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The public comments of Eric Brunner-Williams

  • To: dotnet-criteria@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: The public comments of Eric Brunner-Williams
  • From: Eric Brunner-Williams <brunner@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 08 Jul 2004 09:12:29 +0000
  • Cc: brunner@xxxxxxxxxxx

Howdy folks,

An invitation for "public comments" on some proposed policy or implementation
plan by some policy making or policy implementing body, if not a fiction for
some undisclosed purpose, such as maintaining the facades of seeking comments,
and being having no covert purposes which make the invited comments moot prior
to their receipt by the inviting body, must have an observable outcome.

It is my experience, when submitting information in support of ICANN's very
first reconsideration (RC 99-1), and when submitting information on the
.ORG redelegation application evaluator Gartner, Inc., and when submitting
information of the WLS issue, that silence would have had the same effect
as comment, and taken a great deal less of my time and attention.

The central issue in my mind is not idle recitation of contractual continuity 
phrases, which forms the totality of the initial draft report from the GNSO
subcommittee. The central issue is which well-qualified existing or potential
registry operators will risk the bid preperation cost and compeat for the
NET registry.

There were several qualified proposals in the set of applications for the
ORG redelegation, SWITCH, Paul Vixie's group, and Afilias (the winner, due
to sponsor affiliation). In addition, there are several qualified operators
of exsiting (actual, not fictive) ccTLDs. Each member of either pool could
implement the recitation of contractual continuity phrases, or any variation
that could rationally arise from them.

However, even though the terms of the existing contract, in particular its
period of expiry, are publically known, not one of these qualified parties
have even bothered to comment, or sought to participate in the subcommittee
charged with authoring 

        [a] consensus statement defining criteria and conditions
        to be applied in the selection of a registry operator.

The most important criteria and condition is that the selection PROCESS
not be corrupt, and the ORG application technical criteria evaluation by
the Gartner Group was corrupt. The Staff evalution wasn't much better.

The next most important criteria and condition is that the SELECTION process
have a range of competing proposals to from which to select. If ICANN is
unable to elicit no more than two token bids, the criteria, the process,
and the selection of an operator to undertake operations from mid-2005 is
really uninteresting.

Assuming that ICANN's intent is not malign, an assumption that is very,
very difficult to maintain, even with the alternative choice of very, very
incompetant to select from, it needs to drastically simplify the bid
response pro forma. I made this comment at the Rome meeting to Miriam
Shapiro and the BoD -- The new gTLD pro forma and the ORG pro forma and
the 2nd-round new gTLD pro forma impose very high production costs for
a bid respondant, and require outright lies by the respondant. This in
turn forces very high evaluation costs for the bid evaluator, and requires
them to believe, or pass in silence on, outright lies by applicants.

If nothing more than a few book-length obscurantist texts are submitted
by VGRS and NeuStar and some new speculative party that has retained bid
preperation authors, then there is no selection or process.

ICANN has qualified, well written bids in its possession, from SWITCH and
the Vixie group, and Afilias, which simply require a TLA substition to make
current to the NET operator selection. ICANN can solicit bids from the
operators of leading ccTLDs as well.

Prior qualified bids for equivalent contracts must be considered on their
merits. The criteria and conditions should result in interesting bids, not
a charade.

All spelling errors are mine. Errors by others referenced here are still
the property of those others, whether admitted or still submerged in the
river de Nile.

I bring the following experience to writing this note: technical author
of portions of the NeuStar BIZ and US bids, portions of the SWITCH and
RCOM ORG bids, portions of the EPP protocol specification, and so on.

Eric Brunner-Williams
GM, Wampumpeag, LLC
Operator, USAWebhost (ICANN Registrar #439, CORE #124)

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