[council] Regarding Powerpoint presentation in the GNSO/GAC workshop on Monday 26 June 2006

Bruce Tonkin Bruce.Tonkin at melbourneit.com.au
Thu Jul 20 02:48:42 UTC 2006

Hello Marilyn,

> 'interpretation' via PowerPoint.  There was a PowerPoint 
> created by Bruce, in an effort to help to inform the 
> discussion with the GAC/Council, that further explained some 
> key points and also provided an interpretation that all the 
> 'functions'
> presently supported by the uses of WHOIS are possible under 
> Formulation 1.

For the avoidance of doubt - I did not say that.   I think we are getting an interpretation of an interpretation here :-)

I said that the "language" used in formulation 1 did not exclude legal issues, as legal issues are one type of issue that can arise from the configuration of DNS records.     Now different people may have had different objectives with formulation 1, but I was addressing the current "language" of 
formulation 1.

The key difference in opinion seemed to be around whether WHOIS was to contact a person (or a person that could pass on information to another person) to fix a technical problem, e.g a domain name no longer resolves, or whether the WHOIS could be used to contact a person to resolve other types of issues.

In my view if you want to constrain issues to only technical problems you would say

"The purpose of WHOIS is to provide information sufficient to contact a responsible party for a particular gTLD domain name who can resolve, or reliably pass on data to a party who can resolve, a TECHNICAL issue related to the configuration of the records associated with the domain name within a DNS nameserver."

I personally saw the language of formulation 1 as simpler than saying "technical, legal or other issues".  Why single out just technical and legal?   What if you simply want to make an offer to buy the domain name licence?   What if you want to contact someone about the privacy or accuracy of the Personal Data that was being displayed.

Personally I think the community has become overly distracted with the term "DNS Nameserver" as it sounds too technical, and thus when reading the formulation, it sounds like it is only about technical stuff.

The relevant text from slide 8 of the Powerpoint presentation is:

"- Technical, intellectual property, consumer protection, SPAM, fraud etc all result from the configuration of a DNS record

- The definition makes no constraints on the types of issues

- Definition allows for contact to resolve any issue arising from the configuration"

Please quote from the PowerPoint presentation, if you want to quote me (or emails on this mailing list).
I have attached it again.

Unfortunately there was not a transcript made of the GAC/GNSO session, which was a pity given that the main auditorium was available at that time.   I was actually waiting there for the session to begin - but that is another story :-)

It seems to me that the debate is not really about the formulations - which are really almost the same purely from a language point of view, but the concern is about the end objectives of those that support the two formulations.     I think there is far more variation in the end objectives of the various constituencies, than there is variation in the two formulations.    For example, I do recall that Avri Doria stated that she did not think formulation 1 went far enough in meeting her objectives.  Rather than waste further time on debating the formulations, it seems to me personally that we probably need to move on and discuss a possible reference implementation (e.g OPAC) that may not be quite as bad or good as some had hoped, but it might actually improve the effectiveness of the WHOIS service for us all.

I am not sure yet what getting those who voted in support of formulation 1 to state their reasons why they supported formulation 1 will achieve, but I am happy to try it and see what we learn.

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