ICANNWatch on the Whois Telecon
[Posted to On Whois... on May 28, 2003 10:36 AM| Links to this post ]
ICANNWatch published my recent message to the registrar list with editorial that characterizes the Whois teleconference as being;
  • Outside the process
  • Geared towards creating a common position
I appreciate the added publicity, but this is not an entirely accurate representation of the event as planned...

We are trying to accomplish a few very simple things by kickstarting this discussion. First is to ensure that this conversation continues to happen inside the process. There never has been a serious venue for inter-constituency communication to happen on a member to member level. The GA was supposed to fulfill this need, but it failed miserably. Unless we want policy development to solely happen at the GNSO Council or Board level, or worse, in the backrooms of Washington or elsewhere, we need to get serious about discussing serious issues.

Second, Registrars are driving this, but we don't intend to control this. We realize that we're not the only affected party, but we are probably in the best position to make sure that something gets done to solve the issues. Registrars feel pretty strongly that if we don't take a progressive step forward and start a real dialogue that focused on the salient issues (as opposed to political rhetoric). We see this one-time meeting - open to all - as a vehicle to further articulate the registrar vision of modified WHOIS and modified WHOIS access. All in the vein of initiating a constructive dialog so that the formal PDP and other work of the Whois Steering Group can be more productive.

  1. Registrars proposed this call and intended that it be open to all interested parties.
  2. The call is not intended to circumvent the potential policy development process re:WHOIS/privacy that has been identified by the Council.
  3. The call is an informal opportunity for registrars to articulate a potential model for modified WHOIS data and modified WHOIS access.
  4. The call is not intended to resolve or necessarily vet all issues re: WHOIS/privacy.
  5. The dialog on the call could help build toward constructive work in Montreal.

We have a pretty simple agenda with this issue.

Embrace. Extend. Implement.

Embrace the issues - we can't rely on someone else to make sure that this matters to the policy makers. Its too important.

Extend the thinking - there are a lot of potential solutions that just aren't getting airtime. Most of them are preferable to the status quo. The community needs to get critical about what the best solutions are to the tough problems we face. We need to be aware of second order effects and how to avoid negative implications. We need to come up with solutions that solve the problems that we face today and tomorrow.

Implement the solution. Talk is nice, but it only gets to far. Industry needs to be prepared to accept the best thinking of the community and turn it into running code. One of the best ways to facilitate this is to ensure a strong role for industry right from the start so that proper understanding of the scope and implication of the issues has time to take root in the minds and plans of the managers and staff that end up doing the heavy lifting.

So Mr. Froomkin, the real spin is that this isn't about who the chair is, it isn't about the process and it certainly isn't about the spin - its about making sure that the community starts down the road, inside ICANN, towards appropriate policy that we can all live with.

And that "we" includes you1.


1Anyone that wishes to include themselves in that we can send me an email and I will make sure that you receive the call details as soon as they are available.

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