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Tuesday, February 21, 2006


The ALAC Deceives Vint Cerf

1. The ALAC's Bret Fausett sent the following e-mail to Vint Cerf:

From: Bret Fausett

Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 3:36 PM
To: Vint Cerf;
Subject: ALAC Input on ICANN-VRSN Agreement

Dear Dr. Cerf and Members of the Board of Directors:

The At Large Advisory Committee ("ALAC") has carefully reviewed and considered the revised agreements between ICANN and Verisign and does not believe that the revisions address the serious concerns of registrants previously described by the ALAC in both its written submissions and its meeting with the Board in Vancouver. In order to fulfill ICANN's role of
promoting and sustaining a competitive environment, the ALAC recommends that the Board take the following actions:

1. Reject the proposed settlement agreement;
2. Proceed to trial with Verisign; and
3. Begin a renewal/rebid process for .COM in accord with the renewal
provisions of the existing agreement.

The ALAC understands that ICANN Staff believes that one of the litigation risks to ICANN is that the legal foundation on which ICANN was built will be eroded. We believe that this is a risk worth taking. An ICANN that cannot ensure competition and protect registrants from
monopolistic pricing is not an ICANN worth retaining.

Respectfully submitted,
At Large Advisory Committee

2. Vint Cerf replies:

Brett, is this a unanimous expression?


Vinton G Cerf
Chief Internet Evangelist
Suite 384
13800 Coppermine Road
Herndon, VA 20171

+1 703 234-1823
+1 703-234-5822 (f)


3. Bret responds:

Yes, this was agreed by the Committee without any dissent.


4. The problem:

According to the public record, only two thirds of the members of the ALAC agreed with the position put forward; the other third of the Committee did not comment, and candidly the Committee failed to even discuss the revised settlement agreement. Stating that there was no dissent when a topic has only been under consideration for two days is stretching the truth substantially.

This statement is no more than a shallow response that is totally unsupported by the fruits of discourse. Nowhere do we see a discussion as to why ICANN should proceed to trial with VeriSign instead of engaging in another round of negotiations. Nowhere do we see legitimate reasons stated as to why this proposed settlement should be scrapped. This is not an example of substantive decision-making... this is nothing more than shooting from the hip on the part of those that aren't inclined to fully evaluate and discuss a proposed settlement.

The ALAC did not conduct a vote of it's membership. It merely scrambled to release a pithy comment bereft of supporting reasoning. The ALAC wants the proposed settlement agreement rejected -- it would be nice to know why. The ALAC wants the trial to resume -- it would be nice to know why. Of course, we'll never know why since no real discussion of the issues has ever transpired. Let's just hope that the board recognizes uninformed opinion.

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