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.”