Towards fair, open, technically sound global Internet policy.



                              October 8, 1998



Honorable William M. Daley
Secretary of Commerce
c/o Karen Rose
Office of International Affairs
Room 471
National Telecommunications and
   Information Administration
United States Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20230


         Re:  Management of Internet Names and Addresses


Dear Secretary Daley:

On June 5, 1998, the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration ("NTIA") of the United States Department of Commerce
issued a policy statement, commonly known as the "White Paper," in
which NTIA called on private sector Internet stakeholders to form a
not-for-profit corporation to administer policy for the Internet name
and address system. Since that time, people all over the world have
been working diligently to meet NTIA's challenge.

While some may claim to have reached that goal, the members of the
Open Root Server Confederation (Open-RSC) believe that the process has
gone astray.  To highlight our concerns, we refer you to the press
release issued June 5, 1998 titled "COMMERCE DEPARTMENT RELEASES
POLICY STATEMENT ON THE INTERNET DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM."  In that
release, Becky Burr said:

" . . . the policy statement describes a process whereby a new,
not-for-profit corporation formed by the private sector would assume
various responsibilities for DNS administration that are now performed
by or on behalf of the U.S. Government, or by third parties under
agreements with the U.S. Government.  We invite Internet stakeholders
from around the world to work together to form this new entity."

She also said: "We are looking for a globally and functionally
representative organization, operated on the basis of sound and
transparent processes that protect against capture by self-interested
factions, and that provides robust, professional management. The new
entity's processes need to be fair, open, and pro-competitive. And the
new entity needs to have a mechanism for evolving to reflect changes
in the constituency of Internet stakeholders."

In response to these comments, a sectorally and geographically diverse
group of Internet stakeholders came together under the IFWP banner
(The International Forum on the White Paper).  These stakeholders met
at assorted venues throughout the world, and the result was a series
of consensus points for the new corporation.

Several weeks ago, the IFWP process broke down as many of the original
supporters decided to negotiate directly with the IANA.  The result
was the ICANN draft, a draft that is in our opinion, deficient in the
following ways:

  - The draft was finalized behind closed doors.

  - The draft does not include many of the consensus points from the
    IFWP process.

  - The interim board suggested by the draft was presented without any
    open nomination process or discussion.

  - It fails to meet Ira Magaziner's mandate of accountability, as the
    ICANN board is only accountable to itself.

  - It fails to meet the terms as stated by Becky Burr, specifically
    the desire for sound and transparent processes, protection against
    capture, and fair, open and pro-competitive processes.

The transfer of Internet assets and authority from the U.S. Government
to this New Corporation represents a major departure for the private
administration of a global resource.  And if we were only talking
about Internet resources, the ICANN draft might be sufficient.  The
truth of the matter is, however, that the New Corp will be making
public policy decisions as well as administrative decisions.  Diverse
issues like free speech, access, and privacy will all be affected by
decision made by the New Corp.  It is for these reasons that Open Root
Server Confederation, Inc. (Open-RSC) hereby and respectfully submits
our proposal for the New Corp.  Our proposal is designed to be a peer
proposal to the already submitted IANA/BGW/Haubens proposals to
provide another point of view for NTIA consideration in the process of
melding all the submitted proposals into a final result.

Open Root Server Confederation, Inc., is an existing Delaware based,
501c3 non-profit corporation.  We have recently developed Bylaws based
on the IFWP consensus points as prepared by the Boston Working Group,
and adding several additional clauses that build upon the IFWP
consensus points to reflect the Internet community's response to the
ICANN draft, and to reflect some long standing Open-RSC concepts to
promote fairness and the use of open due processes.

For example, Open-RSC has added a "fair hearing" process to give voice
to all the parties who have suffered failed expectations during and
before this White Paper process, up to the present time and including
the MoU enrollment of CORE registrars.  Another group has suggested
financial accountability clauses in relation to business planning,
budgeting and fee structures, which we have adopted.

We adopted Electronic Fronter Fondation (EFF) proposed clauses on
recognition of individual rights including due process, personal
privacy and human rights.  We also added a Membership article based on
extensive discussions that occurred in the IFWP mailing list.  It is
derived from a European proposal

Enclosed by URL reference are documents reflecting these consensus
points, including copies of the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws
for this new non-profit organization.  These are:

**While the organization has been formally incorporated, and it has a single temporary board member, it has not yet elected a full interim board of directors or finalized its name or its Bylaws, and currently intends to refrain from doing so until the completion of your review of the enclosed materials. By then we expect an open process for selection of an Interim Board of Directors will be established and a new name will have been chosen for your chosen New Corp.

In closing, the White Paper urged that the new corporation's
organizers include "representatives of regional Internet number
registries, Internet engineers and computer scientists, domain name
registries, domain name registrars, commercial and noncommercial
users, Internet service providers, international trademark holders and
Internet experts highly respected throughout the international
Internet community."

Since our documents are based on the IFWP consensus points, and the
IFWP process included all of these groups and more, we believe our
documents to be closest to the goals as outlined by the White Paper.
These final documents are the cumulative reflection of those efforts,
and we believe that they do in fact command the support of a broad
consensus of Internet stakeholders, private and public.

          Respectfully submitted,


          Einar Stefferud
          Temporary Chairman of the Board of Directors
          Open Root Server Confederation, Inc.
          17301 Drey Lane
          Huntington Beach, CA 92647-5615
          +1 714 842-3711

Enclosures

cc (w/encs.):   Ira C. Magaziner
                R.J. Beckwith Burr
          webmaster@ntia.doc.gov, domain-policy@open-rsc.org

                    -- END --


CC:        Karen Rose for The Hon William M Daley