A Question of Focus
- To: <revised-settlement@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: A Question of Focus
- From: "jzuck" <jzuck@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 15:52:34 -0500
Dear ICANN Board:
When asked what went wrong, Napoleon answered ?Unlimited Objectives.?
As I sit here in the Palais de Nations at the UN in Geneva at the Consultation
for the Formation of the Internet Governance Forum it becomes increasingly
clear what the distinction between the role of such a forum and the role of
ICANN should be.
The goal of ICANN should be to focus on a well-defined and limited objective,
broadly played. What has happened instead is a mixture of inaction and pressure
from some quarters to expand ICANN?s role. In large measure, ICANN has failed
to become the truly international organization it has sought to become. The
reasons for this are many but I would suggest that two of the main reasons are
focus and efficiency. Any organization or effort is more likely to succeed with
a limited set of objectives. The sooner that ICANN is able to narrowly define
and execute its role, the sooner it will gain the trust of entities around the
world to play that role.
The .com lawsuit and contract has become a distraction from which you must free
yourself. Of course, there are special interests within the ICANN ?community?
that benefit from an environment of distraction and uncertainty. This
uncertainty allows for creative business models by those who add little value
but merely exploit the quagmire that a company like Verisign finds itself in.
Everyone wants to exploit the web, though few are willing to actually invest in
it. It?s important not to cave-in to the clear motives of the resellers or the
somewhat less clear motives of those whose power springs from uncertainty.
The most important point is to put .com behind you so that you can get back to
the truly critical role you intend to play in the international community. The
?community? that shows up to ICANN is but a slanted example of the larger
community you endeavor to serve. The Verisign contract might not be perfect,
but it is rational, efficient and for all practical purposes an affirmation of
precedent, expectations and likely outcomes. Sign it and move on.
The IGF presents a forum for discussion of a wide range of topics with a wide
range of stakeholders. This forum frees ICANN to extend its technical
management of the web to the rest of the world. Let?s not invite management by
bureaucrats by creating a vacuum but instead ensure that the web remains an
efficient and available resource to everyone. Let?s focus.
Association for Competitive Technology
Sent via the WebMail system at actonline.org