Re: [DNS] Nomination as auDA Director

Re: [DNS] Nomination as auDA Director

From: Jeremy Malcolm <Jeremy§Malcolm.wattle.id.au>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 21:08:09 +0800
Chris Disspain wrote:
> 
> I believe you have questioned the
> integrity and bona fides of both the Board and executive of auDA

That certainly hasn't been my intention.  Procedures and culture are at
fault here rather than individuals, and Don Cameron today said it much
better than I did when he opined that "auDA lacks an ability to properly
respond to public comment or criticism unless the commentary falls
within the guidelines of existing policy".  I know several of the board
members well and am absolutely convinced that they are acting in
complete good faith and in the best interests of the domain space, but
that the procedural bounds within which they exercise their authority
constrain their ability to direct positive change.

> Chris Chaundy, the delegate for net.au is a Director of auDA and has been
> since auDA was formed. Robert Elz has been invited to participate on
> numerous occasions and has chosen not to.

Yes I was not referring of course to .net.au, I was referring to the
.org.au and .id.au dispute.  I'm not going to say any more about that
because there's something I don't want to pre-empt.

> "It is notable that auDA itself required an
> extension of time from the US Government to respond to its Green Paper
...snip... 
> This is neither notable nor correct. auDA was not in existence in 1998.

Point taken, it was actually the Government that requested an extension
(http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/130dftmail/Australia.htm).

> clause 2.6 of Part 3 of the RFT which states "auDA will not consider late
> tenders". As a lawyer, Jeremy, I'm sure you realise the import of that
> clause and I'm sure you are also well aware of the consequences that would
> flow if auDA were to extend the deadline to allow one potential bidder to
> get their bid in.

We are talking at cross-purposes.  My point is more basic than one of
interpretation of clause 2.6, I am suggesting that the process is being
treated as nothing more than a commercial tender for a business
opportunity.  Indeed, it is a commercial tender, I can't easily deny
that.  I am saying that perhaps it shouldn't be, it should have been
approached by auDA as a process of cooperating with both volunteer *and*
commercial stakeholders to arrive at what by consensus represented the
best long-term outcome for  the Australian Internet community.

> Jeremy, it is not the Boards policy or the executives policy that is being
> implemented, it is the policy recommended by the Panel after a lengthy, open
> and public process, a process in which you could have been involved.
> I have been unable to find any submissions by you to the Panel.

There were submissions made by various parties well known to me with
which I was in full agreement.  Taking the first cab off the rank
(Richard Archer):

"This option would result in a single stable entity to take on the role
of managing the registry services for whichever of the .AU 2LDs wished
to partake. There would still be the option for 2LDs to continue to
operate their own registries should they so desire (for example if they
believe they can offer a better, more reliable or cheaper service)."

Jumping to David Keegel, "Have the registry run by a suitable non-profit
organisation, and operated in the public interest.   I am not convinced
that it is necessary for auDA to regulate service levels at the
registrar level. If there is a competitive market, then it should be
able to sort out service levels. As with any other competitive market,
if registrars are not providing adequate service, then they will lose
business. It should be possible for registrars to offer a "slow and
cheap" option, as long as customers know what they are signing up for."

Unless I missed something, the first we heard about a $15000 up-front
fee per domain ($45000, for all three non-profit/individual domains) was
on 22 October 2001.  None of us had any opportunity to say a word
against that until it was too late, and yes that was the catalyst that
stirred me into greater activism on this issue, as you have correctly
observed.

Apart from the barrier to entry raised by this fee, I would have
(reluctantly) worn the fees proposed by the competition panel, even on
non-profit and individual domains, in the knowledge that there would
have been scope for organisations to raise by donation or to secure by
grant funding to pay these fees.  The quantum of the fees set by the
Request for Tender, and the way in which they were distributed between
profit and non-profit domains and/or registries, was not the subject of
public consultation, and should have been.

-- 
JEREMY MALCOLM <Jeremy&#167;Malcolm.wattle.id.au> http://malcolm.wattle.id.au
Providing online networks of Australian lawyers (http://www.ilaw.com.au)
and Linux experts (http://www.linuxconsultants.com.au) for instant help!
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Received on Wed Nov 14 2001 - 13:17:39 UTC

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