[council] Background memo to council re: Verisign Registry Site Finder

Cade,Marilyn S - LGCRP mcade at att.com
Fri Sep 19 04:46:10 UTC 2003

On Monday and Tuesday 15 and 16 September , I became aware of rapidly growing expressions of concern regarding the impact of a new registry service on spam filtering, DNS servers, ISP services and IP implications.  Newsgroups and lists related to communications among ISPs and network operators were flooded with questions and expressions of concern. I reviewed these concerns and questions to determine the impact on the global Internet, and therefore of concern to ICANN. 

ICANN's primary and most fundamental responsibility is the stability, reliability and interoperability of the Internet.  It has other responsibilities as well, but this is an overriding, and critical responsibility 

First and foremost, the DNS is simple, reliable, and predictable. Many applications rely upon its predictability and the integrity and reliability of the Internet is build upon its simplicity. Internet standards of operation have been developed, since the early days of the Internet, by engineers working together in a collaborative and collegial approach. They have understood that the good of the Internet has overriding precedent to the interests of an individual provider. 

RFCs are the standards by which the Internet functions. When RFCs aren't clear enough, the IETF can undertake to refine or modify an RFC.  In the Internet, good will, and cooperation are the "rule". The private sector leadership of the Internet depends, and is dependent upon these concepts of collegiality, mutual respect, adherence to the letter AND the spirit of the RFCs, and an understanding of the interdependency we all bring to the successful operation of the Internet.

Today, over 100,000 networks interoperate, interconnect, and ensure that any email reaches any other email address. Billions of dollars of e-commerce rely upon the successful operation of the Internet. It is a critical infrastructure. We must protect its integrity. That is "our" responsibility. Not governments. Not someone else's. We, as elected gNSO councilors, bear a significant role in ensuring the success of this global critical infrastructure. We share that with other entities of ICANN, including the Board and President of ICANN.

The registry new service, introduced without notice or consultation with affected parties, is alleged to be interfering with existing applications and with valid, practical assumptions which underpin the reliability and integrity, and therefore the stability of the Internet. 

Some may question whether the gNSO Council is out of "scope" in raising this issue in an advisory resolution to the ICANN board. Business users believe that the Council, like all ICANN entities, has a first and primary accountability to examine and ensure the stability of the Internet. Failure to advise the Board would be a dereliction of responsibility by the elected Councilors. However, it is clear that the gNSO alone cannot address the questions being raised.  It is undoubtedly and obviously, a cross ICANN entity concern, involving the ASO, the ccNSO, the GAC, the IAB, and Security and Stability Advisory Committee.   

The primary issue is whether it is acceptable to permit a new service to harm the Internet. The answer has to be "no". However, the question of whether the Internet is harmed is the first question to examine. That question deserves a fair hearing, and a process which enables examination by knowledgeable  experts, and by those who are affected. Other questions, such as competition are valid, but I suggest these can be addressed on a different time frame than the  "harm to the Internet" which is  imperative. 

>From my assessment, it is my view that there are sufficient questions demanding explanation, and with urgency, that I recommend that Council provide an advisory resolution to the ICANN Board and request specific action by the Board in relation to the new registry level service. My resolution will be posted separately to Council.  I ask that the Chair place the resolution on the agenda of the next Council meeting of 26 September 2003. I urge fellow councilors to support this resolution. Because all are mentioned in the resolution, I will copy the ASO leadership, the ccNSO launching Committee, and the Stability and Stability Advisory Committee on the forthcoming resolution. 

Marilyn Cade, 
gNSO Representative of the Commercial and Business Users Constituency (CBUC)

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