Failure to make public VeriSign's Appendix W R&D obligations
According to Appendix W of the latest registry agreement:
"During the period between the Effective Date of this Agreement and 31 December 2010, Registry Operator agrees to expend a minimum of US$200,000,000 for research, development, and infrastructure improvements to the .com, .net, and .org Registries (the "Improvements"). The intent of the Improvements is to increase the efficiency and stability of the .com, .net and .org Registries. Registry Operator shall ensure that a substantial portion of expenditures for the Improvements occurs prior to 10 November 2007. Registry Operator shall provide ICANN with an annual report on this research and development activity.
Registry Operator agrees that one of the early goals of the Improvements is to design and develop a Universal Whois Service that will allow public access and effective use of Whois across all Registries and all TLDs. Registry Operator shall commence research and development of the Universal Whois Service no later than 31 December 2001. Registry Operator shall, insofar as is reasonably possible in view of Registry Operator's dependence on the cooperation of third parties, strive to achieve significant progress in implementing the Universal Whois Service by 31 December 2002."
Note that this appendix applies to .net, you can see it linked from:
Given those annual reports have not been made public (if they even exist), despite multiple requests dating back to 2003:
http://gnso.icann.org/mailing-lists/archives/ga/msg00824.html (#4) http://www.icannwatch.org/comments.pl?sid=1717&cid=14447
VeriSign should be refused the opportunity to renew its contract. It obviously failed to deliver on a Universal WHOIS system, and one has to wonder where the "$200 million" spending went. I am sure the other 4 bidders would want the public to know where that money went, too, given the public financed that commitment via their domain registration fees. Did the public get good value for its money? I'm certain the other 4 bidders could not do a worse job with the $200 million spending, given we've seen no "deliverables" (where again is the Universal WHOIS?).
As evaluators of the proposals, we should not be in a position to be "wondering" where the $200 million was spent (if it was spent), but should KNOW where it went.
George Kirikos http://www.kirikos.com/
P.S. I'll have more comments later, but wanted to get this one in early, to give VeriSign the opportunity to respond before the time for comments ends.