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November 22, 1998

MAXWELL IS MORE THAN MAGAZINER’S REPLACEMENT

By CBR Staff Writer

Elliot Maxwell, the new special advisor to US Commerce Secretary William Daley spoke to us yesterday about his new role and it seems that reports suggesting he is the replacement for soon-to- retire White House internet policy advisor Ira Magaziner were a bit too simplistic. Maxwell came to the Department of Commerce (DoC) in mid-October to coordinate all the interagency work on e- commerce within the department, and as the DoC does all the work in that area, it means he coordinates all the US government’s e- commerce work. Maxwell’s policy responsibilities include the domain name system and personal privacy. Maxwell points out that Magaziner has not even set a date of his retirement yet and is likely to see the DNS issue in particular, right through to the point at which a contract is issued to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is likely to happen before the year-end (see separate story). Maxwell was at the FCC in the 1970s and early 1980s before leaving government to work as a long-term strategic planner at Pacific Telesis Group, now part of SBC Communications Inc. He came back to the FCC under the Clinton administration. Many of the internet veterans who populate the various mailing lists and attend all the public meetings on DNS issues have heaped praise on Maxwell as someone who they can work with and who understandS the technology and issues surrounding the DNS. The associate administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) Becky Burr, who ostensibly works for Maxwell, says his appointment should make for more interagency cohesion within Commerce. The decision to award a contract to ICANN – or another organization, which now seem unlikely – will ultimately come down to Burr and Maxwell.

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