Evaluate Continued Uncertainty

On March 26, ICANN’s General Counsel, John O. Jittery, had a nervous breakdown. Internal observers speculated that the breakdown may have been caused by the stress and ignominy of losing the independent review challenge that concluded ICANN's denial of ICM Registry's application for a .xxx domain was unfair and discriminatory. Unfortunately for ICANN, the deranged lawyer managed to get links to the incoherent documents he produced posted on the organization’s front page as a request for public comment.

Although not evident to a casual observer, the document’s title should have immediately triggered concerns that something was wrong. It was labeled “Report of Impossible Process Options for Endless Re-Consideration of the ICM Application for the .XXX sTLD.” In two diagrams accompanying the report, Jittery produced a chutes-and-ladders-like welter of lines pointing to various shapes. Anyone with the time to trace the diagram discovers that all process paths circle back to red boxes labeled “Evaluate Continued Uncertainty.” Stops along the way carry labels such as “die, Lawley die!!!” and a long chute labeled “back, back, back to the GAC!” Some of the shapes are images of trash cans, hangman’s nooses or chain saws. One horrified staff colleague, who asked to remain anonymous, said “John just wasn’t equipped to handle the notion that ICANN might have to do something it didn’t want to do. He cracked.”

Remarkably, most members of the public seem not to have noticed anything unusual about the call for comment. Judging from the comments, it appears as if the respondents noticed only the letters XXX and never looked at the diagrams or the report. Up for nearly a week, the call has generated 257 public comments. Of those, 27% condemn porn, praise Jesus and support families in opposing the domain; 18% condemn porn, praise Jesus and families while supporting the .xxx domain; 17% are from pornographers exclaiming that they don’t want .xxx; 15% are from pornographers who do want it; 22%  express enthusiasm about sex in general, with a few mentioning MILFs and the kama sutra position specifically. Only five comments addressed the process options, and they all recommended that ICANN respect its independent review decision and give ICM Registry the domain. These comments are unlikely to be read, however, because they have boring subject lines. Board chair Peter Dengate Thrust said, “isn't it great how ICANN involves the community in its decisions? With information like this, it will be easy for the Board to make a rational decision this June.”

7 comments

  1. Anonymous

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  2. Anonymous

    Registered LOBBYists ?
    http://www.iab.org/documents/iabmins/iabmins.2010-02-24.txt
    Lynn St.Amour, Leslie Daigle, Sally Wentworth (ISOC's North
    American Bureau Manager) along with Russ Housley met with FCC
    Commission staff on February 16th to introduce them to the Internet
    Ecosystem and development model in general, as well as the
    particulars of IETF work. Ex parte notice attached.

  3. Anonymous

    http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6015536275
    February 17, 2010
    Ms. Marlene H. Dortch
    Secretary
    Federal Communications Commission
    445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-A325
    Washington, D.C. 20554
    RE: In the Matter of Preserving the Open Internet (GN Docket No. 09-191)
    On February 17, 2010, Ms. Lynn St.Amour, Chief Executive Officer of the Internet
    Society; Leslie Daigle, Chief Internet Technology Officer, Internet Society; Russ
    Housley, Chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force; and the undersigned met with
    the following Commission staff:
    Tim Hilfiger, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
    Michael Goldstein, Wireline Competition Bureau
    James Miller, Office of Engineering and Technology
    Jon Peha, Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis
    Julie Knapp, Office of Engineering and Technology
    Stagg Newman, Omnibus Broadband Initiative
    Walt Johnston, Office of Engineering and Technology
    Bob Cannon, Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis
    Alison Neplokh, Media Bureau
    Zac Katz, Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis
    At the meeting, we discussed the Internet Model, the Internet Ecosystem and how
    different technology challenges like network traffic management are addressed within
    the Internet Ecosystem. We also discussed the mission and scope of the Internet
    Engineering Task Force and offered some perspective on future technology challenges
    for the Internet. Pursuant to Section 1.1206 of the Commission’s rules, a copy of this
    letter is being filed with your office via ECFS. Courtesy copies also are being distributed
    to the meeting attendees via email.
    Respectfully submitted,
    Sally Shipman Wentworth
    Regional Manager, North America
    Internet Society