Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

It looks like I have lots to learn and a lot of work ahead of me. I had some discussions with the ICANN staff and board about my blogging and everyone has been very supportive and encouraging. I will try to blog as much as possible. I think the only real constraint that I have will be in areas where I have privileged and confidential information or where we have an odd relationship. For example, since there is an ongoing litigation with Verisign, I won't be blogging about how they suck like I used to. I will try to reset biases and try to consider all of these important issues with an open mind and more rigor. My thoughts about Verisign will be expressed as official comments during board meetings. I'll have to leave reporting about them and other off-limits areas to the rest of you.


Really you should stop talking with Jimbo Wales, I think he infected you with the NPOV [1] syndrom :o)


Funny you mention supportive and encouraging. My cousin finally has his blog set up with the help of Mena! He is very excitied to get started and I thrilled to be encouraging a new blogger myself.

Check him out at


Who elected you to the ICANN Board ?

Who were the other candidates you ran against ?

ICANN is a democracy, right ?

What was the vote count in the election ?

What role did PSI have in your election ?

Does PSI still operate a legacy root-server?

I was appointed to the board by the Nomination Committee which is an independent committee. More information on Nom-Com here.. I do not know who else ran against me. As far as I know this information is not public. Democracy is a difficult word since it has many meanings. ICANN tries as hard as possible to represent the interests of all of the stake-holders of the Internet in a fair process, so in that was it is democratic.

The Nom-Com process isn't really an "election". PSI no longer exists and has no role in the "election" process. According to the Root page, Cogent runs "C" now.

"I was appointed to the board"

Are you saying that you just happened to be walking
down the street one day, minding your own business,
and out of the blue, you were not only "nominated" to
the ICANN Board but apparently placed on the ICANN
Board ?

As for answers:

Who elected you to the ICANN Board ?
A: There apparently was no election, some secret group
did all of the selection.

Who were the other candidates you ran against ?
A: Again, this is a secret.

ICANN is a democracy, right ?
A: No

What was the vote count in the election ?
A: There was no election.

What role did PSI have in your election ?
A: When PSI did exist, it could have had some role.
Obviously, it takes years to find ICANN Board members
who will vote the party line. Company names can change
during that time. The people in the party rarely change.

Does PSI still operate a legacy root-server?
A: Legacy root-servers are no longer needed. They have
been any-casted. A consumer's wireless access point
router creates aliases and makes it appear that the
legacy root-server IP addresses are on the consumer's

Mr. Answers: Please go read about the Nomination Committee process. There is a non-voting chair. Members of the committee are appointed by the different constituencies. They are chosen for a variety of reasons and try to select people to provide gender, regional and professional diversity for the board as well as other positions. The process is not an "election". The members of the committee are public, but the other people who "ran" are not. This is less about secrecy and more about privacy since people aren't campaigning to become elected, they are submitted statements of interest and being selected by a committee. Do you think schools should publish a list of all of the people they turn down who apply? The way that I got involved was that a variety of people, both for and against some of ICANNs positions had been pushing me to run for a board nomination. This year I decided apply. I sent in the standard form for the "Statement of Interest". ANYONE can do this. I actually only knew one person on the committee, Adam Peake. But clearly you haven't been reading my blog or the ICANN page or you would know this.

ICANN has strict conflict of interest rules. Board members who have conflicts can not participate in decisions where they are conflicted. This is one of the reasons for having such a large board. Many people have conflicts, but they are disclosed. I have no idea where you are going with the PSINet questions and I don't know why you think PSINet would vote "the party line" whatever that is. PSINet was always a pretty independent and if anything a rather defiant group if I remember correctly. Also, I was never on the board or directly responsible for anything at PSINet in the US. I was just involved in PSINet Japan.

Much of what you are posting regarding the ICANN Board
does not matter. Since 1998, the ICANN Board has not
made ONE decision to impact the Internet.

ICANN is Joe Sims' (attorney) legal play-toy. Joe Sims
is (was) Jon Postel's attorney, positioned to create
a corporation for Jon Postel to cash-out during the
.COM era. Jon Postel's cronies had already cashed-out
in various ways. You can see how Vinton Cerf cashed out,
via Worldcon with his 4+ billion dollar accounting error.

When the U.S. Government removed Jon Postel, Joe Sims
(and his attorney cronies) then found himself settling
the Jon Postel estate. Ever since, they have been
quietly shifting assets out of the estate into Jon
Postel's cronies hands. .ORG was one example, as it was
shifted to the ISOC. Assets, such as large address block
allocations, have of course been shifted to ARIN and
other companies, without any financial accounting for
the value of those assets.

As an ICANN Director, you would normally be responsible
for the ICANN Balance Sheet and other financial statements.
All of the important ICANN decisions are handled by
Joe Sims and company. Look at the horse-trade for .COM
with Verisign. The ICANN Board was never involved in that
deal-making. You are just figure-heads, window-dressing.

These sets of comments just show how much distrust people have against ICANN. And there are some good reasons for it, no doubt. But such attacks is what makes ICANN distrust individual anonymous participation. It is such a sad thing - a lose-lose situation when we could all be working together instead.

And most of all, it is silly to take this out on Joi - he wasn't party to the events that occurs before. He just got onto the board for goodness sake.

ps: For the record, I recommended Joi to the NomCom. No, I don't work for PSINet and neither did I think PSINet has any influence over the decision of Joi selection. I am also aware a few other people in the AP region been recommended to NomCom so yes, there was due process as far as I can see.

The World IS "Working Together".

The World IS routing around the ISOC and ICANN.

The World does know good from evil.

The World does value freedom.

The World supports truth and does not fear the Taliban.

The Taliban can no longer black-hole packets to coerce people.

Jon Postel is dead, even if the Taliban continues to
send e-mails from him.