ICANN Under Fire: John Gilmore Speaks

In a Salon interview published yesterday, John Gilmore speaks out about recent ICANN controversies. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is the organisation responsible for regulation of domain names, registrars, and disputes. They are currently under fire for being slow, ineffective, and secretive. Recent fuel for the fire includes a lawsuit against ICANN by its director, seeking to force ICANN to allow him to look at the books. Through Gilmoreis involvement in this lawsuit and his criticisms of ICANN, he hopes to make them more accountable to the public for their actions. According to the article:

I hope to force ICANN to actually be accountable to its directors for its actions. I sit on half a dozen boards of directors today, and have been on more than a dozen through my life. I have never been on the board of an organization that tried to deny me access to its financial information -- never. ICANN has done exactly this to Karl and other directors.

I believe itis because there is information in there about how ICANN has misused its money, and/or has favored people who lent or gave it money. For example, how much has Jones, Day (ICANNis lawyers, primarily Joe Sims) been paid by ICANN?

ICANN will tell you that they only want a veto over whether Karl can see or copy or publish "certain" information. The catch is that the ICANN staff works for the board of directors, not the other way around. They are trying to tell their boss what he can see and what he can do. It seemed a bit uppity to me, particularly when the nonprofit in question happens to run the global monopoly on domain names.

He goes on to suggest that the best thing for ICANN right now is for it to be scrapped in favour of a more open organisation.

You can read the interview in full at Salon.