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Re: Suggestions for a New Organizational Structure
- To: Jon Postel <postel@ISI.EDU>
- Subject: Re: Suggestions for a New Organizational Structure
- From: John Leslie <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 22:54:47 -0400
- Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
- In-Reply-To: <199807110601.XAA09873@boreas.isi.edu>; from Jon Postel on Fri, Jul 10, 1998 at 11:01:10PM -0700
- References: <199807110601.XAA09873@boreas.isi.edu>
On Fri, Jul 10, 1998 at 11:01:10PM -0700, Jon Postel wrote:
> Suggestions for a New Organizational Structure
> 1. Basic Organizational Issues
> The White Paper calls for the creation of a new not-for-profit
> corporation to be incorporated in the United States. A
> non-profit corporation provides certain legal advantages, such
> as limited liability for officers and directors
Yes -- very important...
> and the avoidance of tax on any income,
Much less important. Yes, the power to tax _is_ the power to destroy,
but there should be no problem keeping income taxes low.
> 4. Supporting Organizations
> These supporting organizations could have a variety of forms
> and functions. They could include:
> (a) an Address Supporting Organization, composed of representatives
> from regional Internet address registries (initially,
> ARIN, APNIC and RIPE-NCC);
> (b) a Domain Name Supporting Organization, composed of
> representatives from name registries and registrars
> (both generic and country code) of top level domains,
> as well as other groups and organizations that have
> an interest in name policy issues;
Less obvious, but I have no better suggestion.
> (c) a Protocol Supporting Organization, initially composed of
> representatives from the Internet Architecture Board
> (presumably other organizations could eventually
> become members of this Supporting Organization); and
I see very little benefit of grafting IETF functions onto this
organization. (Convince me!)
> (d) an Industry/User Supporting Organization, composed of
> representatives of organizations that represent
> industry and Internet users.
This should be void for vagueness. ;^)
> The same Supporting Organizations could serve as both the
> Technical Advisory Committees for the Board (or as others have
> described them, the Names Council, the Address Council, etc.)
> and could also provide a list of nominees to the Board at the
> time that vacancies became available.
I fear that fractioning nominations will lead to factioning...
> ... These suggestions are intended to be only a starting point; the
> Board should have the power to create different or additional
> supporting structures as it sees fit.
In a word, no.
The time to discuss _structure_ of this organization is now. If
structure is left up to the interim Board, it will both consume their
time and energies as well as lead to distrust by factions of the
> 5. Chief Executive
> The White Paper calls for the selection of a Chief Executive
> Officer to manage the new entity, under the direction of the
I'm not too enamored of CEOs (except for privately owned companies).
Executive Directors work out much better -- they see it as their job
to carry out Board policy, rather than to design the future.
> Presumably there would be other officers as needed, including perhaps
> a Chief Technology Officer.
This idea sounds good, but I'm not sure what the job description
would be. Clearly, there is no way any one human being could keep up
with all the technologies of the Internet. At best, a CTO would try
to provide background information to the Board members. I'm a little
scared that this would become a department continually demonstrating
> 6. Funding
> The new entity will require funding. There are several
> possibilities. It could receive governmental funding, but this
> seems clearly undesirable for many reasons.
I wouldn't rule it out -- but surely we should not rely too heavily
on any one government.
> Finally, it could be funded by those who carry out the supporting
> functions, namely the Supporting Organizations and/or their members
Emphasis on "and/or"...
> The latter funding source seems the most logical, but there are
> many questions about how it could be implemented. These should
> be debated in the various meetings that are currently
Agreed. (Let us not lose track of the simple-minded possibility of
> It may well be that some special arrangements should be made for
> the transitional period, focusing on foundation and/or corporate
> with the permanent funding mechanism to be established by the
> interim Board.
Quite unreasonable. :^(
Among the serious mistakes of the United States Constitution was
allowing Congress to set its own pay, IMHO. (At the time, this seemed
harmless, since they had no particular source of income, and Senators
had to stay in favor of their State legislatures.)
The functions which have been carried out by IANA have no need to
be expensive. If we design the function of this organization right,
it will also have no need to be expensive. If we can avoid the need
for arbitrary decisions, legal costs should be minimal, more than
covered by a one percent surcharge on domain and IP registrations.
IMHO, it is better to set flat rates and let excess revenue revert
to the organization raising it than to allow the rates to fluctuate
based on a political process.
John Leslie <email@example.com> (Owner of an ISP)