Iperdome Calls for Accountability
in Internet Governance
ATLANTA, Oct. 7, 1998 /PRNewswire/ -- Iperdome, Inc., the
company offering Personal Domain Name services under the .per(sm) name and
Top Level Domain (TLD), has asked Congress to ensure accountability for the
Board of the new, not-for-profit corporation (Newco). In written
testimony submitted yesterday, company founder and president Jay Fenello
described how the current process had broken down, and how the leading
proposal is unacceptable due to the lack of accountability of the Board.
According to Mr. Fenello, "The transfer of Internet
assets and authority from the U.S. Government to this Newco represents a
major departure for the private administration of a global resource.
If we were only talking about Internet resources, the leading draft might
be sufficient. The truth of the matter is, however, that the Newco
will be making public policy decisions as well as administrative
decisions. Diverse issues like free speech, access, and privacy will
all be affected by decision made by the Newco. It is for these
reasons that the Newco Board must be made accountable to the Internet
stakeholders in some way, shape, or form."
On June 5, 1998, the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration ("NTIA") of the United States
Department of Commerce issued a policy statement, commonly known as the
"White Paper," in which NTIA called on private sector Internet
stakeholders to form a not-for-profit corporation to administer policy for
the Internet name and address system.
In response to the White Paper, a sectorally and
geographically diverse group of Internet stakeholders came together under
the IFWP banner (The International Forum on the White Paper). These
stakeholders met at assorted venues throughout the world, and the result
was a series of consensus points for the new corporation.
Several weeks ago, the IFWP process broke down as many of
the original supporters decided to negotiate directly with the IANA.
The result was theICANN draft, a draft that is deficient in the following
- The draft was finalized behind closed doors.
- The draft does not include many of the
consensus points from the IFWP process.
- The interim board suggested by the draft was
presented without any open nomination process or discussion.
- It fails to meet Ira Magaziner's mandate of
accountability, as the ICANN board is only accountable to itself.
- It fails to meet the terms as stated by Becky
Burr, specifically the desire for sound and transparent processes,
protection against capture, and fair, open and pro-competitive
While two other proposals have been submitted, and at least
one other proposal is in the works, none of the drafts are likely to be
considered acceptable to all of the diverse stakeholders of the Internet
community. "The issues being addressed in these documents are
broad, complicated, and have long lasting implications" said
Fenello. "We simply do not have all of the answers at this
It is for these reasons that Iperdome has taken such a
strong position on accountability. While there are many changes we
would suggest with any of the drafts submitted, having a Board that is
accountable to Internet stakeholders ensures that any mistakes made in the
base documents can be fixed over time. Trusting this process to a Board
that is only accountable to itself is a formula for disaster.
Mr. Fenello ended his Congressional testimony with a call
for the U.S. Government to retain oversight unless and until accountability
is built into the Board of the Newco. His entire testimony can be
seen at <<A HREF="http//www.iperdome.com/press/congress3.txt"