Realname Keyword: Heathrow Declaration

The Heathrow Declaration

"The Internet needs effective, lightweight, and sensible global
coordination in a few limited areas, allowing ample room for the
innovation and change that makes this unique resource so useful
and valuable."

                    - M. Stuart Lynn, "ICANN: The Case for Reform", 2002


On February 24, 2002, M. Stuart Lynn, CEO of ICANN, published a president's report entitled "ICANN - The Case for Reform". While this proposal provides an incredibly insightful analysis of what ails ICANN, there is a widely held view that the reform proposal will not adequately provide the support, infrastructure and mission that a strong ICANN requires.

ICANN's basic idea is legitimate: a private-sector organization, founded in corporate law rather than international treaty, is an appropriate political and legal arrangement to engage in the management of the DNS. Private interests in the DNS are best expressed and dealt with directly, rather than through the indirect and cumbersome apparatus of governments.

Accordingly, it is our contention that an examination of the basic principles that flow out of this premise must be undertaken in light of the current dynamics. Without this examination, and a statement of the evident findings, it will not be possible to progress with reasonable reform that supports the needs and interests of affected stakeholders.

Our goal is to foster a productive discussion among the parties that make up ICANN, or who have an interest in the good management of the DNS. We all have a serious interest in keeping ICANN, or something very much like it, able to perform those necessary functions of domain name management for which it was created. Let us cooperate in the task of making it work well.

With this in mind, we have created a document that outlines a new approach to ICANN reform that outlines the basic principles upon which a new ICANN can be founded and a structure that will facilitate the implementation and operation of this coordinative body. This document is not complete, nor is it authoritative, however it is our hope that it can act as a catalyst to move discussion from "Why ICANN is fatally flawed" to "how do we achieve the original goals set out in the White Paper?". The purpose of these documents is to provide a departure point for positive and directive discussion of ICANN reform. The authors do not see this document as an endpoint but as a starting point and are hopeful that interested and informed parties will expand on the ideas expressed herein, especially within areas of their specific subject matter. We expect interested parties to dissect this document and pursue specific discussions on the various points and principles made. An analysis of this nature will allow for the creation of a structure that supports and informed statement of the specific ideals that will allow ICANN to work well.

This discussion is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should it be (although it may be) the only thread of its kind. The more voices that weigh in, the more refined the output will be and the more valid the conclusions will become. However, this discussion must necessarily be rational, informed and must be managed towards the goals stated in this document.

Achieving these goals will not be easy, however, the Internet community has demonstrated on any number of occassions that it can and will continue to band together to solve problems of universal importance.

Special thanks to Hostopia for providing the webspace and bandwidth and Tucows for the mailing list resources.



Comments on the Heathrow Declaration

ICANN Committee on Evolution & Reform

Tucows Comments to the ERC

Proposal for establishing a Commercial Dispute Resolution Process (CDRP)

Mailing List

Those wishing to participate in the development of the Heathrow Declaration are welcome to join the moderated AWG mailing list by sending a
subscription request to the mailing list manager for confirmation and subscription. Messages sent from this list will be sent to "".

Current Reform Proposals

Background Information

NOTE: Please send relevent links to for inclusion in this list.
Last updated: by Ross Wm. Rader
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