RE: [council] Update on Declaration of conflict of interest
- To: "'Bruce Tonkin'" <Bruce.Tonkin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: RE: [council] Update on Declaration of conflict of interest
- From: "Neuman, Jeff" <Jeff.Neuman@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 09:42:29 -0500
- Sender: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I guess I will be the first to respond. Bruce, personally I have the utmost
respect for you as a person and in your role as chair of the GNSO Council.
I truly believe your motives were in the right place in agreeing to serve on
the VeriSign committee and I in no way believe that your serving in that
capacity serves as a conflict of interest.
I believe the job you have done as GNSO Chair has been exemplary and that
you should continue in this role (even beyond the annual meeting). It is
hard for me to understand who or why anyone could even question your loyalty
on this or any other issue and I also do not believe that it is a conflict
for you to serve on the VeriSign committee. I trust that if your opinion
differs from that of VeriSign, then you would make your thoughts known to us
Thanks for this statement, and for your honesty.
From: Bruce Tonkin [mailto:Bruce.Tonkin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 11:58 PM
Subject: [council] Update on Declaration of conflict of interest
I need to update my conflict of interest statement below.
In my role as Chief Technology Officer of Melbourne IT, I have requested
that Verisign voluntarily suspend the Sitefinder service and participate
in the various review processes now underway.
Melbourne IT voted in favour of a motion in the registrars constituency
concerning the Sitefinder service, supports the request from ICANN for
Verisign to voluntarily suspend the service
(http://www.icann.org/announcements/advisory-19sep03.htm), supports the
recommendations of ICANN's Security and Stability Committee
supports the GNSO resolution passed at the last Council meeting
(consistent with Registrar interests)
As a result of my request of Verisign to consider carefully the issues
raised by the ICANN community, Verisign asked me to chair a group of
internal Verisign technical staff and external people to collate and
address each of the issues that have been raised by the community. I am
doing this as I believe that it is important to work with all parties on
this issue. I don't hold myself out to be a technical expert on the
subject of wildcards, but I hope I can help with processes to address
technical issues as they are raised. I am receiving no compensation (nor
would I accept any compensation), nor is Melbourne IT receiving any
compensation for this role.
The details of this group can be found here:
Verisign will take its own actions in response to any advice it
It is still both Melbourne IT's and my personal opinion that Verisign
should show good faith and voluntarily suspend the service while the
issues are analysed.
At a personal level, if I am ever publicly critical of how things have
been done by an individual or organisation, I also accept an obligation
to attempt to work in good faith with the entity to correct the problem.
I have heard from members of the community that I may have compromised
the GNSO in my actions, and that is not my intent. I apologise to the
GNSO Council if that is the result.
To avoid any conflicts of interest with the GNSO I will not chair any
discussion on the Sitefinder service, but I will support any
recommendation of the GNSO on this matter.
If it is the wish of the GNSO Council, I am also happy to resign as
chair if the GNSO believes that the conflict of interest is too severe.
My current term as GNSO chair expires at the end of the ICANN annual
meeting in Carthage Tunisia, at which time the constituencies will need
to appoint their new members, and the new council will need to formally
elect a chair of the GNSO.
Registrars Representative on the GNSO Council
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bruce Tonkin
> Sent: Thursday, 25 September 2003 9:58 AM
> To: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [council] Declaration of conflict of interest
> regarding agenda item 4
> Hello All,
> Agenda item 4 of the GNSO Council meeting relates to a
> discussion of Verisign's introduction of wildcard entries
> into the .com and .net zones.
> I would like to declare the following potential conflicts of
> interest. I am an employee of Melbourne IT.
> Melbourne IT is a customer of Verisign, and Melbourne IT has
> directly communicated with Verisign over this issue.
> Melbourne IT is a supplier to Microsoft of domain name
> services. Microsoft currently benefits from a feature in
> their browsers that can direct users to a MSN search page
> when a domain name is not found in the DNS. In some cases
> users may be offered the chance to register domain names.
> Melbourne IT has not been approached by Microsoft to advocate
> any position on this matter, and I have seen no public
> response from Microsoft on this matter.
> Melbourne IT is a supplier to Yahoo of domain name services.
> It has been reported that Yahoo has an interest in that it is
> in the process of acquiring Overture (which manages
> paid/sponsored search listings), and owns Inktomi (which
> provides search listing for the Verisign service). I don't
> know how this may affect Melbourne IT with respect to domain
> name services. Melbourne IT has not been approached by Yahoo
> to advocate any position on this matter, and I have seen no
> public response from Yahoo on this matter.
> While I believe that my views are independent of any of the
> potential conflicts of interests above and that I act in the
> best interests of ICANN whilst acting in my capacity as chair
> of the GNSO, I want to ensure that I am not seen to bias any
> discussion on this topic as chair of the GNSO.
> As has been my practice in the past on issues where I have a
> potential conflict of interest, I have asked Philip Sheppard
> as the immediate past chair of the Names Council, to chair
> the discussion on agenda item 4. I have also invited the
> ICANN General Counsel (John Jeffrey), the Chair of the
> Security and Stability Advisory Committee (Steve Crocker),
> and a representative from Verisign (Chuck Gomes) to be
> available to answer any questions of a factual nature.
> Bruce Tonkin