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Username: TheWebster1
Date/Time: Sun, October 15, 2000 at 10:24 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.01 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Project Trojan Horse


        To Whom It May Concern:

Folks, when you mull over the issues long enough, you begin to see the bigger picture.  This is known as an epiphany.  Make no mistake, Afilias is a Trojan Horse sent by NSI into ICANN.  The conception of Afilias is quite brilliant when you step back and see how the plan must have evolved.

Latecomers to this bulletin board may ask why I refer to the Afilias proposal as NSIs Trojan Horse.  Well,  NSI is a significant player in Afilias (irregardless of their percentage ownership interest in Afilias as some keep alluding to).  Ken Stubbs serves on the Board of Afilias.  And, Ken Stubbs serves on the Names Council that resides within DNSO which, in turn, is an integral part of ICANN.  Connect the dots, and voila, Trojan Horse.  To my knowledge, no other applicant enjoys the advantage of having an ICANN insider on its Board of Directors.

Are we so nave to think that this plan came together in just the past few weeks.  I think not.  Ive been involved in the financing of many mega projects, and I can assure you that these business ventures dont happen in just a few weeks, or even a few months.  No, they require long-term planning and creativity under such circumstances.  You can begin to imagine how much time and effort is involved when bringing together many registrars under one roof, each with their own agendas, each with their own management styles, and each with their armies of legal counsels.  Adding complexity to Project Trojan Horse is the fact that each registrar in Afilias is domiciled in various countries with different political systems, legal systems, and tax codes.  Please realize that such arrangements are really a massive undertaking (again irregardless of whether, or not, Afilias is an LLC).

As to timing, I suspect that Project Trojan Horse was conceived one to two years in advance.  Yes, NSI has the talent to foresee coming events much earlier than you or I.  This is their stock and trade.  NSI is a fighting machine, and a damn good one at that.  I may not like NSI for my own reasons, but I do respect their tenacity.  To do otherwise is to risk your own demise.

If Project Trojan Horse commenced one to two years ago, then how does Ken Stubbs fit into the grand scheme of things.  Well, as I mentioned above, I believe that Ken Stubbs must have been approached by NSI (and recruited) way in advance of the Afilias proposal.  I make this assumption because I know that adding directors to your Board is a long and arduous undertaking.  Investors need to make sure that their interests are well attended to.  As such, investors want to make sure that they add directors with influence that will function as a cohesive group that share the same views as the investors.  As such, Mr. Stubbs was recruited by NSI for two primary reasons: 1) he has obvious influence (the obvious explanation since he is an ICANN insider); and 2) because he was expected to work well within the framework of the other directors.  I would not have thought that he would have been a good candidate for a seat on the Afilias board given his prior public remarks on NSI.  Yet, NSI must have known something else in order for it to even remotely think of approaching Mr. Stubbs for the position.

Perhaps NSI realized long ago that Mr. Stubbs really did share the same views as NSI with regards to the addition and ownership of new domain names.  Otherwise, why risk your investment in Afilias by adding Mr. Stubbs to the Board.  When your money is at stake, you will go to great lengths to protect your interests.  That is exactly why Mr. Stubbs was added to the Afilias Board, because he intends to protect the investors interest in Afilias.  That is the key responsibility of a Board Director.

The next logical question might be, Why then did Mr. Stubbs slam NSI in the past?  A plausible explanation for this question is that Mr. Stubbs was probably building his credibility within the internet community with regards to his position on NSI.  Such credibility would serve him well (or so he and NSI thought) later on when the Afilias proposal was submitted.  Again, hats off to NSIs long-term strategy.

The next logical question might also be, Why did NSI and the other registrars wait so long to make their intentions known?  A plausible explanation for this question is that the competition would have very little time to react.  There is no time for investigations into Mr. Stubbs apparent conflict of interest or ICANNs apparent lack of internal controls.

Going forward, I believe that Afilias has one the first round.  Afilias will be granted .Web.  The only other question looming on the horizon is whether, or not, IOD will be invited to its own party.  In addition, will IODs patrons have an opportunity to partake in any crumbs that trickle down to IOD.  Not likely based on the statement presented by Mr. Stubbs regarding pre-registrations (registrations/pre-registrations, it no longer matters at this point).  I can only hope that the other applicants have a contingency plan in place, i.e. Plan B and possibly Plan C.  I now believe that Plan A for many applicants (including IODs) is a foregone conclusion.  We can squabble all we want on this bulletin board, but the simple truth of the matter is that NSI won the first round long ago with a knockout punch.  That having been said, I wish the other applicants much success however pointless it now seems from my perspective.  Good Luck!!!



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