November 16, 2004

First thoughts on ICANN's so-called "Plan"

ICANN at long last finally issued its so-called "Strategic Plan".

It's not a very good plan, at least not when viewed from the perspective of the users of the internet or from the perspective of a business that uses DNS or wants to enter the DNS business.

ICANN's plan does nothing to protect the technical stability of the net.  ICANN is supposed to be our fire department to make sure that the net doesn't burn down.  But ICANN seems rather more interested in trying to be the king of some other hill leaving the community of internet users unprotected and the internet vulnerable.

Below is the initial comment on this plan that I sent to ICANN's "comment" address:


There is nothing in this plan that deals with ICANN's primary mision: the technical stability of the internet's domain name and IP addressing systems.

To be more specific, there is nothing in this plan that indicates that ICANN will have any role or duty whatsoever regarding the ability of the upper layers of the domain name system (DNS) to operate reliabily, efficiently, promptly, and accurately.

There is nothing in this plan that deals with the proper preparation of the root zone file and its dissemination to root servers.

There is nothing in this plan that deals with responsible operation of the root servers in normal times or in times of stress.

There is nothing in this plan that deals with sensible and balanced allocation of IP addresses.

Instead this plan is completely about business and economic regulation and, by implication, about the prohibition of innovation that is not in accord with ICANN's business and economic rules.

That is not only *not* a narrow mission but it is also a completely inappropriate mission for ICANN.  The mission that ICANN describes for itself is that of a national legislature or heavy regulatory agency.

The community of internet users require from ICANN a guarantee that the internet's core infrastructures including the upper tiers of DNS and IP address allocation operate reliably.

The internet community does not require a body that imposes economic, business, and social policy on the internet.

Yet it is that former requirement that this plan ignores and it is that latter non-requirement that this plan proposes.

Karl Auerbach
Santa Cruz, California, USA
Former elected ICANN Director for North America

Posted by karl at November 16, 2004 9:02 PM