Letter from Kevin E. Brannon to Paul Twomey Regarding VeriSign WLS
6 May 2003
Kevin E. Brannon
Preston, Gates & Ellis LLP
Dear Mr. Brannon:
This is in response to your 9 April 2003 letter to Dr. Twomey concerning the VeriSign Wait-Listing Service ("WLS") proposal, which was the subject of ICANN Board resolution 02.100 adopted on 23 August 2002. As indicated in your letter, two reconsideration requests (submitted by Dotster and VeriSign Registry) are currently pending regarding that resolution.
As you know, during 2002 the ICANN community went through an intensive review of ICANN's mission and its processes and structures supporting accomplishment of that mission. This process was guided by the Committee on Evolution and Reform, which launched a community-based Accountability Framework Assistance Project to design improvements to ICANN's reconsideration, independent review, and other accountability mechanisms. After publishing a "Preliminary Framework" on 29 July 2002, the Assistance Project issued its final "Recommendations Regarding Accountability" on 23 August 2002. Those recommendations called for significant revisions to improve the reconsideration and independent review processes. Over the next several months these and other reform measures were, after extensive community discussion, embodied in New Bylaws, which define improved independent review and reconsideration mechanisms that replace the former policies on these topics.
Your letter inquires about the status of Dotster's (RC 02-5) and VeriSign's (RC 02-6) reconsideration requests. Those requests were submitted after the final "Recommendations Regarding Accountability" were issued and the task of replacing the former policies had begun. Once the New Bylaws (with the new reconsideration and independent review mechanisms) became effective on 15 December 2002 and the transition period began, it became necessary to review the internal processes for handling reconsideration matters, as well as to ensure that the two pending reconsideration requests were handled appropriately in the context of the transition to the new procedures. As a result, the Reconsideration Committee's recommendations on both requests are still incomplete.
After reviewing the schedule with the Reconsideration Committee, I am authorized to state that the Committee's goal is to issue completed recommendations on both requests in time so that the Board may consider the recommendations no later than its Montreal meeting on 26 June 2003.
Your letter also inquires about ICANN staff discussions with VeriSign concerning WLS. As you know, resolution 02.100 authorized the ICANN President and General Counsel to conduct negotiations on behalf of ICANN toward appropriate revisions to the .com and .net registry agreements between ICANN and VeriSign to allow VeriSign to offer the WLS service, under the additional conditions stated in that resolution. Although preliminary discussions have occurred regarding how the new service might be reflected in the agreements, these discussions have not been concluded in view of the pendency of Reconsideration Requests 02-5 and 02-6.
Finally, please note that my 3 November 2002 message to you requested that all communications to ICANN regarding VeriSign's Reconsideration Request 02-6 be copied to your opposing counsel, Philip L. Sbarbaro at <email@example.com>. I assume that the failure to copy Mr. Sbarbaro on your 9 April 2003 letter was due to inadvertence; please take care in the future to copy Mr. Sbarbaro on correspondence concerning VeriSign's reconsideration request.
ICANN General Counsel
|cc:||Nancy Victory, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications
Philip L. Sbarbaro, Esq.
Paul Twomey, President and CEO, ICANN