[council] Declaration of conflict of interest regarding agenda item 4

Bruce Tonkin Bruce.Tonkin at melbourneit.com.au
Wed Sep 24 23:57:55 UTC 2003

Hello All,

Agenda item 4 of the GNSO Council meeting relates to a discussion of
Verisign's introduction of wildcard entries into the .com and .net

I would like to declare the following potential conflicts of interest.
I am an employee of Melbourne IT.

Melbourne IT is a customer of Verisign, and Melbourne IT has directly
communicated with Verisign over this issue.

Melbourne IT is a supplier to Microsoft of domain name services.
Microsoft currently benefits from a feature in their browsers that can
direct users to a MSN search page when a domain name is not found in the
DNS.  In some cases users may be offered the chance to register domain
names.  Melbourne IT has not been approached by Microsoft to advocate
any position on this matter, and I have seen no public response from
Microsoft on this matter.

Melbourne IT is a supplier to Yahoo of domain name services.  It has
been reported that Yahoo has an interest in that it is in the process of
acquiring Overture (which manages paid/sponsored search listings), and
owns Inktomi (which provides search listing for the Verisign service).
I don't know how this may affect Melbourne IT with respect to domain
name services.  Melbourne IT has not been approached by Yahoo to
advocate any position on this matter, and I have seen no public response
from Yahoo on this matter.

While I believe that my views are independent of any of the potential
conflicts of interests above and that I act in the best interests of
ICANN whilst acting in my capacity as chair of the GNSO, I want to
ensure that I am not seen to bias any discussion on this topic as chair
of the GNSO.

As has been my practice in the past on issues where I have a potential
conflict of interest, I have asked Philip Sheppard as the immediate past
chair of the Names Council, to chair the discussion on agenda item 4.
I have also invited the ICANN General Counsel (John Jeffrey), the Chair
of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (Steve Crocker), and a
representative from Verisign (Chuck Gomes) to be available to answer any
questions of a factual nature.

Bruce Tonkin

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