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Username: mbrittan
Date/Time: Sun, October 29, 2000 at 10:57 PM GMT (Sun, October 29, 2000 at 2:57 PM PST)
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Subject: Ethics in Government: ICANN's Role in .web


        Ethics in Government: ICANN's Role in .web

A primary requirement of any government is truth and honesty, regardless of whether the government is at the local, national, international, or internet level. Without truth, it is impossible for the people to trust their government... and we all know the history of governments that fail to gain the trust of the people.

It is important for government bodies to take the moral high ground in their decision making, to gain the respect of the people they are trying to govern. Instead of the government serving the people, far to often we find people in government serving themselves... and their friends. History has clearly shown that corrupt governments collapse under their own weight. They become so bloated with lies, deceit, and coverups, that just maintaining the facade of propriety becomes a major focus of the government. We have seen that here in the US recently, and of course, we see corruption in governments throughout the world.

We now have a situation where the long term use of the .web TLD "may be" violated by the organization claiming to be the government of the internet. I sincerely hope that ICANN shows wisdom in protecting long term intellectual property rights in its upcoming decision. A decision by ICANN to not assign registry rights (or partial rights) to Image Online Design would clearly demonstrate corruption in internet government... and government can only lead when the people follow.

ICANN will have serious problems gaining the peoples trust if it begins its history as a governing body that violates intellectual property rights, free market principles, and good-faith business practices. This is the test of honesty - a test that every government needs to pass.

At this point, after four years, it is almost irrelevant how the ".web" TLD came into long term use by Image Online Design (IOD). Image Online Design has been openly registering and servicing accounts using the .web extension since 1996. IOD has offered services to its registered users in the alternate root systems (like ORSC and others) since 1996. As mentioned in a previous message, the ".web" extension is a very special case, with a special history. For this reason, the IOD application is unique in the recent collection of applications for .web registry status. It is the only application with a history of long term prior use.

ICANN should recognize the prior use of the ".web" top level domain by IOD, and the prior use of the second level domains registered through IOD. Any decision that excludes IOD from registry service, or that excludes prior use by the registered .web customers of IOD, is an injustice... and good governments cannot be built on a foundation of injustice.

I truly hope (and pray) that the upcoming decisions by ICANN will reflect ICANN's role as a government leader in the area of internet management AND ethics.

Scalably yours,
Marc Brittan (aka Job)

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