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I can imagine a number of ways in which public comment could be suppressed. My first effort, sent via a Verizon address, received no reply. My second, via a Yahoo address got through. Today I have attempted to submit an addtional and new comment and have not yet received a verification email in 45 minutes.
Why should the entity, basically in charge of one of the major operations of the internet, not be able to automatically respond to an email in less than 40 minutes? I don't know. I do know, having looked at their last budget, that ICANN spent > $2.5 million dollars for board members to travel to meetings. Perhaps spending 1% of that travel budget on making their email servers travel a little faster would go a long way towards opening up public comment.
Below here is the comment that I am attempting to make a matter of public record with ICANN. IF you do not see my comment on the ICANN message confirmation board in the next 1/2 I invite you to copy and forward the message, signature and all - should you agree to the statements - retaining the original subject line. Simply add a P.S. confirming that you agree with the above and that you are submitting it due to the fact that the original submission was blocked in some manner.
Here is my comment, subject line first.
No Public Record of "Extensive Consideration and Discussion"
Dears Sirs and Madams:
I am gravely troubled by the apparent absence of a public record of the substance of the justifications for the change of pricing policy.
In the announcement of the public comment period ICANN ostensibly offers assurances that a rational and compelling basis for the proposed changes exist. However, despite a deliberate effort on my part, including searching within the links for meeting minutes, I can find no public record of the comments, considerations, facts or other basis for the change. IF such a record exists it is a serious failue to not link to the record from the comment page. IF such a record has not been made public the it is malfesance to conceal the record of facts and reasons whilst inviting public comment.
How is anyone to muster facts or raise a challenge to the significant change without first having an opportunity to review and examine the alleged factual basis for the proposed changes?
I imagine you could argue that the public might attend meetings but when I see that one member of the board was reimbursed in excess of $7,000.00 to attend a 1 week meeting in Paris I think such an argument would not hold up.
IF there actually is a bona fide intent to gain insight from the public then this is a case of failed intention. You cannot gain meaningful input to policy decisions whilst denying us access to facts, figures, evidence underlying the proposed policy change.
IF there is an actual requirement for meaningful public input then that requirement simply has not been met by the adoption procedure as it stands to date. We, the public, cannot possibly meet the challenge of determining the validity or necessity of the proposed changes to the billing process without access to the subject matter or contents of the record of "extensive consideration and discussion". Indeed, in the face of ICANN's public comments that such "extensive consideration" took place the concommitant absence of access to the record makes the case that ICANN has materially failed to allow public participation.
How can there be public comment to what are essentially secret meetings, discussions and considerations?
Until the full record of the facts, evidence, considerations and discusssion is made public this public comment process is and will continue to be a sham.
If the law or contracts require public comment and participation then the contracts, if adopted, will not stand up to an form of intelligent legal challenge.
I would therefore urge ICANN to reset the clock and to do what ought to have been done in the first place: Make the record and evidence for these dramatic changes available for public consideration or at least make the repository for the record plainly available by a llnk in the body of the page where public comment is invited.
Thank you for your consideration and please take my comments to heart. I am not opposed to reasonable and necessary change. However I am steadfastly against significant policy changes that do not receive a full and fair airing in public and against changes that are not brought to the public's attention in a manner decidedly calculated to evoke the greatest degree of public input.
Jeffrey A. Libert, Esq.
[edited by: Webwork at 10:43 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2006]
They need that money for faster servers!
(Oh, and more exotic meeting locations, fancy hotels, etc.)
As I mentioned in another post, it took about an hour for the authentication message to get to me.
However, when I sent a second message, I NEVER received an authentication message. But, my second message appeared maybe two hours after I sent it.
Perhaps the authentication message is only sent once per eMail address?
[edited by: ccDan at 4:39 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2006]
ICANN ..wether by bad management or bad and doubtfull company they keep and hidden decisions they arent capable of doing the job they were given ..be it taking public opinion ..or running the oversight of the registries ..
[edited by: Leosghost at 5:25 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2006]
For the record I sent a separate email to a separate ICANN email address to express my dissatisfaction with the email delay issue. Perhaps that caught someone's eye? If so, give credit where credit is due. Frankly, there ought to be multiple access points for public comment, including 1) email; 2) a message board; and, 3) an online submission form. There is no good reason to limit public comment to an email verification system that apparently has its own problems.
Heads up people. Please be aware that unless you receive a confirmation email from ICANN and respond to that confirmmation email that your public comments will not be added to the record.
The degree to which I am troubled by ICANN's practice and procedures only deepens. This latest turn of events will lead to me personally asking the Department of Commerce to continue to maintain the status quo.
According to ICANN's own records ICANN spent in excess of $800,000.00 USD for legal services between November 2005 and March of 2006. Perhaps they might spend a few more dollars or Euros or Yen or Huan or whatever on having someone advise them on the design and implementation process that would actually make the public comment process a meaningful one.
Frankly, I think the public can help design a process that works and likely save hundreds of thousands of additional legal fees.
First, start with better public notice of public comments, including plain language statements of the material changes proposed and the likely outcome or effects of those changes. Include the alternative approaches that are or were being considered, and why any version is favored. What are the reasons for each change?
Second, provide online and printed material access to the detailed notes and minutes of the deliberative process, especially to the expert and other business facts or evidence upon which the deliberative process reflected in order to reach a decision to proceed with action that is properly subject to public comment. It's impossible to meaningfully comment about the merits of the deliberative process without access to the substance and subject matter of the deliberations. What is "it" - what are the facts - that justify moving to unrestricted pricing? Why is the system that has been in place for a decade now being revamped? What are the costs that that new system will impose? What limits might be imposed?
That fact, on its own, - the lack of public disclosure of the underlying basis for the proposed action, the factual basis - is enough justification for the current procedure to stop and be restarted.
ICANN's process, at least as applied to the current proposed contract revisions, has been flawed, through and through. Any decision based upon the procedure employed in the case of the revised gTLD contracts should not stand judicial scrutiny.
IF ICANN attempts to go forward, on the record as it now stands, and not take note, learn and respond to the existing public comment, then I will become the next convert to the body of people who believe ICANN needs to be closely watched and chained to continuing DOC oversight and regulation.
ICANN - If you bother to read the mass of public comment, you still have a chance to do the right thing.
Stop. Hit the reset button. Open up the deliberative process to public scrutiny and make the issues better known and more transparent to the public.
Or not and then do not be heard to complain about the continuation of DOC oversight.
[edited by: Webwork at 5:44 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2006]
I also received an authentication eMail from each of the three addresses, and verified each one.
When I sent my second message, again to all three addresses, I never received another authentication message from any of the addresses. My messages appeared about two hours later.
So, I'm thinking, and this is only a guess so be sure to check the forum to see if any subsequent messages you post reach it, that once you authenticate your eMail address for each of the three ICANN addresses, it may not be necessary to do the same on subsequent messages. Or, perhaps it is only if you send your subsequent message within a certain time period?
I don't know. All I know is that my subsequent messages appeared without me having to authenticate a second time.
You and me both!
I BCC'd all three emails to my normal email address and all three came to me, so I know that ICANN received all three. I waited another hour and still did not receive the .info confirmation email, so I sent it again, still nothing back as of now. However, my posts are on the .biz, .org, and .info threads. I never received the authentication email for the .info but there it is!
They also say in the authentication emails that you can reply to the email without changing the subject line OR you can click on the link that leads to their site. It also says the first method of replying to the email is not guaranteed, so that you can actually do both. That is what I did for the .biz and .org anyway.
I do see many more posts now. It's really a shame that ICANN was so sneaky and did not let anyone actually know about this. Many will not know about this until it is too late and not be able to voice their opinions. What a shame and what a crock!
[edited by: WolfLover at 6:37 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2006]
I sent three e-mails, one to each address, and received three verification e-mails in response.
My verifications arrived the next day however the mails were never posted therefore today I used my gmail address as suggested, never received verifications but the mails were posted within minutes!
[edited by: OptiRex at 9:01 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2006]
where I am it is currently just after midnight central european time ( parisien time ) so it is now tuesday 29.08.2006 ..
that makes it just after 3.00 pm in the afternoon pacific standard time monday 28.08.2006 ..
so in fact the comments are still open for nearly another 2 hours? ..webwork said "they were closing in approx 45 minutes" ..and that was nearly 6 hours ago
and the last update showing to me at the ICANN site is displayed as "2006 Aug 28 21:13:17 (UTC)" , ( what is UTC? ) ..
so are more comments to come? ( and do verislime have the time to mobilise more comment spammers ) ..or are we done as of nearly six hours ago?
maybe I just need some more sleep every 24 hours ;-)
currently it shows me 454 comments ..thats 452 against and 2 registrys for ( .jobs as an official registry ..hehe hehe ..and everyone thinks only us europeans can come up with rinky dink suffixes ) ..
considering that we have only had 3 days since GeorgeK's "heads up" ..over 400 against is pretty good ..and demonstrates that if the ICANN had not tried to hide this scandal in the shadows on the flip side of the summer holiday sun ..that could have been thousands of posted comments daily against this attempted licensing of extortion ..
I'm copying every letter on every ICANN page ( just in case the ICANN should accidentally lose the records ;-) ..suggest others do the same ..
so it's important to know when the fat lady has officially had the chance to post her last comment today ..and when to stop copying ..anyone?
will they have the audacity to try to ignore us all ..
how will we know if they either extend the commentary time or accept and return to the drawing board? ..
what plans for the lendemain les gars ..?
and a particularly clear presentaion of the main concerns from INTRAS ..under the name of Phil Corwin message can be found at [forum.icann.org...]
for those who get the general picture but are a little lost in the legalese of the actual proposals ..read along with the message left by webwork and the posts of GeorgeK and you'll come away with a clearer picture of why stopping this is so vital to the net community ..
plus the INTRAS message mentions that the decision is to be made by the board of ICANN headed by vint cerf ( of google ..of "do no evil" fame ..yeah right! ) on the 13th of september 2006 ..doubtless behind closed doors ..maybe even at night in the dark ..with the shades drawn ..and with no minutes taken ..no doubt ..again ..just in case ..
[edited by: Leosghost at 12:44 am (utc) on Aug. 29, 2006]
I don't think they can.
ICANN very much wants to be an independent organization, not in any way under the influence of the U.S. Department of Commerce or any other government or entity.
People oppose these proposed agreements. Specifically, they oppose the loophole that allows for variable by domain pricing.
The consensus is that it is a bad idea.
If ICANN does not listen, it fails in its own mission to develop policy by consensus. It will show that, if left to its own devices, it will not serve the public interest (though the case for left can be made regardless).
If ICANN does not listen, I believe it will rally U.S. webmasters to put pressure on elected officials to not let ICANN become independent and to keep them under the thumb of, and increase the scrutiny by, the U.S. Department of Commerce.
If ICANN wants independence, they have no choice but to listen. To do otherwise, and I think it not a stretch of the imagination to say this, threatens their very existence as an organization.
And irony of irony ..I 'm listening live to the BBC world service telling me about the internet ..like the reporter knows anything about it .. he heh ( and singing the praises of google and their "empowerment of the people" and how there are over 100 million bloggers world wide ) as they have been doing since the last two weeks ..they obviously never heard of vint cerf and verislime ..who do no evil and can be trusted ..especially when working together for our good ...yeah ..right ~;-)
I last checked the pages around 5 hours ago and there have been 20 additional comments since that time ..so just in case ..keep 'em coming ..
Not only that the posting forum looks like it is a relic from the mid-90's and a very old program.
Also noticed they never bothered to put up links either to the home-page or the 2 other extension boards from the org page, which navigation between the 3 feedback areas was not even there, so worse than poor.
Hard to believe what stone age technology they are using considering the ICANN budget and ways they waste money.
I would be ashamed to be on their Board or an upper level employee. They truly suck big time in many diverse ways and need to be shutdown and replaced.
Of course, you have to go through another antiquated set of forums to comment on that as well. Not to mention that the design of the whole "workspace" is awkward too.
The nineties? Heck, seems to me easier stuff to use was available in the nineties than this*!
* "This" being ICANN and not WebmasterWorld.
they are now showing latest update as 2006 Aug 30 09:13:27 (UTC) comments are are still being logged..
3 more on August the 30 th taking the total to over 900 ..;-)
so keep the momentum and give make repeat follow up calls and emails to everyone you contacted already ... to ask if they did actually go comment ( especially your elected officials ) ..it appears like enough pressure on them and they start to bend ..now we just need to make them turn around..
If your comments didnt get posted ..send them again ..
using gmail or yahoo mail seems to be foolproof ..some other IP addys get through ..some dont ..watch your inboxes for the return mail with the link to the "confirm your mail" page .
This is just one small example showing how strangely incompetant ICANN is and why they neded to be closed and replaced, perhaps by a competant well run unbiased United Nations Agency, or US Dept of Commerce division or department.
P.S. No, it's definately not due to a spam filter or problem with my server, if you were wondering about that. Other people have reported the same thing.
competant well run unbiased United Nations Agency..oxymoron ..
be very very carefull what you wish for ..
they need the removal of registrars and search engine personnel from their board ..and clear oversight and transparency in their workings ..their remit is to regulate on behalf of the average domain holders ( not including registrar or registry licenced domain squatters ) ..their remit is not to negotiate murky backdoor money deals with monopolies whose members make up their own board ..
edit to us english ;-)spelling
[edited by: Leosghost at 6:21 pm (utc) on Aug. 30, 2006]