The meeting in Brussels last Tuesday called by the European Commission about domain name governance did reach some sort of consensus, but on entirely non-controversial issues, most of which were simply re-statements of current positions. About 150 people attended, from all branches of the internet industries and users in Europe and abroad, according to Chris […]
The meeting in Brussels last Tuesday called by the European Commission about domain name governance did reach some sort of consensus, but on entirely non-controversial issues, most of which were simply re-statements of current positions. About 150 people attended, from all branches of the internet industries and users in Europe and abroad, according to Chris Wilkinson one of the main organizers at the meeting and an advisor at the European Commission on internet and telecommunications issues within Directorate General XXIII. He says a full list of participants will be posted shortly on the EC’s Information Society Project Office site (http://www.ispo.cec.be). The meeting had originally been a closed affair scheduled for June 30, apparently in an attempt to scupper the first IFWP, held July 1 and 2. It was then moved to July 7 and opened up to all- comers, free of charge. We cannot help feeling that the purpose of the meeting was more a show of bravado than an attempt to move the debate forward. It only lasted for one day, between 10 and 6, with 12 speakers scheduled, so there could not have been much time for open discussion. Wilkinson says the meeting was not a ‘primer’ for the forthcoming INet’98 meeting in Geneva. Inet’98 will serve as the second in the series of International Forum on the White Paper (IFWP) meetings – the first was last week in Reston, Virginia. He said most of the participants are already well-versed on the subject of the internet and the domain name system: there were several Member State officials participating in the meeting yesterday who are internet specialists in their own right, he said. However, as we said earlier, the conclusions reached by the group didn’t really amount to much more than a restatement of the European Union’s position. The areas discussed were the structure and organization of the new non-profit corporation to run the DNS, the policies of registries and registrars, the preconditions of stability, reliability and growth of the internet, and policies for the DNS. It was agreed that the new corporation should be based on the existing Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA); that its membership should be broad and open; there should be competition in the registrar market and all generic TLDs should be operated by shared non-profit registries; the addition of new gTLDs should be considered soon; the new entity should have control of the root server; an .eu domain should be considered, like the .us domain, the reorganization of which was welcomed by the meeting; and existing trademark rights should be protected. Speakers at the meeting included Daniel Kaplan of Internet Society (ISOC); Keith Mitchell, the chair of RIPE Network Coordination Center- the European numbering authority; Brian Carpenter of IBM Corp who is also chair of the Internet Architecture Board and sites on Jon Postel’s IANA transition advisory board; Ken Stubbs of the Council of Registrars (CORE) and Ivan Pope of UK registrar, NetNames. The meeting agreed to compose an open panel of participants to meet with their homologues, in the US and the Asia-Pacific. It also noted that the IFWP organization had encouraged the European private sector to participate in their work. Presumably the homologues will include some of the people from the IFWP – the panel will meet within as few days. Wilkinson could not get back to us in time yesterday to tell us who will be on the panel. The meeting also agreed to establish a web page and mailing list to open up discussion on the subject.