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Username: Casino
Date/Time: Tue, February 12, 2002 at 11:02 AM GMT
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Subject: ICANN's Troubling Admission

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Note: REUTERS has informed ICANN that the following article is not a REUTERS news story.

 

           From Part Two of a two-day special titled "The Future of The Internet"

Article from LA Times (IT Pages) 12th Feb 2002
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ICANN's Troubling Admission
by Marty LaPlage, Reuters
Marina del Rey, California

Several senior ICANN staffers - who, for good reason, wish to remain anonymous - have brought to light some of the internal machinations behind the recent TLD launches as well as the reaction to

growing anger in the wider Internet community.

"ICANN is increasingly seen as being a corrupt tool aiding the extraction of wealth from a variety of parties." said one insider "You've probably heard the rumours about back-handers, sweeteners and the

like. Well, I think you could say that our senior people know a good thing when they see it."

Another staffer told us "Even the DOC sees us as nothing more than a group of greedy, junket-hungry pissants with no regard to ethics or due process. Just look at our 'Conflicts of Interest Policy', and even that is used as nothing more than a bin liner."

When we formally brought these, and other, concerns to ICANN's knowledge, the only response forthcoming was "We are completely satisfied in our people and processes. We are proud to have

demonstrated time and again that we are properly regulated and above reproach." Later, we received repeated phone calls requesting the names of staff members with whom we spoke.

Shortly before this article went to print, we received the following letter:

Dear Mr LaPlage,

    Thank you for your interest in ICANN. I must stress that we are a non-profit, private sector corporation. While it is true that we do spend significant amounts on travel, entertaining and associated

activities, we do not operate for profit. We therefore must welcome the financial participation of as many corporations and other sources as possible. This does not mean that we are all receiving huge

sums of money as individuals - and I resent your implications.
    When we give an organization the rights to run with a new TLD, we make sure that they strive to comply with the intent of our guidelines. If we find that the corporation or its members are operating outside the realm of our guidance, we are always keen to remind them of their obligations - which, whilst completely non-binding, give firm indication of our committment.
    I hope this clears up some of the possible misunderstandings you may have had in relation to our role and operation.

F. Johnstone Canard,
for V. Cerf


Next: "Insiders give the low-down on the .info and .biz introductions"
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