RealTime IT News

Bliley Turns Guns from ICANN to White House

Fresh from renewed criticisms of the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers' dealings with the Department of Justice, House Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley is now calling for investigations into whether the White House engaged in illegal fundraising for the financially-strapped organization.

According to published reports, Bliley Thursday sent a letter asking for detailed descriptions of the White House's involvement in fundraising efforts for ICANN.

Bliley is basing the accusation on two e-mails describing White House help for a private donation campaign, which ICANN turned over to the Department of Commerce. Discussions with White House employee Tom Kalil is included in the correspondence.

Bliley, Virginia Republican, directed the letter to White House Counsel Charles Ruff and asked for specific information on Kalil's involvement in the fundraising.

Last month Dyson dropped the proposed $1 registrar fee to help pay ICANN's expenses, but warned was facing impending financial difficulty. Last month, interim president and CEO Mike Roberts said ICANN was nearly $800,000 in the red.

This skirmish is another round in the boxing match between ICANN and Bliley. Last week Bliley sent a separate letter accusing the ICANN and the DoJ of colluding against Virginia-based former domain registrar monopoly holder Network Solutions.

The allegations involved conversations between ICANN's Esther Dyson and DoJ lawyers for the NSI antitrust investigation.

The Dyson-Bliley battle started in July, when Dyson defended ICANN against Bliley's criticism of the group's procedures and operations, including the fees ICANN charged registrars.