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:
Bylaws at http://www.open-rsc.org/inc/bylaws/
ORSC, Inc. Document root is at: http://www.open-rsc.org/inc/
**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 firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com -- END -- CC: Karen Rose for The Hon William M Daley