Dr Tamar Frankel: Quite of few of these organizers here but we kind of didn't stand up. And I think the reason is, although we stood up in the beginning, but the reason is that there was no one point at which people kind of organized. And I would like to start with my story and then ask one of the organizers to continue the story.
About two months ago a former student and alumnus of Boston University Law School, Kathy Kleiman called me and asked me what do you think about the structure, the corporate structure of the sort she described. Sent me them some papers, sent me the green papers, sent me some other papers and I looked at it and I had some comments, and a few, and she thank you and that's it. Then a few weeks later she called again, she said would you mind describing your thoughts to Becky Burr, I said not at all and I did. And then a few weeks later she said would you mind sharing a meeting that will deal with this issue, these issues, and I said, who will be in that meeting, and it was kind of people who are interested in that. And so I blindly went into this meeting. I said, yes.
The truth is that I am very, very interested in the process of creating trust, because that's my area and in the process of structuring organizations because that's my area. So I come from the academic point of view and became very excited about this process. And then I met on the phone, Tony Rutkowski who joined and I didn't even ask how. And then I was told to talk, and I wanted to talk to Barbara Dooley. By the way, her husband is very ill and she can't be here today. So we started working together. There was a steering committee in which I was more a listener than an active participate and formulated my own kind of structure by talking to a variety of people, other people as well. So it was a diffuse kind of a process for me.
Mr. John Wood: Good morning. My name is John Wood and I represent the CSSA, which is the equivalent association to the ITA in the United States. And essentially a number of different trade associations, and I think that's the first most important thing to stress, that the organizers of this event are not individuals, they are not corporations, they are trade associations that come from a very wide dispirit body around the world. Essentially it was not some preconceived plan, it was almost a joining together of different trade associations that have had interests in this area. We wanted to come together and the reason they wanted to come together was to provide a mutual facilitating role, no more and no less. And each one of these trade associations they have members that are on all sides of the issues.
Anyone who has had any dealings with trade associations that that is a strength and a weakness because it means that a trade association in many ways can't say, even though it's staff would like to say a certain position, because other members of that trade association hold a contrary position. So in many ways that means they're the moderating voice and therefore there might even be, I know that some of the individual corporations might find this funny, a sense of common sense because there is a commonality there. So this was essentially an ad hoc non-formal group of trade associations that got together and have been meeting once every two or three days, virtually, because we're from all over the world. We have folk from the Far East, we have, I'm in the UK, we have folk in Germany, we have folk in Canada, and obviously around the United States. So we're also very much international, which means that some of us are doing this late at night from our homes, and others are doing this early in the morning, and I don't know why we always have to choose American time as the base of the time that we meet, but it always does seem to be that kind of basis and it's very difficult for some of us who are stuffing our face with either breakfast or supper to be virtually on line at the same time.
But I think you understand the picture. So we wanted to make sure that we were essentially a broad base. There are a number of trade associations that I represent that I have not been involved in this at all. One of the organizations that I represent is the Confederation of British Industry which has not been involved in this at all in one level, but on the other hand, has many -- has over 250,000 companies involved in that organization. Many of those companies in the future will be engaged in electronic commerce. And in the white paper, which was our ground zero, the ground zero for us in terms of the debate was the white paper. And in that it talked about present and future Internet stakeholders. And so, and the trade associations have got together which is an open process and we will be publishing in the very near future summaries of our different minutes of meetings.
I want to stress our whole process is totally open. We are in no way precluding anyone from their involvement. But it does require, people need to make a decisions and sometimes that means that only a certain number of people in the room at a certain time in order for those decisions to be made. But in that no way, in any way is meant to mean we're precluding anybody, by the memberships that we have there is no preclusion process.
So the point is, we are mutual, we are facilitators, we do not have an ax to grind, we have people from all over the different areas. We have folk from the Internet cite in core, we have folk from AIM (phonetic sp.) in our group. So we represent a wide smorgasbord of opinion and approaches. But we have one goal, to facilitate a mutual event where everybody could come together and evolve towards respondent to the white paper and providing a solution, recognizing that there are two definite dates on our calendar, September 30, 1998, it's a definite date. The year 2000 is a definite date. And those dates are the only dates that are in the white paper and those are things that we need to pay attention to, so we had to start somewhere and so we began. So if you have any questions, I don't mind answering questions, but I hope that's quite clear, as to the process.
I would apologize to anyone that felt that there was some kind of mystery, or we were consulting the (indiscernible) over what we were doing. But the fact was we have tried to be as open as possible, but things have to be done. And I want to say a congratulations to Barbara Dooley, he was really not here today and I pay that her husband will recover. But she has done an inordinate amount of work and has been a complete stalwart in this process of keeping us all on track and keeping us together. But anyone that makes decisions is always open to criticism. But her heart and direction has already been correct and she needs to be commended by all of us for actually standing up and being counted and moving the process forward. So if there are any questions I'm quite happy to answer them. Yes, right at the back here. If you want to come to a microphone.
Mr. Jay Fenello: This is Jay Fenello with Iperdome, good morning. I want to start by saying I support the process and I think that the steering committee has done an excellent job. I also want to say that we spent a lot of time yesterday in Group B talking about how there was unanimous support for an open, fair, and transparent process. And in that light I just have a few comments that I would like to say.
There have been some inconsistencies on how the steering committee has formed. There have been some inconsistencies on how this meeting has been put together. And I think in the interest of an open, fair, and transparent process that should at least be part of the public record.
I asked the members of this gathering to simply look at yesterday's public record. The nice gentleman from Epic stood up here and said he was a member of the steering committee, as far as I know, Epic is not a non-profit, Epic is not a trade association. So as one of the ones that was originally dis-invited in the organization of this event, as one who tried to participate as a member of ISPC and the membership of ISPC I would just like to say, this has been one of the things that's been a problem here and it should be addressed and made more open. Thank you.
Mr. Wood: I appreciate the question and may I say that the initial meeting at which the person from Epic was involved was the inaugural meeting and at that inaugural meeting like any inaugural meeting the rules of the game are laid out and it was at that stage that it was. And any of the subsequent calls that person was not on it. This is not a perfect process, this an evolutionary process. I was always taught there has only been one person in the bible that was perfect, his name was Enoch and the next words in the bible says and he went home to be with God. And I would say that in relation to this we're not perfect, we're human beings, we're fallible. We attempted at that initial meeting to set some ground rules and if you go into the web site, www.ifwp.org you will see listed all the trade associations, they are legitimate trade associations from around the world. Thank you. Yes, I see a question there.
Ms. Kleiman: Yes, actually a statement and then a question. I'm Kathy Kleiman with the Dominion Rights Coalition and I would like to thank Professor Frankel for agreeing to come and be with us. And for the first time kind of experience what the firestorm is of the Internet and helping us punch through what some of the issues are to get to the key issue that we're here today to talk about, which is process and structure. Thank you very much Professor Frankel. And also as one of the groups that was not included in the steering committee, I would like to ask what the criteria is to be included, is it an open group or closed group, and I'd also like to request that for those of us who may never be on the steering committee and, you now, who may never care about the logistics, you've done a wonderful job in organizing this conference, will you put your minutes on, will you record them and make them open and put them on your web site?
Mr. Wood: The answer is that it is an open group, but like any practical group there are two criteria. That you will commit to participate in each one of the phone calls and play a responsible role in that. So, you know, if that's a problem and I hope that if anyone that is committed to this process wouldn't be, there is obviously a practical consideration that if there was, you know, 500 or a marriotte of organizations that may become unwielding, but is it a closed process, no. To the answer of the question about the minutes, the minutes will be posted. Thank you.
Ms. Kleinman: For meetings going forward. There is a sense that there is a criteria for the organizations that can participate, maybe --
Mr. Wood: Well, all I can say Kathryn if there is someone has kept it from me.
Mr. Weitzner: Hi, John, I'm Danny Weitzner with the Center for Democracy and Technology, we're an internet civil liberties organizations and also really genuinely want to commend everyone who has worked to organize this, I think it's really the best thing that's happened in this whole debate since the beginning. And I also just want to note that I think there has been a lot of good will expressed about the effort to keep this process broad. I think that I'm the only representative from a non-profit public interest organization as opposed to a trade group that I can recognize.
Well it represents industry points of view which I think are valuable, but not the whole picture here and I would just, and Glen is here, Glen is here. So I just want to urge that as this process moves forward there is an effort to reach out to the rest of the Internet community, not just the commercial sector of the Internet community.
And secondly, I think that even though there are a couple of us here, it is important for the organizers, for those who speak about this process publicly to characterize it beyond just a group of trade associations, because I think that will become a self- fulfilling processes. I can tell you that for us this is not an easy expenditure of resources to be involved in this, this was just a 20 minute drive from home, but I think you need to be actively encouraging of involving the non commercial sector rather than sending a signal that this is an industrial effort here.
Mr. Wood: Okay. Let me just clarify that Danny, what I said is that all trade associations the steering committee does has nothing to do with content, has nothing to do with making decisions, maybe being facilitators. What are we trying to facilitate? The most open and broad of church as possible, the most meaningful dialogue that comes to a position that answers and responds to the white paper. So that the more people that are involved the happier that we are. So we are in no way trying to communicate a message that this is a closed church. There is just two parts to it. The first part of the story is just organizing, convening neutral venues. The second part is totally open.
Mr. Weitzner: Let me just say I don't mean it as a criticism.
Mr. Wood: Yes, I appreciate that.
Mr. Weitzner: I mean as constructive input.
Mr. Wood: And I receive it that way. One last question then we need to move forward?
Mr. Manachen: I'll be quick John. My name is Glen Manachen (phonetic sp.), I actually wear two hats. One is for a public interest group, the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and the other is as outside counsel Main Space, which is a commercial alternative DNS registry.
Mr. Wood: Yes.
Mr. Manachen: But my question doesn't relate to either of those two interests. I really want to know how the steering committee, if it does have a view, sees this process fitting into the process of organizing Internet self governance. And the reason I ask that is very simple, I see that there was a GIAW which morphed (phonetic sp.) into the IFWP and there is also a process that the ISOC has organized in Geneva, there is also a process that the formal IANA has started called the IANA Transition Advisory Group or the ITAG. And I'm wondering if the people who are founding this forum, which is a very good opportunity for discussion have a view on how these different issue might coalesce into one or whether we have just already started different warring factions on how to govern changes of DNS under the white paper?
Mr. Wood: Well, I think the emphasis in your conversation is the word coalesce. It is our goal to coalesce with all the other things that are working. And, in fact, in that initial meeting Don Heath was here yesterday, I don't know if Don is here today, was involved. The European meeting is basically going to be convened as close proximity to the meeting INET and the Internet Society for that very reason. We are not, it is the same venue, you know. Our goal here is to beat our swords into plow shares. That is our goal. The broader the church the more likelihood of that being successful. We are not competing, we are coalescing and our idea is to make a unifying force of common sense and commonality. As Dr. Frankel was saying yesterday, let's not focus on what we disagree, that seems to be the basis of most Internet dialogue on listservs, let's focus on what we agree on and begin to be productive because time is of the essence. Does that answer your question?
Mr. Manachen: I think it's a very good idea to try and strive for.
Mr. Wood: Thank you.
Dr. Frankel: Well, we have learned something from yesterday's meetings. I think they were terrific, but every terrific can be improved even a little more. And so one suggestion is that we structure our meetings more closely. The more focused we are the more productive we're going to be. Therefore, I would ask at the beginning of each and before that, the agenda suggests some break, break points and so what I would ask at the beginning of each sessions' group, which will start very soon to put on the board the main points that you want to discuss and try and do that within 10 minutes or so, and then, of course, there will be some areas that will be broadened and so on, but you will have some structure to start and not spend so much time on that, on other peripheral issues.
The other thing is let's focus on the process, not only of our meeting but on the process of the corporation or the entity that is going to be built and on the structure of that corporation. So that if we have an issue, for example, that is contentious we're not going to solve it, not now and maybe not in one general rule. Maybe we will have to go case-by case until we develop some rules. There are various ways in which you can develop a consensus about that, that will take a lot of time. But what we can do is establish already now what are the mechanisms by which these contentious issues will be brought to more or less rest or to an agreement. So let us focus on these issues and not broaden the discussion as much as we all have very strong feelings about those issues. I think we will achieve much more and I think now we should go and work. Thank you.