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Date: 2000-07-05

Troubles, ICANN, Yokohama

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ICANN ist wieder einmal in den schon gewohnten Troubles -
viel Chaos, wenig Geld - beim nächsten Treffen in Yokohama
reden erstmals die Libertarians von der Global Internet Liberty
Campaign ein hoffentlich recht lautes Wörtchen mit - siehe

Den GILC Alert gibt es via, Message
body: subscribe gilc-announce

Mehr über die Mitglieder der Global Internet Liberty Campaign
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There is a new effort to further open governance and human
rights on the Internet.

The Internet Democracy Project is a joint initiative by several
GILC members: the American Civil Liberties Union
Foundation (ACLU), Computer Professionals for Social
Responsibility (CPSR) and the Electronic Privacy Information
Center (EPIC). "The goals of the Internet Democracy Project
are to encourage participation by non-governmental
organizations in Internet Governance and promote the
principles of a civil society," said CPSR Chair Hans Klein.
The Project initially will focus ICANN and the elections it has
scheduled this fall for 5 at large seats on its Board of
Directors. But the project does not intend to focus solely on

"ICANN may be the most prominent organization in some
corners of the globe, but it is hardly the only group that will
affect the future of the Internet," EPIC Executive Director
Marc Rotenberg. "Our work will be much broader and we will
encourage the participation of the Public Voice at every

Similarly, ACLU Associate Director Barry Steinhardt noted
that the "real need to focus the attention of civil society on
the seemingly technical issues that organizations like ICANN
are addressing. If our voices are not heard while the
governance structures are being created it may be too late."

The Project has scheduled a "Forum on Open Society and
ICANN Elections" on July 13, 2000 to discuss various ICANN
related matters. The forum will be held in Yokohama and will
coincide with the ICANN meetings scheduled for July 13-17.

For further details, visit
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=== The main organization responsible for administering the
domain name system is facing a host of financial and
political crises.

Recently, some 30 domain name registries refused to pay
fees that were requested by ICANN, the International
Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN, which
theoretically governs the assigning of .com, .org, and similar
Internet addresses, had previously tried to charge these
organizations (under the umbrella of CENTR-the Council of
National Top-level domain registries) proportionate to the
number of domain names they had assigned.

In a press release, CENTR retorted: "Any request by ICANN
for a funding contribution based on the number of domain
names is fundamentally unacceptable to CENTR members."
CENTR pointed out the fact that "there are no contracts,
funding 'arrangements' or binding relationships presently in
place between CENTR members and ICANN." Among other
things, the various registries hinted that they wanted greater
participation "in the planning of both the expenditure and the
funding aspects of the ICANN budget," as well as ICANN
recognition of "the sovereign right of the local Internet
community in each CENTR country to manage its own
ccTLD [Internet Country Code Top-Level Domain Name

This battle comes just as ICANN announced its plans for a
massive conference in Yokohama. The meetings, scheduled
for July 13-17, will include consideration of important by-law
changes and as well as discussion of numerous proposals to
change the domain name structure. Many of these
suggestions would create new domain name extensions
such as .bank (for financial institutions), .sucks (for protest
websites), .union (for labor unions), .xxx (for sexually
oriented websites-see item [10] below) and so on.

In addition, ICANN will soon conduct global elections for 5 At-
Large members on its Board of Directors. Any Internet user
can vote (regardless of citizenship or nationality), but the
voter registration period ends within a few weeks. The Center
for Democracy and Technology (CDT-a GILC member),
together with Common Cause, have started a drive to
promote public awareness and active participation in these

To see CDT's action page regarding ICANN voter registration,

To sign up for ICANN's Board elections, visit

For more details on the ICANN Yokohama meeting, visit

For additional press coverage of ICANN events, read Aaron
Pressman, "New domains at last," The Industry Standard,
June 27, 2000 at

To see the CENTR press release, click
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edited by Harkank
published on: 2000-07-05
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