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Username: jcowell
Date/Time: Sat, October 14, 2000 at 5:09 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V5.0 using Windows dows
Score: 5
Subject: Image Online Design's claim of Conflict of Interest for Ken Stubbs!



Dear Sir or Madam:

Image Online Design's claim of Conflict of Interest for Ken Stubbs!

The alligation seems to be that Afilias, an applicant for the .web
extension, has influences deep within ICANN---most notably, Ken
Stubbs, the chairman of the Names Council, who is also the Chairman
for CORE---another of Afilias' member entities. The alligation seems
to mean that Ken Stubbs is both an APPLICANT for the .web, and a
prominent and influential chairman within ICANN---the organization
that will issue the decision regarding which entity will be granted
.web. If he is playing a dual role is it a very fundamental conflict
of interest and has he publically demonstrated that he will use his
role at ICANN to undermine IOD, thwart the process, introduce unfair,
and unethical tactics, to assist Afilias in its monetary gain
regarding the .web extension.

This is a very serious alligation. One which requires immediate action
and public review. One which ICANN can not take lightly for it
introduces a level of legal and moral uncertainty which could
undermine the entire process of providing new extensions. Justice and
fairness not only must be done, but must be seen to be done. ICANN has
conflict of interest rules that it must follow. Until this matter is
resolved the Ken Stubbs should step aside. Conflict of interest is not
a new item in matters of public policy and economic decisions. There
will always be varing opinions about whether a conflict of interests
exists and that will be the case here. Step outside that box of
uncertainty, your decisions must error on the side of the protection
of the public and demonstrate fairness.

There is one simple rule which should always be followed to
demonstrate fairness and to keep ICANN out of protracted litigation
over this matter. By the fact that an alligation has been made, which
on the face of it seems to require investigation, means that as a
matter of public policy a conflict of interest probably does exist.
What value is a ICANN decision if it takes years to clear the court
battle which will surely occur as a result of a perceived conflict of
interest. I wonder if all the Directors of ICANN have reviewed with
their personal independent legal council the financial implications
this could have on them personally. Risk management is the name of the
game for organizations and the directors of those organizations.

There is a public interest here that should be held above the
interests of Ken Stubbs, IOD and Afilias. What is it that ICANN stands
for and why was it formed? It certainly does not include favourtism,
real or perceived, in a public process. Should IOD suffer because of
this? That answer is clearly no. Their application, as all others,
should be consided on its merits. Should Afilias' application be
considered given that it might have had an unfair advantage already. I
wonder? It probably has to be if it fits the application criteria. But
still people will wonder.

Wake up People! There is clear legal and moral high ground which can
be taken. Do the right thing, have the Chair step aside until this is
cleared up and save everyone a lot of trouble and expense.


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