U.S. Advocacy Office Wants ICANN to Open Up

Citing concerns that the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and
is ruling with too much autonomy, the U.S. Office of Advocacy
filed a request this week with the group asking it to create a formal
accountability statement.

The government’s small business watchdog said it feels ICANN is responsible
for taking advantage of its power by putting themselves in a position to
evade accountability through the lack of a set of internal rules and

The statement warned that a set of internal procedural policies are
required by ICANN’s “memorandum of understanding” with the U.S. Department
of Commerce.

The administration said ICANN’s current organization of posted comments is
jumbled and difficult to follow. It said comments from many proceedings
were slapped together in a single list, making them very confusing to read.
It also said ICANN does not appear to have any means of acknowledging receipt of
comments, or records of comments made.

The advocacy office also said people who have commented to ICANN were
either not given consideration or were completely ignored. The statement
said that no evidence exists to demonstrate that comments were reviewed.

On the matter of transparency, congressman and chairman of the House
Commerce Committee, Thomas J. Bliley, a Virginia Republican, said he had a problem with the
way ICANN conducts its board meetings.

He said that although they are mostly open, board members refrain from making decisions until they meet in closed
sessions, prompting him to wonder why the board seems to be operating in
secret. The office said this undermines ICANN’s credibility.

The statement urged ICANN to begin the process of adopting procedural
policy at its November meeting.

The request was filed two days after ICANN conducted elections, filling
two-thirds of its 18 board slots.

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