Ronda Hauben on 31 Jul 2000 08:49:23 -0000

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<nettime> Complaint to US Dept of Commerce on ICANN abuse of users

I sent the following to Becky Burr a few minutes ago as a formal 
complaint about the ICANN abuse of users 

My proposal is online at the Dept of Commerce NTIA web site and 
also at

I welcome comments and discussion on the issues raised by the letter
I have sent to Becky Burr and on the actual problem that has to 
be solved to protect and scale the vital functions of the Internet
in the public interest.


>Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 11:57:34 -0400 (EDT)
>From: <>
>Subject: Formal complaint of abuse of users by ICANN

Becky Burr
U.S. Dept of Commerce
Washington, D.C.

Dear Becky

Have you tried to register for ICANN's membership? First the membership
is an ill conceived notion to try to hide that ICANN has been formed
to deny the public interest with regard to the Internet's names,
numbers and protocols. It's an effort to make it seem that a non profit
corporation can be entrusted with the ownership and control of vital
functions of the infrastructure of the Internet. A nonprofit corporation
can't be entrusted with this. These are vital social and public 
resources and they can't be put into a private sector entity.

However, rather than the US government making it possible to 
examine the problem of how to protect the vital functions of the 
Internet and to scale them in the public interest, ICANN was empowered
by the U.S. Department of Commerce with unbridled powers and a limited 
provision was created for so called "membership" of users, i.e. some 
limited right supposedly to vote for certain so called at large directors. 

Well, people are now trying to sign up for that membership, for that
limited right to vote and it is clear that the ICANN folks are
not even making any access available to that. The version to sign
up at the ICANN web site requires frames. So people who don't have
a browser with frames are not able to even use that part of the 
web site. And an alternative web site set up in another country
gives a message of "We are sorry. The database is currently overloaded.
Please try again when the system is less busy." when I tried to sign

Clearly the whole ICANN model is not appropriate for the needs
of the Internet and its users.

I did propose a different model, and a prototype to build this
model to you before ICANN was given the U.S. Dept of Commerce

Clearly it was crucial that you explore other models and try
to determine what was the best proposal for the problem the 
U.S. government was faced with, namely how to protect the vital
functions of the Internet from vested interests and to make
it possible for them to scale.

It seems that the U.S. government wasn't even interested
in trying to identify the problem that had to be solved,
let alone in trying to determine how to solve it.

I am formerly objecting to the whole process of the creation
and development of ICANN by the U.S. Department of Commerce,
and requesting that you find a way to have the proposal I 
provided the Department of Commerce implemented.

My proposal provided a means to create meaningful online participation 
by users and for computer scientists supported by their governments
to create an open process that would utilize the Internet and 
its interactive processes to create the cooperative form needed
to safeguard the vital functions of the Internet's infrastructure.
That is what is needed not an institutional entity to encourage
the "vested interests" to fight over power and control over vital
functions of the Internet.

I am sending this to you as a formal complaint of not being
allowed to register with ICANN and asking that you take the necessary
means to stop the abuse of users and the Internet that ICANN 


Ronda Hauben
244 West 72nd Street Apt 15D
New York, N.Y. 10023

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