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100th Issue of The COOK Report (September 2000) (fwd)

GAO Report Shatters ICANN Founding Myths:  Neither Privatizaton Nor 
Power Sharing 	--	Policy Control Over Operation and Content of 
the "Authoritative" Root - ICANN's Single Biggest Prize - Remains 
with US Government			pp. 15 - 21

We describe how ICANN marches onward to the chant of its own version 
of reality.  The GAO report released in July 7 found ICANN's creation 
to have been legal but it could not find any support for the idea 
that the Department of Commerce had the right to manage the root.  It 
concluded that it was also very doubtful that the DoC had the legal 
right to give control of the root to ICANN saying that it did not 
look exhaustively at this point because the DoC told it that it had 
no intention of doing so anyway.  In Yokohama only a few days later 
Beckwith Burr proceeded to muddy the waters by stating that she was 
prepared to give ICANN operational but not policy control of the 
root.  An ominous development considering ICANN's statement that it 
was ready to demand that the root sever operators sign contracts with 

After having caved in rather than face discovery on its first 
lawsuit, at Yokohama the ICANN Board proceeded quite skillfully to 
disarm its next, potentially more serious, opponent IO Design.  
Having given the impression that it might rule on who would get in 
the root, it collected a number of TLD applicants on its web site, 
lied that it had consensus for only a very small number of new top 
level domains, (between 1 and 3) set up a $50,000 application fee and 
then announced that it would receive applications August 1 and 
announce the winners on October 1.  In one swift move it deprived IO 
design of both due process and anti-trust grounds for suing it.  It 
will choose on October first .eu and a gTLD that will have no 
negative baggage for its trademark rulers.  Dot web will not be in 
the running.

The Board also showed its continuing fear of letting in any outside 
influence that might expose its operations to public view.  For the 
ninth time in less than two years ICANN changed its by-laws.  To 
ensure continued control by the original Dyson, Roberts, Touton 
cabal, it extended once again the terms of four of the original 
directors through the annual meeting in November 2002.  It decided to 
study the question of whether it should even have an at large 
membership.  In its efforts to make certain that no one outside the 
original cabal would ever have a voice it entered the following 
paragraph into its by laws: "The Corporation shall not have members 
as defined in the California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law 
("CNPBCL"), notwithstanding the use of the term "Member" in these 
bylaws, in a selection plan adopted by Board resolution, or in any 
other action of the Board. Instead, the Corporation shall allow 
individuals (described in these bylaws as "Members") to participate 
in the activities of the Corporation as described in this Article II 
and in a selection plan adopted by Board resolution, and only to the 
extent set forth in this Article II and in a selection plan adopted 
by particular router, when that ISP needs to move up to something like 
defining an end-to-end service for a particular customer, there is a 
big void. Providing such solutions are challenges that happen both 
within and between Board resolution."