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Iperdome Calls for Accountability


Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 11:57:56 -0400
To: IFWP Discussion List <list@ifwp.org>
From: Jay Fenello <Jay@Iperdome.com>
Subject: [ifwp] Iperdome Calls for Accountability
Cc: dnspolicy@ntia.doc.gov
Iperdome Calls for Accountability in Internet Governance

    ATLANTA, Oct 07 /PRNewswire/ -- Iperdome, Inc., the company offering Personal Domain Name services under the .per(sm) name and Top Level Domain (TLD), has asked Congress to ensure accountability for the Board of the new, not-for-profit corporation (Newco).  In written testimony submitted yesterday, company founder and president Jay Fenello described how the current process had broken down, and how the leading proposal is unacceptable due to the lack of accountability of the Board.

According to Mr. Fenello, "The transfer of Internet assets and authority from the U.S. Government to this Newco represents a major departure for the private administration of a global resource.  If we were only talking about Internet resources, the leading draft might be sufficient.  The truth of the matter is, however, that the Newco will be making public policy decisions as well as administrative decisions.  Diverse issues like free speech, access, and privacy will all be affected by decision made by the Newco.  It is for these reasons that the Newco Board must be made accountable to the Internet stakeholders in some way, shape, or form."

On June 5, 1998, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration ("NTIA") of the United States Department of Commerce issued a policy statement, commonly known as the "White Paper," in which NTIA called on private sector Internet stakeholders to form a not-for-profit corporation to administer policy for the Internet name and address system.

In response to the White Paper, a sectorally and geographically diverse group of Internet stakeholders came together under the IFWP banner (The International Forum on the White Paper).  These stakeholders met at assorted venues throughout the world, and the result was a series of consensus points for the new corporation.  

Several weeks ago, the IFWP process broke down as many of the original supporters decided to negotiate directly with the IANA.  The result was the ICANN draft, a draft that is deficient in the following ways: 
  -  The draft was finalized behind closed doors.
  -  The draft does not include many of the consensus points from the IFWP process.
  -  The interim board suggested by the draft was presented without any open nomination process or discussion.
  -  It fails to meet Ira Magaziner's mandate of accountability, as the ICANN board is only accountable to itself.
  -  It fails to meet the terms as stated by Becky Burr, specifically the desire for sound and transparent processes, protection against capture, and fair, open and pro-competitive processes.

While two other proposals have been submitted, and at least one other proposal is in the works, none of the drafts are likely to be considered acceptable to all of the diverse stakeholders of the Internet community.  "The issues being addressed in these documents are broad, complicated, and have long lasting implications" said Fenello.  "We simply do not have all of the answers at this time."  

It is for these reasons that Iperdome has taken such a strong position on accountability.  While there are many changes we would suggest with any of the drafts submitted, having a Board that is accountable to Internet stakeholders ensures that any mistakes made in the base documents can be fixed over time.  Trusting this process to a Board that is only accountable to itself is a formula for disaster.

Mr. Fenello ended his Congressional testimony with a call for the U.S. Government to retain oversight unless and until accountability is built into the Board of the Newco.  His entire testimony can be seen at <http://www.iperdome.com/congress3.txt>.

SOURCE  Iperdome, Inc.

CONTACT: Jay Fenello, President, Iperdome, Inc., 404-250-3242
Web Site: http://www.iperdome.com 

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