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My comments on the proposed settlement between ICANN and Verisign

  • To: <settlement-comments@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: My comments on the proposed settlement between ICANN and Verisign
  • From: "Balaji Shankar" <contact@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 07:33:42 +0530


I am Balaji Shankar, CEO of Valai Networks, a small web hosting business
catering to other small businesses since 2001.

The whole Internet is driven by open source software, free software. The
whole DNS system, Apache, most of the mail servers and deep and far reaching
application frameworks like PHP, PERL and Python, powerful databases like
mySQL and PGSQL are FREE.
The internet has levelled the playing field for small businesses and home
businesses to compete with corporate monoliths. Take my case for example: I
was working as a software project manager, consulting and managing projects
for several big corporations in US, Europe and Japan, working 70 hour weeks
for over 7 years. I had one dream: to buy a small farm, grow food for our
family (wife 2 kids and grandma of 82!) organically and live as close to
nature as possible. And I have realized my dream last year because of the
Internet - as a webhost and a server admin I am able to make an independent
and self reliant living; all because of the internet - we live in a 2 acre
farm in Tamil Nadu, South India , grow our own food and pay other bills with
my webhosting and consulting.

When ICANN was formed and several registrars were accredited all over the
world, we all felt that God is in His Heaven and all is right with the Web.
After all, Internet means a democracy where only ability counts and not
size. Small is Beautiful is the driving force of the world wide web! Some
time back Verisign put a wild card entry in its database and we all know the
fallout of it.

Now affordable domain names are being threatened. Corporate monopoly is
looming large - and ICANN, the very body that broke the fetters of corporate
monopoly is planning an agreement to surrender the .com to Verisign. More
than the price, the principle is deeply painful, and strikes at the root of
openness and fairplay that are synonymous with Internet.

Gandhi said the we should be the change we want to see in the world - so, if
this agreement goes through, I am going to recommend all new customers to
choose .in, or .cc or .ws or some other domain names and not .com. I dont
have many domains in my hosting ( maybe 250) but if this agreement goes
through, in a year or two I will take all steps to migrate all my customers
domains to other TLDs. Opting Out may be Our Only Way Out - Civil

Balaji Shankar

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