Letter from Nancy J. Victory to M. Stuart Lynn
10 July 2002
Mr. M. Stuart Lynn
Dear Mr. Lynn:
As you know, the Department of Commerce and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) entered into a memorandum of during November 1998 to develop the mechanisms, methods, and procedures necessary to transition management responsibility for the domain name system (DNS) functions to the private sector. The transition period was intended to assure the Department of Commerce and the Internet community that ICANN possessed the technical capabilities and resources to undertake this important responsibility. Concerned that private sector management of the DNS would not be realized without organizational reform, ICANN recently reexamined its mission, corporate structure and processes, and adopted plans for a significant restructuring of the organization.
The memorandm of understanding will expire on September 30, 2002, and in the coming weeks, the Department of Commerce will assess whether to renew, extend, or modify this agreement. In making this decision, the Department will examine not only ICANN's progress towards fulfilling the transition tasks, but also the success of ICANN's recent reform efforts. Specifically, the Department will assess whether ICANN has clarified its mission and responsibilities, and reformed its decision-making processes to provide for transparency and accountability, the views of all Internet stakeholders to be heard, and an effective advisory role for governments. The Department will also consider whether ICANN has a mechanism to ensure adequate financial and personnel resources to carry out its mission. To assist the Department in its review, I request that you provide me with a report detailing ICANN's efforts in these areas, as well as any other information that might inform the Department in its decision-making with respect to this agreement, no later than August 15, 2002.
The next few months will be a critical time not only for the Department and ICANN, but also for the global Internet community. It is vital that the Department have complete assurance of ICANN's ability to carry out the important mission of domain name system management in an effective and stable manner well into the future. Your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.
Nancy J. Victory
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