The Global Incorporation Alliance Workshop (GIAW) that is set to meet at the start of next month is finding it hard to shake the perception that – rather than being a completely neutral, open process – it is a gathering dominated by one particular cadre of the internet community with its own agenda. The purpose […]
The Global Incorporation Alliance Workshop (GIAW) that is set to meet at the start of next month is finding it hard to shake the perception that – rather than being a completely neutral, open process – it is a gathering dominated by one particular cadre of the internet community with its own agenda. The purpose of the GIAW is to hammer out a framework for forming a non-profit corporation to manage the internet domain name system. The corporation was the main plank for the government’s white paper on the subject, published June 5. A couple of things this week have reinforced the perception of some sort of bias to one view rather than another. Firstly, IBM Corp has withdrawn its sponsorship of the workshop, although it is not clear whether or not it was ever behind the gathering in the first place. When ComputerWire first learned of the GIAW on June 5, IBM was a tentative sponsor that didn’t want its name revealed. Now it has disappeared altogether from the sponsors list but remains on the list of invited participants who have accepted. Brian Carpenter, the company’s program director of internet standards of the internet division in the UK, who is also the chairman of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), said on a mailing list posting that IBM’s inclusion on the web site as a sponsor was an erroneous statement. Secondly, following a routine email inquiry we made earlier this week, we were informed that as of Tuesday, the responsibility for the workshop had come under the leadership of broad coalition of trade associations coordinated by Barbara Dooley, the executive director of the Commercial Internet Exchange Association (CIX), which represents the interests of ISPs and the coalition’s executive committee. The giaw.org domain name is now registered to GIAW, but the address given is that of Network Solutions Inc (NSI), which is based in Herndon, Virginia, just down the road from the conference in Reston. Earlier yesterday it was registered to CIX, also based in Herndon. The name was initially registered to an employee of NSI, and prior to being passed to CIX, was registered to Tony Rutkowski, a well-known figure in the internet community and an engineer and lawyer who is currently principal of NGI Associates, director of the Center for Next Generation Internet, and staff consultant to General Magic Inc. He’s also based in Herndon. For those not familiar with the geography of the east coast of the US, Herndon and Reston a few miles outside Washington DC and it is that ‘DC-centricism’ that has led detractors to say that the GIAW is not the broad-based international grouping it claims to be.