly with ICANN mechanisms and procedures to
transition DNS management functions to a private-sector not-for-profit
entity. ICANN got the nod after a summer-long series of international
meetings were held to identify public consensus on the structure of this
Ellen Rony, who designed the website that initiated the protest, explained
that there was common agreement at all of last summer's meetings that
openness, fairness, and transparency were to be the guiding principles of
this self-governing initiative.
Her call for open board meetings echoes complaints by subscribers to
discussion lists that monitor the policies and activities of ICANN. On
January 21, after ICANN posted the agenda for its next closed board
meeting, to be held in Singapore, she announced that she turned black the
web page <http://www.domainhandbook.com/icann.html> that tracks ICANN
announcements, news reports and related activites.
"It's time to take this message beyond the discussion lists," she said.
"ICANN will be making decisions that affect DNS management worldwide.
Internet users deserve to have ICANN's process and decisions open to public
Esther Dyson, ICANN's chair, says a public meeting is scheduled the day
before the board meets. She answered critics in a message to the
discussion list, "Yes. It is in our bylaws and in all the public statements
we have made. Basically, we could have had "open" board meetings with
executive sessions that were closed, but we figured that this is the best
way to do it."
"That's unacceptable," says Rony, and she hopes that a proliferation of
grey ribbons on black web pages will get that point across to ICANN board
Rony is co-author of The Domain Name Handbook: High Stakes and Strategies
in Cyberspace, published last July by R&D Books. She developed
WWW.DOMAINHANDBOOK.COM site to keep readers apprised of the ever-changing
DNS policies and activities.
"It's a daunting task to maintain the webside, which has grown to 50 pages.
DNS issues are complex, and they are proliferating right alongside the
worldwide expansion of the Internet."
RELATED WEB SITES:
Domain Name Handbook:
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers:
Department of Commerce Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN:
International Forum on the White Paper Discussion list:
R & D Books:
Esther Dyson, Chair, ICANN
Michael Roberts, President, ICANN
Becky Burr, NTIA
Elliott Maxwell, Department of Commerce
Ellen Rony Co-author
The Domain Name Handbook http://www.domainhandbook.com
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