Letter from J. Beckwith Burr (US DoC) to Esther
Dyson and Mike Roberts (ICANN)
(July 8, 1999)
July 8, 1999
Dear Esther and Michael:
Thank you very much for your report outlining the tremendous progress that has been made in the six months since the United States Department of Commerce officially recognized ICANN as the global, non-profit consensus organization envisioned in our White Paper issued in June 1998.
The many achievements you have made since last November are especially noteworthy in light of the challenge presented in creating a world-wide, non-profit, private consensus organization consistent with the core principles of stability, competition, private sector, bottom-up coordination and geographic representation inherent to the Internet. We appreciate the concrete examples of the steps you have taken toward our shared goal of transitioning technical management of the domain name system, after years of direct government involvement, to private sector hands.
In carefully reviewing your report, and the considerable progress made toward establishing the structures for representative decision making contemplated in the White paper, there is still important work to be done:
As your report makes clear, the process of establishing ICANN has understandably been a difficult and contentious one from the beginning. It is therefore incumbent on all of us engaged in this process, both in our public and private actions, to take steps to ensure that, both in substance and in tone, we set an example for accuracy, civility, and respect. We understand that in this environment, it is not always easy to be consistent in this regard, but it is essential to achieving our shared goal.
On behalf of the Department, let me thank you, again, for your report. It is a credit to you both, the Board of Directors and staff of ICANN, and the entire Internet community that we have made such tremendous progress in the past six months. With these actions, and the other steps already taken by ICANN, we believe that ICANN will put itself on a very firm footing to achieve the goals and principles spelled out in the White Paper.
J. Beckwith Burr
Click here for Esther Dyson's response to this letter.