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REPORT FROM GIAW (continued)

Global Incorporation Alliance Workshop
International Forum on the White Paper - Americas
 Hyatt Regency Hotel - Reston, Virginia - July 1-2, 1998

This page contains the transcript of the Introductory Comments and the Report from Working Group A, Profile of a New Entity. It is posted with permission of a member of the GIAW Steering Committee and many individual participants. A cybercast of the proceedings may be downloaded from

Details about the Global Alliance Workshop and other meetings of the International Forum on the White Paper are posted at and

Report from IFWP

See also the Report from GIAW for :

Transcript of First Day Working Group Reports


Tamar Frankel: We are bit late and I hope we will finish on time. Our first report is from Group A. I forgot my gong at home. Mr. Auerbach and he will present his group's report.


Mr Auerbach: Hello, I'm Karl Auerbach, you probably know me from the mailing list. I'm not actually going to present our group's reports, other people are going to do that, but I'm going to say this has been quite an experience in herding cats. Everyone has good opinions and we definitely didn't exclude anybody I hope, and I hope the other groups have been as successful. Anyway, we're going to talk about quickly about two parts:

- our process of talking where, how we got where we were going; and then also the substantive part of where we actually got.

The process part will be done by Harold Feld and where we reached is done by Gene Crick. So Harold. Mr Feld: Can everybody hear me, do I want to go over to the microphone? Okay.

We started out with an idea that (indiscernible) what function the new (indiscernible) exercise and that once we had that decided we then go on to what by-laws and other protections are necessary so this Board could implement the. This may not have been the best approach.

I know that other people in our group, and certainly as the day wore on and consensus on many points remained elusive, other people thought that maybe we should have started with the by-laws first. Perhaps we should have somehow had a mechanism where we discussed both, but part of the process here is figuring out what kinds of discussions work. The other tiling that drove this was the thought that, if we could find those areas of function that we agreed on, that would form the basis of consensus. And, if we could find what we didn't agree on or what were really just subsets of other larger issues, that this would provide further basis for discussion.

So we spent the morning trying to identify the functions of the corporation and came up with a list. Then we came back this afternoon and tried to more narrowly define those functions, again, with the idea that by defining the level of authority this would, the exercise would define the necessary safeguards that should be put in the by-laws.

So there was a tension -~ as one might expect--in the question of whether on end of the spectrum this should be a strictly technical organization to the other end of the spectrum where policy issues should be decided by this new corporation, and a wide area in between where you would have the focus be technical. Obviously that would include some policy issues and that question, how we resolve that question, the exercise of these functions is obviously an important point that's going to need to be resolved in the future iterations of these meetings.

All of that said, I think that covers how we got here. I will now turn over the microphone and the consensus board to my colleague of the day whose name I've already forgotten.

Mr Crick: That's my good friend Harold there. I'm Gene Crick, I'm President of Texas Internet Service Provider Association, but I was selected for technical expertise because I can work with a felt tip pen. We did not need a large board for those things that we could quickly agree on. We did however achieve some and I think that was toward the obvious goal of trying to help shape continuing, the continuing discussion which is going to be quite a process as we all recognize.

Toward that end we have a few items that we were able to generally agree as a framework for some of the elements of a new corporation or a new organization.

We first agreed that a proper and appropriate function of this entity would be I? assignment and 'p assignment policy. That some guidelines intrinsic to this would be reasonable and equitable assignment policies that for those minimum barriers portability was considered of value. And an important issue, it was the consensus of that group that conceptually 'ANA and the regionals would be subordinate in hierarchy to this entity. Now that does not necessarily mean subsumed by, don't get me wrong, there is a great area of determining that relationship. But in terms of a strict domain, in terms of a strict hierarchy this organization would be ultimately responsible for, at least, oversight if not administration of some aspects.

The second item of general agreement was that the responsibility for the root zone system would also be an aspect of this organization. Here it's fairly straight forward; clearly it begs many questions and opens many issues. But the obligation would be to maintain it coherently and to operate in the best interest of all parties participating.

Not surprisingly top level domains were an area of great deal of discussion and were difficult to try to treat within the time that we had. What we did come up with was the consensus that the new corporation should have the authority to create new top level domains. This does not necessarily mean the responsibility, and the obligation too, it's just what's in the best interest of the industry and the people it serves.

Other commented issues, it should effective and equitable in its policies. There should be limits to its authority. What those limits are would remain to be determined by many, many people, this is larger, more than in our group. A goal here and throughout would be to maximize competition to build a healthy industry by sound policies. And on the issue country code top level, because primarily were talking about generics. On the issue of country code that's a hurdle to be seen. We had a positive, we had a positive decision that half of us wanted one and half of us wanted the other in terms of involvement. So we report that out as something that's another remaining challenge.

Another point is that we felt that the new group should, quickly work to limit the scope of policy issues. In other words, just start making some definitions because, again, to be effective we need to bring those things that matter into the fold and try to address and exclude those that are not best operated by this entity.

Another as mentioned earlier, the principles of minimizing barriers to entry, that should be an overriding principle throughout all policies of the new organization.

And then finally, the obvious challenge and that's establishing an organizational structure. Elements of that should be financial stability, openness, a sound dispute resolution policy, and a plan for healthy organizational evolution as technology changes. As realities of the political and economic landscape change, the organization should be prepared for that. Even if that means essentially a transition to another organization. If this one is merely the beginning and a successor organization evolves from it.

There were, of course, quite a number of other issues, we brought a few of them up. We had some good exchange of ideas on them, but I think they would best be catalogued as remaining challenges. So that's our homework.

Mr Auerbach: If anybody out there on the floor would like to ask some questions about how we reached these or what we thought of; please feel free to ask, because now we're trying to share the information with you. So take this opportunity to ask a couple of questions, over here.

Kim Hubbard: Okay. (indiscernible) with 'p, of course, I'm interested in IP. Are you saying the Board sets IP policy, so the regionals and its members and the rest of the community doesn't have to bother with that?

Mr Crick: Oh no, no, that's far (indiscernible).

Ms Hubbard: Well, no, I'm asking the question. I'm not sure, how does the Board come up with the policies to set?

Mr Crick: (indiscernible) larger and longer (indiscernible). I'm not being glib about that. They certainly said an obligation (indiscernible).

Mr Feld: The consensus was in my inference that the obligation of the Board would be to be concerned and responsible for it. It might mean no changes, whatever, it might be that the thing there, that remains to be seen with a lot of influence. But it's just simply establishing a relationship among the entities involved.

Ms Hubbard: Yes, I would recommend that the Board is responsible for ratifying policies that maybe the regionals or the community present to it, rather than creating it and setting it themselves, that's all.

Mr Feld: (indiscernible) subject, you know, (indiscernible). It was agreed that there should be a relationship between them. My sense was it was agreed that there should be a relationship between the new corporation and the regional that at least ~initially that should somehow reflect the current relationship between IANA and the regionals, whatever that is, but that this was an issue which needed to be resolved. There was a range that could go from anything from the new corporation simply rubber stamps whatever decisions are made by the regionals and all the regionals are the laboratories of democracy, to borrow a phrase, and get to decide their own policies.

Or alternatively you have the other extreme of this horrible top down management where the new corporation would dictate to the regionals and the regionals would become essentially a mechanical handing of IP number functions. There was no consensus on where m the spectrum this should fall, just that there should be this relationship with the regional, and somehow the new corporation is in a, is somehow over or whatever relationship lANA has now with the new regionals, that's at least at the start, what the new corporation begins.

Mr Auerbach: Yes, I think we also recognize that there will be a tension between this organization and the pre-existing vested interests as it were, and there is going to be some degree of fight over authority there. Yes.

Mr Curran: John Curran, I'm with GTE Internetworking, previously known as BBN. I'm involved in half a dozen Internet organizations. I served on the IETF before. I'm current Chair of ATtN one of the three I? regional registries.

Just for clarity sake, since we're trying to work one of the points that came up, the current relationship between the 'ANA and the regional registries is that the IANA provides, is an enabler for the regional registries, so that's a source of authority down. But the regional registries also have their constituencies, which are anyone interested in IP policy, predominantly ISP's. But each registry has members who are interested in setting IP policy who join and elect a membership organization, advisory council who sets this, and they work together to harmonize, that's a source of authority bottoms up, which is also called for in our white paper.

To the extent that we have a new lANA and it wants to replace the existing function of the current IANA, that's great. ~f we want to change the authority model that currently exists we need to be very careful. One advantage we currently have is that we actually have representation, which is hard thing when we think about a Board and a new organization. I, in another session, in another group made a plea that the more focused representation is by function, the higher probability it's actually going to be relevant. So to that end, you know, we have a model that has representation today and we need to look carefully at establishing models that also allow representation on a bottoms up basis.

Mr Feld: We asked ourselves a fairly difficult question which we had not received an answer to which is relevant to this, is suppose Internet policy change to the point where aggregation didn't make sense in the existing three large areas, but made sense with some other allegations in these areas, what would be the ability of this overall corporation to cause this restructuring to occur?

Mr Curran: Hopefully none, but the people involved in the actual 'p process or involved in 'p policy, die members of the regional registries, hundreds of ISP's worldwide, actually I think thousands if we count RIPE, APNIC in the list, would indicate that the policies that need to be change, would recommendations and it would get changed. Right now the administrative functions are based on convenient areas to handle the administration assignment, it is not per se based on technical routing aggregation, as much as a way to divide the workload. RIPE and APNIC both happen to cover a piece of the workload, ATtN came into formation to carry the remainder. I guess I'm wondering, I understand exactly how it works under today's model, what I don't understand is how that would actually be solved under this model, that's what we're trying to explore. That's why we recognize this is an area of tension that we don't necessarily have a real concrete answer to. We have essentially the States vs. Federal Government debate in microcosm. There must be more questions out there, we covered a lot of ground. Yes. And the other two groups, of course, would be able to do the same thing here.

Mr Wong: Good afternoon, Pindar Wong, I'm associated with one of the AP star groups in the Asia-Pacific. I would like to ask a clarifying question with respect to the summary here, presented here, which is what are the similarities and/or differences that you see between where you ended up and the white paper?

Mr Auerbach: Oh that was a definite question from the floor and it was a legitimate question is, how much should we be guided by the white paper. There are some wild eye radicals such as myself who say, barely, and there is people who are probably more rational than I am who say, be very strongly guided by it. To the extent that the white paper was focused and initiated from the United States and this is looking largely at a more international scope, I think there is naturally going to be some tendency to look beyond the white paper. The precise answer to your question is, I don't know.

Mr Feld: This question was raised while we were having this discussion and it seemed to me and I don't know how much this capture the consensus of the group, I said it very loudly at the time, which is sort of the traditional Internet way of defining consensus, but the white paper as a guide of substantive things is not very good. If you look up on the board here, on the functions that we all agreed on, you will note that the lead off ones are the same ones that the white paper says should be controlled by this new corporation. The only thing that is missing is this other technical functions category which everybody agreed fell into the new corporation, but nobody could define what other technical functions meant, so it was sort of shoved off to the side as a place where future discussion is needed. But I-so therefore, my answer is, this conforms exactly to the white paper. This process conforms exactly to the white paper process. People are getting in here, starting with the very broad categories that the white paper has defined and said, okay, the white paper says this new corporation controls 'p policy, great. The white paper says this subsumes IANA, great. So far we haven't said anything new. The one little thing we said new was, we're going to start with an initial notion that whatever the relationship is between the 'p's and the regional registries is going to remain the same, but that there is room for discussion on how that relationship is ultimately formalized with the corporation. And that's not an area that's covered in the white paper. Nothing in the white paper says that the regional registries are going to remain as they are. The white paper refers to the regional registries. The white paper certainly talks about the regional registries as interested stakeholders. But the white paper does not define what the role of the regional registries is suppose to be in this new corporation system. So in looking at this and asking what are the divergences from the white paper, r really think that we haven't diverged at all from the white paper. This is the first attempt to put even just a little bit of a sketch of muscle on the skeleton. And, m fact, I mean we don't even have a skeleton, what we have are arms and legs and a skull and a spine. So we have tried to put a rib on here and maybe, you know, a toe over here to try to at least get further along the process that the white paper sets out for us to do. So I don't think we varied at all from what the white paper says.

Mr Crick: If I may, I have a kinder view of the white paper than my colleague in that I view it simply as a invocation of issues and a call for industry input and action to build a road. And I think in that sense we responded to it. There were some issues, I should mention there were some issues that arose in the white paper and in our discussion that are not on this list because they are not issues of consensus. Examples being privacy, and security, and trademark. Now clearly these are on the agenda for the rest of this meeting, but it was, I would think, I won't say consensus, but it was an issue of much discussion within our group. That the white paper was correct in raising them, but many of us felt they are not issues that should be within the domain or largely within the domain of the new corporation.

Now this will emerge in later discussion throughout this convocation. But I do think wouldn't it be fair to say that there was, that there was a great deal of discussion and some considerable opinion that they needed to be considered and by many felt and excluded, but excluded with decision.

Mr Auerbach: Any more questions for our group before the next group goes on. Oh, yes.

Ms Kelly: Can you just comment on the portability issue and the IP assignment policy, was there any elaboration-Mr Auerbach: As opposed to portability of domain names?

Ms Kelly: Pardon me.

Mr Auerbach: As opposed to portability of domain names? The word portability tends to get overloaded.

Ms Kelly: Well, in particular I'm interested in knowing if it's possible to have portability handled just by this corporation or whether it's foreseeable that this corporation would have to contract with an outside contractor to actually handle all of the management issues and operation issues related to portability?

Mr Auerbach: I'm personally not an 'p allocation expert, you would have to ask somebody else. My thought would be in terms of setting policy, we didn't get into the details of how that would be done. We were mostly looking like to what should this corporation be empowered to do and what should exclude it from it's ability. I don't know how to answer your question.

Ms Kelly: If anybody does, I would love to talk to anybody who knows anything about the portability issue.

Mr Auerbach: And, again, I'd like to caution everyone, we use portability be clear whether you're in the I? address or domain name context, because it is an ambiguous word. Okay. Another question. Okay. Just before, okay, another question?

Mr Schneider: It's only a short remark which goes for every of the working groups. As I'm one of the persons which tried to organize the next meeting in Geneva, we would very much like to have a representative from each working group there giving us an overview of those ideas before they get lost. And as a matter of preference it should be repertoire, the consensus. I think we should, we should - I think, I think if possible, if we have volunteers from each working group they should be appointed by the working group to give us an overview of the discussion here.

Mr Auerbach: We're getting, suddenly we're getting into a discussion mode here.

Mr Schneider: No, I'm talking about follow-up meeting to this conference which is probably presumably being linked to some extent to IANA, but is not the IANA conference.

Mr Auerbach: Okay. Why don't we discuss that later and bring it up. I would just like to keep focusing, any questions for our group, and what we discussed and how we got there, and essentially share our ideas. Any more questions out there. Okay. I'm going to hand it over to the next group, but I would like to make one last comment is, one of our group members at the end said, the devil is in the details. And we've reached a lot of agreement so far and we're learning to talk to one another in a good way, a constructive way, but we're going to have to continue this to get down to the really hard part, which is the fact of the details. So group, oh, is this a question or are you group B?

MALE SPEAKER: Just a real quick comment. I didn't realize it, but in the back there they are recording this and transcribing this. So especially the last gentleman, he will have stuff to bring forward as well. I just want to make it known.

Mr Auerbach: Okay. I'm handing over to Group B. So is this Chris walking my way. I'm glad to meet you. I've had e-mail with him millions of time but we've never actually met.

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