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Comments on .Net

  • To: <net-rfp-verisign@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Comments on .Net
  • From: "William S. Armistead" <warmistead@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 09:24:16 -0600

Dear Sirs:
I am writing to make sure ICANN is considering some factors in the .Net
re-bidding process that are of great concern to me and to many people
who work in the financial sector.  I have seen how government contracts
are sometimes offered to low bidders who are operating "bootstrap"
operations.  While entrepreneurship is admirable vital, and and
necessary to our overall economy, please keep in mind that this is not
the time or the place for "bootstrapping."  VeriSign was the
entrepreneur.  That's been done already.  What we need now is to ask who
is best able to manage the .Net Registry.  No politics please, just
I have perceived a distinctly anti-VeriSign bias coming out of ICANN
that makes me extremely nervous about this process.  It is not about
ICANN.  It is about users - end-line consumers. 
I hope ICANN considers some financial factors in this process.  I hope
ICANN considers:
-- How well capitalized is the bidder? 
-- How would ICANN deal with a bankruptcy or other financial crisis if
the successful bidder cannot perform the task without additional
-- Has ICANN asked about merger-and-acquisition discussions with all the
bidders?  Are these companies in merger talks?  If so with whom, and is
the acquiring company ownership consistent with ICANN's oversight and
security procedures?
-- Is ICANN aware of the bankruptcy laws of foreign governments whose
companies are participating in the bidding process?
-- What would ICANN do if a company bought the bidding company, and the
government of the acquiring company demanded a copy of the secure data?
Does ICANN have a backup plan in case financial crisis hits the
successful bidder, or if a foreign company or foreign government whose
first priority is not Internet security gets control over a TLD?
I am not a scaremonger.  I am simply a practical person who understand
the West has enemies who are actively trying to undermine our financial
institutions and for that matter, our technological infrastructure.  And
.Net is an increasingly large player in the financial sector.  I tend to
see things through the world of finance and know how vulnerable it can
be to routine financial pressures.  Let's please not add to the existing
threats and dangers unnecessarily.
Please consider the financial stability or the bidding firms and the
financial laws of the bidding firms' parent countries.  And please have
a plan to deal with friendly or hostile M&A problems in advance. 
Thank you, 

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