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[Fwd: ICANN again....]

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Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 14:52:57 -0500
From: Barry Mahon <mahons1@EIRCOM.NET>
Subject: ICANN again....
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Sounds like (more) trouble....

Internet & E-commerce

Lunatics invade the asylum at ICANN
By Steve Riseborough, Total Telecom

12 October 2000




Internet domain name regulator The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
and Numbers (ICANN) has seen 5 of its 19 directors directly elected in its
first worldwide online election, including two of its most vociferous
critics.

U.S. computer engineer Klaus Auerbach and German student and hacking
advocate Andy Mueller-Maguhn, convincing winners in their respective
regions, have both vowed to fight for the voice of individual people against
what they see as excessive corporate control over the Internet.

28-year old Mueller, spokesman for hackers' network the Chaos Computer Club,
was the clear winner in the European region with 5,948 votes, more than
twice the number of the second-place candidate, and says he will use his new
position "to make ICANN transparent and the decisions future-compatible."

Engineer and qualified attorney Auerbach, an active participant in ICANN
since its inception, describes his aims as the "deep, substantial and
fundamental reform" of the organization, maintaining that "the Internet
should not be controlled and dominated by those who aspire to nothing higher
than mass marketing."

Formed in October 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit, private sector corporation which has taken
over the responsibility for co-ordinating key Internet functions from the
U.S. government - namely the Domain Name System (DNS), the allocation of IP
address space, the management of the root server system and protocol number
assignment.

The three other candidates elected were all ICANN-nominated: Ghanaian Nii
Quaynor was elected for Africa; Japan's Masanobu Katoh for the Asia-Pacific
region; and Brazilian Ivan Moura Campos for Latin America.

The elections, held between 1 and 10 October, came under heavy fire for
being both technically flawed and undemocratic, with only 5 of the 19 ICANN
directors freely elected and the voting process marred by technical glitches
and a complicated maze of procedures.

The process was given a clean bill of health by independent observer The
Carter Center Democracy Program, however, which confirmed that, while
"serious technical problems" had occurred, "ICANN conducted reasonably free,
open and competitive elections."

Of the greater than expected 158,000 people who originally registered to
vote online, only 76,000 managed to proceed to the stage of activating their
voting rights and "an undetermined number, quite possibly in the thousands,
were unable to register", The Carter Center confirmed.

Problems with server access and the slowness and unreliability of mail
services delivering unique voting PIN numbers to registrants were also cited
as reasons why a total of only 34,035 people were finally able to cast their
vote.

ICANN itself has remained upbeat about its first foray into democracy,
however. "With the help of tens of thousands of interested Internet users
around the world, ICANN achieved its goal of a large, globally diverse
membership," eulogized Mike Roberts, the group's president and chief
executive.

An immediate task facing its newly-elected members will be to approve and
assign new suffixes for top-level Internet domain names, to supplement the
".coms" ".govs" and ".orgs" which date back to the 1980s.

Organizations are clamoring to obtain a number of new possible suffixes,
such as ".sex," ".shop," and ".travel," with a decision expected from ICANN
before the end of the year.


Bye, Barry

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