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  1. Technology
August 27, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Plans for the final International Forum on the White Paper (IFWP) meeting are almost set in stone, but some of the organizers are still apparently stalling the process. The IFWP steering committee yesterday agreed, for the fourth time, that there should be a wrap-up meeting next month. It will take the form of a closed-door meeting of a small group of individuals – size and make-up yet to be decided – on the weekend of September 12-13. That group will be moderated by professors from the Berkman Center at Harvard University law school, which has offered to host the meeting. The group will be charged with producing documents outlining the structure of the new entity to run the domain name system, which will then be presented to an open, public meeting, probably on either September 14 or 15. However, we hear that on a conference call of the IFWP steering committee yesterday, the motion to have the final wrap-up meeting was opposed vehemently by Javier Sola a member of the Policy Advisory Board (PAB), which advises the Council of Registrars (CORE), which is a group of would-be registrars that emerged from a movement started by the Internet Society more than two years ago. The steering committee’s role is purely organizational – it is not supposed to set any policy – that happens at the IFWP meetings. Despite the presence on the call of Jonathan Zittrain, one of the Harvard law professors who repeatedly assured those present that it was willing to host the meetings, Sola and a few other apparently balked at deciding for the meetings before the vote was passed in favor of the final wrap-up sessions. Why they are balking is anybody’s guess, but some have suggested that they are merely trying to put off indefinitely a conclusion of the IFWP process, leaving the door ajar for the ISOC-supported plan from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to be presented to the US government as representing the consensus, with the IFWP looking like a squabbling group that couldn’t get their act together in time to meet the government deadline.


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