2015-01-20

ICANN CTO comments on "Stark-Raving-Greedy" Verisign

IANA Stewardship Transition Will "Impact on the Internet" says ICANN CTO:

On Monday, January 19, 2014, ICANN CTO Dave Conrad, speaking only for himself, dropped a bombshell comment on the public ICANN CWG-Stewardship mailing (email) list--excerpt below:

".... In all the discussions I've seen on the transition of the stewardship of the IANA Functions contract related to the Root Zone Management function, there has been precious little discussion of the actual root zone management processes despite the fact that, given NTIA will no longer be involved, those processes MUST change and those changes will have DIRECT operational impact on the Internet. I'll admit to a bit of surprise about this... I'll admit to not following the ICANN Accountability stuff all that closely, I'm just a technical person (or try to be) so much of that discussion is beyond me. However, my understanding (which is probably wrong) is that ultimately, Verisign, being a for-profit company incorporated in a state that is (perhaps unfairly) known to have the least stringent corporate responsibility requirements, has a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders to make a profit. ICANN, being a California public benefit not-for-profit, has a fiduciary responsibility to serve the public interest as interpreted by the State of California. While a for-profit like Verisign being "stark-raving-greedy" is arguably appropriate (at least according to
the laws of the state of Delaware), I have some skepticism that State of California would see an ICANN that was "stark-raving-greedy" as being in the public interest... "--Dave Conrad, ICANN CTO, "but speaking only for" himself, (emphasis added)


Domain Mondo has no idea what Mr. Conrad's reference to Verisign being "stark-raving-greedy" has to do with the IANA Functions or Internet Root Zone Management since it is well known that Verisign receives no fee for performing its services as Root Zone Maintainer. Is he implying that Verisign has started demanding "stark-raving-greedy" fees for performing its services as the Root Zone Maintainer now, or in the future? Also, the Chief Technology Officer of ICANN, speaking only for himself, did not elaborate on exactly how the Internet root zone management processes "MUST change" nor how those changes will have DIRECT operational impact on the Internet. Stay tuned--things are getting interesting in the IANA Stewardship Transition process!

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