PAB "news" from 1-2 meeting

Sascha Ignjatovic (
Tue, 7 Jul 1998 23:02:28 +0200 (MET DST)

Tuesday July 7

Playing the domain name game
Internet establishment rivals edge towards agreement

By Sandra Gittlen - RESTON, VIRGINIA
You had to be there, according to some of those who were.

It was history in the making: On one side of the table was Don
president of the Internet Society (ISOC); on the other, Gabe
CEO of Network Solutions (NSI). For almost a year, they have
been at
the helm of opposing sides of the most vicious battle the
Internet has
seen. But last week, the two men laid down their swords and
to hash out a plan for the future of the Net.

I actually saw convergence this week, said Dave Holzman, senior
president of NSI.

The disparate views worked well together toward a positive
Heath said. We were encouraged with it.

The meeting of more than 300 Internet stakeholders, the first of
scheduled over the next few months, was called to figure out a
way to
implement the loose guidelines put forward in a recent white
issued by the Clinton administration. These guidelines call for
handing over of the administration of the world's Internet
address system
to the private sector. Currently, Network Solutions Inc. of
Virginia, manages .com, .org, .edu and .net as part of a
contract with the
National Science Foundation. That contract is due to expire on
Sept. 30.

The tight deadline could be what is sparking cooperation among
enemies. According to one meeting attendee, no one wants to have
October roll around and have no plan for how the Internet will
segue to
its new keeper.

Just who the new keeper of the Net will be is also the subject
of as the
white paper only specifies that it will be a US-based
non-profit corporation. Other factors, such as who will sit on
the board of
this corporation, were left open for general agreement.

That agreement is supposed to come from a series of meetings to
held across the globe -- in Geneva, Asia and Los Angeles -- over
next few months.

It's too premature to come up with anything concrete, Heath at
ISOC said. The process will be improving with participation...
and that
process will arrive at consensus. But for now, we were
encouraged with

So much so that Heath agreed to use the ISOC meeting in Geneva
have the second round of process meetings.


Laying Down Their Arms

Dwell on your similarities, not your differences, Professor
Tamar Frankel,
a law professor at Boston University told attendees.

But from Ira Magaziner, chief architect of the white paper, the
has been even simpler: Get your act together and decide among
yourselves before the government steps in and does it for you.

Magaziner offered all parties, including Internet service
providers (ISPs),
trademark holders, domain name registries and international
corporations, a carrot when he backed off of some of the more
plans he had for the domain market. Rather than having the US
government decide the specifics of domain name governance, he
left the
door open for all parties to come to a consensus.

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