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[alac] Agenda planning for ALAC's dinner with the Board

  • To: alac@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: [alac] Agenda planning for ALAC's dinner with the Board
  • From: Wendy Seltzer <wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 11:40:42 -0400

To make our time with the Board productive, whether it's an hour or a full dinner as originally promised, I think it would be helpful for us to plan some topics of discussion. Perhaps we could even share the final list with the Board as preview to our in-person discussions.

My interests include:
WHOIS and privacy. WHOIS task forces have been talking around these questions for years, without providing meaningful privacy protection to individual registrants who are now required to give "accurate" information upon registering a domain name. The requirement that registrants fill out WHOIS details is clearly a matter of ICANN policy directly depriving individuals of privacy options. How do we cut off the internal stalemate at the GNSO task-force level, stop the GAC from implying that law enforcement is governments' only interest, and get more of individuals' concerns into the picture.

The add-grace period. ICANN policy requiring registries/ars to permit registration of names for 5 days without payment (described as a refund if you drop a name within 5 days of purchase) creates a secondary "market" of costless name-holding while the mostly-commercial holders test the profit-making potential of domain names. Does this practice add yet another barrier to individual registration of desirable names, or does it support healthy market pricing of those names? If the latter, are the middleman speculators the ones who should get the profit? Does this practice burden individual users who are searching out a particular site / domain? Does it burden individual and small-business registrants who let a domain name lapse or try to catch typo-stricken visitors?

Can this thing work? At least in North America, mainstream interest in creating a RALO under the current ALS-RALO-no power structure approximates zero. If ICANN really wants to hear from end-users, can we begin experimenting with other forms of participation? Bring back individual elections in a region? Allow individuals to form a quasi-RALO? Give individuals, somehow represented, Board seats?

What about others?


Wendy Seltzer -- wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx
Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School
Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society

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