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September 22, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

A group of internet veterans gathered in Boston, Massachusetts the past weekend to review and revise the draft document published last week by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and Network Solutions Inc (NSI) for a non-profit entity to run the domain name system (DNS), which they dubbed the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This meeting was originally to be held under the auspices of the International Forum on the White Paper (IFWP), but that was cancelled when NSI withdrew to participate in the talks with the IANA. But some supporters of the IFWP went ahead with their meeting anyway and have come up with changes to the IANA-NSI plan, which they published yesterday. There is another public meeting today, Wednesday, organized by another set of interested parties at the Cooper Union in Manhattan, to take the debate further. The Boston group comprised: Karl Auerbach – an internet veteran, Cisco Systems Inc engineer and a lawyer; Eric Weisburg – an attorney for Texas-based ISP Texoma; Patrick O’Brien – CEO of Domainz, the New Zealand registry; Peter Dengate Thrush – patent attorney, solicitor & barrister and counsel for Domainz; and David Schutt – an IS manager for a manufacturing company. The main changes the Boston group made to the IANA-NSI document are as follows: the initial board of directors has been mandated to create a membership structure for the entity without exception and the president is to be removed from the board. They have eliminated the ability of the supporting organization to appoint directors and re-cast the supporting organizations to be permanent advisory committees with a strong role in initiating and defining policy and enabled individuals to be members of the supporting organizations. There are likely to be three such organizations covering policy on IP address allocation, domain names and protocols. What happens next is anybody’s guess. The changes have been sent to the US government’s representatives in this area, as well as to NSI and IANA and is on the web at IANA and NSI said on September 17 when the draft was published that they would only accept suggestions for changes for a couple of days, but many in the internet community wanted more time to offer suggestions.

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