FOIA Request Made to U.S. Department of Commerce for Materials Linked to ICANN .Net, .Com Agreements

FOIA Request Made to U.S. Department of Commerce
for Materials Linked to ICANN .Net, .Com Agreements

Request Seeks to Define Scope and Intent of Discussions `Out of Public View’

Washington, D.C. – Dec 3, 2005 – The Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Department of Commerce for materials related to discussions, memos and meetings and related contact that the government agency has had with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on matters relating to the .net and .com registry agreements. The request, filed Dec. 1, covers the period from Jan. 1, 2004.

According to John Berard, spokesperson for CFIT, conflicting comments and reports from Commerce and ICANN, led to the request.

“The day ICANN announced the .com deal with VeriSign, news reports were already quoting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Michael Gallagher endorsing it, yet reports from the agency since that time suggest the deal is still to be seen, let alone endorsed,” said Berard.

CFIT received confirmation of receipt of the request yesterday afternoon.

The FOIA request specifically asks for “all memoranda, policy papers, emails, correspondence, notes, speeches or any other documents (electronic or printed) between (to or from) any agents or staff of the Department of Commerce, including but not limited to the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and his office, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, including but not limited to the Office of the Chief Counsel and her office, VeriSign Inc., and the Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the Department of Justice, including but not limited to the Antitrust Division, related to or connected with the “.Net registry agreement” and the current and proposed “.Com registry agreement,” between January 1, 2004 to December 1, 2005.”

“It is clear too much has happened out of public view and contrary to the bottom-up, consensus-driven decision-making that is a founding principle of ICANN,” said Berard.

About The Coalition for ICANN Transparency
The Coalition for ICANN Transparency Inc. – CFIT – is a not for profit Delaware corporation based in Washington, D.C. CFIT’s supporters include individuals, organizations, institutions and companies who are committed to the core principles on which ICANN, the Internet governing body is founded.  More information on CFIT is located at www.cfit.info.

Media Contact:
Marcie Hatch
Zeno Group for CFIT
marcie.hatch@zenogroup.com
415.369.8120

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