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RealTime IT News

Dyson: NSI Stalling Domain Transition

Esther Dyson, the acting chairperson of the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, Tuesday accused Network Solutions of "mudslinging" and trying to stall ICANN's attempts to privatize the governance of the Internet and domain registration in particular.

Dyson made the comments in response to a June 11 letter from consumer advocate Ralph Nader and James Love, head of the Consumer Project on Technology. The pair wrote Dyson asking for more information on the issues ICANN plans to address, such as whether it will get involved in the issues of trademarks used in domains. They also asked Dyson to clarify whether ICANN will levy any domain fees and if so how they will be used.

Dyson Tuesday released a detailed response. In her reply to Nader, Dyson defended ICANN's work so far and she accused Network Solutions of trying to drum up opposition to ICANN from groups like Nader's Consumer Project on Technology.

"The questions you ask are legitimate, and we have legitimate answers to them. What is illegitimate is the motivation of some of the people who keep asking the same questions without paying attention to the answers."

In an interview with InternetNews, Dyson suggested that NSI is trying to discredit ICANN so that it can hold on to its monopoly in domain registrations.

"We would like to work with NSI. We believe in private enterprise and have been trying to negotiate with them rather than slinging mud. It is in their interest to delay things because as long as there are delays, they can keep earning money. They are happy with the status quo and don't need to form a real coalition," she said.

She goes on to accuse NSI of working through others who for economic, philosophical or political reasons are unhappy with the way the policies were formed.

"NSI's rhetoric is also quite inconsistent with its conduct. The company operates under the cloak of nondisclosure agreements covering not just technical and commercial information, but also the experiences of ICANN-accredited registrars now attempting to open up the domain-name registration business to competition.

Nader and CPT director James Love were unavailable for comment on Dyson's letter, a copy of which will be available at ICANN's Web site. Officials from NSI were also unavailable to respond to Dyson's criticisms.

Dyson said she doesn't expect the letter to put all of Nader's concerns to rest, but she hopes it will help him and other observers understand the crux of ICANN's battle.

"I think it's going to help us start selling our case more clearly and help people like Ralph Nader understand where truth and justice really is," she said.