The relationship between those behind the meeting last week about domain name governance and the Internet Society (ISOC) has at times been a fraught one, but, as was the case with so many other battles within the internet community, bridges were being built between previously combative forces last week. ISOC had already been invited into […]
The relationship between those behind the meeting last week about domain name governance and the Internet Society (ISOC) has at times been a fraught one, but, as was the case with so many other battles within the internet community, bridges were being built between previously combative forces last week. ISOC had already been invited into the fold of the meeting as part of its steering committee, and now it has agreed that the meeting in Europe that has been tacked onto the end of ISOC’s INet 98 annual meeting will now go under the International Forum on the White Paper (IFWP) banner. That’s the name adopted by the ad-hoc organization behind last week’s meeting in Reston, Virginia. The agreement was apparently made on Thursday in Reston, where ISOC was represented by president and CEO Don Heath and executive director Martin Burack. Burack said the main obstacle to overcome prior to agreeing to the cooperation were concerns about anybody appearing to dominate the process. He added that attempts were now being made to expand the IFWP’s steering committee to include more European representatives. The meeting will be in Geneva on July 24 and 25. The original plan for INet was to end Friday July 24 at lunchtime, but the rooms had been hired until Saturday lunchtime and so were turned over to the DNS meeting, which will feature an address from Ira Magaziner and an eagerly-awaited appearance by IANA director, Jon Postel. The change in tone can be seen from the press release that ISOC sent out June 16 about its meeting, which contained this from Don Heath: It is clear that the new corporation alluded to in the US government White Paper will need to be based on work done by the existing IANA and its director Jon Postel and directly involve them…any attempt to do otherwise would certainly not produce the needed consensus and could lead to a serious threat of instability to the internet. Many took that as a direct reference to the IFWP, which Postel did not attend, but to which he sent a statement, which was read out by the chair of the meeting, Professor Tamar Frankel. That statement was fairly neutral, presenting some suggestions for discussion while reiterating his own position and that of IANA, to which ISOC is closely aligned. Heath and Burack attended almost the entire meeting last week, but were very much in the background and did not appear to actively participate in any of the workshops or sessions. Burack told us at the meeting that there was a reason for that lack of participation: we’re accused of trying to take over so often, he said. But he wanted to ensure that the IFWP was an inclusive process. And anyway, it was in ISOC’s home town of Reston.