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The Internet Society's .Org Bid 

ISOC Update on the bid for .ORG

October 8, 2002

Members of the ICANN Board,

As a follow-up to the applicant comments on the Final Report of the staff, I would like to provide an update on various matters pertaining to the Internet Society’s (ISOC) bid, and thank you in advance for your careful consideration.

Incorporation

The Public Interest Registry (PIR) is incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, USA, which has a well-established not-for-profit corporate law statute consistent with PIR’s goals and objectives. As noted in our bid, PIR will be the registry operator for .ORG. Appropriate Articles of Incorporation have been adopted and other important administrative actions (such as opening bank accounts and acquiring tax ID numbers) have been completed. Office space is available in the same building as the ISOC office in Reston, Virginia, and is available to PIR immediately should our bid be selected.

PIR Board

Nominations for PIR Board members were solicited and received from the global community. Per our proposal, the ISOC Board has selected the start-up Board of Directors of PIR, which consists of 7 members, each of whom will serve a one-year term. Many of these individuals have longstanding and close ties to ISOC, and they will provide guidance to PIR management consistent with ISOC’s principles. Further, I will serve as an ex-officio member, and David Maher, currently VP of Public Policy for ISOC, will be a full member to aid in the transition and ensure maximum continuity. Future appointments will be made in a similar manner, except that Board members will serve 3 year staggered terms.

The PIR Board is composed of individuals who have shown themselves to be extremely competent through long and distinguished careers and they are clearly capable of directing PIR through the transition and through the first year of start-up:

  • Gerry Baraņano (USA): Gerry is VP of Sales, Nortel Networks, and VP of Marketing, Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF). Gerry has extensive skills and experience in marketing, general management, and the development of start-up organizations. He has also served on the boards of several not-for-profits.
  • Frode Greisen (Europe): Frode is a board member of the RIPE NCC Association; a former president of the European Research and Education Network (EARN); and a former chairman and founding board member of ISOC. Frode brings excellent technical and infrastructure expertise.
  • Lawrence H. Landweber (USA): Larry is the John P. Morgridge Professor of Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been President and Chairman of the Board of ISOC, and the Society's VP of Education. Larry has been creating Internet infrastructure and educational programs in developing countries for years, and helped establish the first Internet gateways between the U.S. and countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
  • Alan Levin (Africa): Alan is a noted Internet activist, a network engineer, and a business development expert. He helped to found and manage CITI (the Cape IT Initiative), AfriDNS, and Bandwidth Barn (an ICT community incubator and bandwidth co-operative). He is active with AfriNIC, ISOC’s South Africa chapter, and AFNOG.
  • Andy Linton (Australasia): A network architect and engineer, Andy has served on the Council of InternetNZ, the non-profit common interest society that is the steward of the .NZ ccTLD. He has designed and deployed Internet solutions in Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Niue, and has been the DNS technical domain contact for Nepal, Western Samoa, and Kiribati. He’s currently providing solutions and training for APNIC and RIPE.
  • David W. Maher (USA): A partner in the Chicago office of the law firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, David is an intellectual property and communications law expert, and ISOC’s VP - Public Policy. He was a member of the IAHC (International Ad Hoc Committee), which provided the foundation for the UDRP, is a member of the WIPO Arbitration & Mediation Center Panel of Neutrals, and is a member of the Visiting Committee to the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. To avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, David has indicated that he will resign his position as VP - Public Policy if our bid is selected.
  • Marc Rotenberg (USA): Marc is the Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), and is Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. Marc serves as Chairman of the American Bar Association Committee on Privacy and Information Protection, and on the UNESCO Expert Panel on Cyberspace Law. He also brings extensive experience in non-profit management.
  • Lynn St.Amour (USA and Europe) – Ex-officio ISOC liaison. President & CEO – Internet Society.

Staff

If the ISOC proposal is selected, we will be in a good position with respect to hiring management and staff, as recruiting efforts began some time ago and are well advanced. The Board and management of PIR will drive overall management and policy decisions for .ORG, and to ensure continuity and a fast turnaround David Maher and I (with the support of the PIR Board) will conduct contract negotiations with ICANN, with support as needed from Afilias.

Advisory Council

We have begun to build the Advisory Council, a key mechanism for obtaining community input, and have also lined up a number of very good candidates, many of whom were identified through the ISOC/PIR board searches. We expect the PIR Board to establish this council as a top priority and will give our full support to this undertaking.

Registry Operations

Our back-end contractor, Afilias, has begun executing the operational plans noted in our comments in the Final Report. Work is underway on the unique RRP proxy, which will enable uninterrupted registrar operations during the conversion. We expect this conversion to go smoothly, since Afilias has existing relationships with registrars accounting for over 99% of existing .ORG registrations. Additionally, Afilias has commenced ordering of testing, staging and other equipment and supplemental staff is in place and at work. Afilias’ actions are consistent with the binding letter of intent referenced in our proposal (Appendix S).

As an extra measure of certainty, Afilias has engaged highly experienced and knowledgeable outside engineering expertise to examine the key components of the registry transition and provide any advice needed to ensure that the .ORG transition process occurs in a stable, secure and reliable manner. Afilias has informed us that they are confident of meeting the January 1 deadline to perform the cut-over of the registry. And ISOC is confident they will meet this deadline.

Registrar Communications

We are creating a dedicated registrar web site to provide detailed information and instructions as part of the transition of the .ORG domain. In addition, we are creating an outreach plan that will ensure that all .ORG registrars are kept fully informed regarding the conversion.

Registrant Communications

A public website for .ORG is also being developed. This site will provide an explanation of the redelegation process, instructions for registrants, FAQ’s and other information that may be helpful to registrants and the non-commercial community. We expect this site to begin serving the community as soon as the agreement is finalized with ICANN.

ICANN Contract

We have begun developing the various exhibits needed to complete the agreement with ICANN, should our bid be selected. With only a few days between the Board decision and the targeted date for completion of the contract, we feel it is important to draft as much of the contract as possible now.

In closing, several bidders have attempted to discredit our proposal by use of innuendo, by raising non-existent issues, and by reiterating so-called “concerns” long since addressed in detail both in the proposal and in numerous subsequent communications. We have not been deterred. Rather, we are completely focused on a stable and successful transition process for .ORG, and are fully on track to complete both a contract with ICANN and the cut-over of the registry on January 1, 2003 should our bid be selected.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance and thank you again for your thoughtful consideration.

Sincerely,

Lynn St. Amour
President & CEO
The Internet Society