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Username: netlaw
Date/Time: Thu, July 6, 2000 at 3:03 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows NT
Score: 5
Subject: Rail-roading by ICANN (again) ???


        As lawyer to a number of ccTLD registrars/managers, I was bemused to see the request for comments about the "ccTLD Delegation and Administration Policies".

Are ICANN really serious? They post the document on 5 July 2000 and want CONSIDERED comments by 13 July 2000????? (Have you realized how many pages of documents are relevant for consideration??? I stopped counting at the 20th referred-to topic!)

Given that there is very real doubt that ICANN have ANY jurisdiction in relation to delegation and administration of ccTLDs (we have QCís opinion that they probably donít) this is entirely unacceptable and in my opinion whoever decided on this deadline is acting unconscionably.

Indeed a number of ccTLDs managers whom I represent are sufficiently concerned about the attempts by ICANN to extend jurisdiction  that they are in discussions with local governments for the ccTLDs.  Especially given the EU's recent comments that ICANN is still "very close operationally" to the US Department of State and not properly independent these parties are very concerned. These governments have consulted me with the ccTLD managers about the possibility of local primary legislation (or other effective local regulations) to formally prevent ICANN having any authority except with respect to simple root-server administration co-ordination.

Personally given their ridiculously tight deadlines for responses on this and issues such as the new domains, I am of the opinion that the sooner they are formally reined in the better. (IMHO this is becoming an ICANN standard for any paper that might be contentious).

I have spoken to some of the ccTLD managers today and (given the need in some cases for translations to be obtained) they are all of the opinion that this demonstrates that ICANN is not really interested in considered opinions but rather seeks to rail-road yet another contentious change through because it suits ICANNís interests to do so.  They are also of the opinion that ICANN can hardly claim to be representative of the internet community if they behave in such a reprehensible manner.

The ccTLDs I represent will all be making responses but they will not be done within 7 days because such a considered response is commercially impossible in that time.  As one registrar said to me "ICANN may have large banks of lawyers and administrators able to react so fact which is why they are so costly!  We can't because we're running a commercial operation Ė and our lawyers are so busy that they canít drop everything to respond to such tight deadlines.  It's no wonder ICANN want to charge a domain name tax to cover their costs, if they kept to the role they were originally claiming (namely gTLD administration and root server co-ordingation ) instead of persistently trying to expand it, they wouldn't be a bottomless pit for money" (his [translated] sentiments condensed and expletives removed).

Considered Response to follow in proper course.
(Responses will no doubt be posted on various other web-sites if ICANN have no follow-up process)

Lawyer to various ccTLDs



from Nick Lockett

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