ICM Registry Appeals to ICANN for Reconsideration, Files Violation of Freedom of Information Act Complaint
By: Q. Boyer (Courtesy of YNOT.com)
Posted: 5/19/2006

CYBERSPACE – In documents posted to its website today, ICM Registry disclosed that it has filed a “motion of reconsideration to ICANN and a complaint against the Department of Commerce in the DC Court.”

In its complaint, lodged under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), ICM states that the company is seeking “an order requiring the defendant United States Department of State to provide documents responsive to a FOIA request submitted on October 18, 2005… as to which the agency has yet to provide any responsive documents or otherwise respond substantively to ICM’s request.”

ICM is also seeking an order requiring the Commerce Department to “provide documents it withheld, and portions of other documents it redacted” when Commerce responded to two other FOIA requests ICM submitted in October and December of 2005.

“All three FOIA requests seek documents that will shed light on what role the United States government played,” in ICANN’s consideration of the .XXXs TLD ICM had proposed, according to the complaint.

“Documents released so far reveal that the United States government exerted undue political influence on ICANN’s consideration of the .XXX domain application,” ICM asserts in its complaint, “treating an independent corporation as a client agency of the United States government despite a lack of any legitimate authority to do so.”

“For this reason,” the complaint continues, “the government’s withholding of the documents is contrary to law.”

“Our story needs to be told,” chairman and president of ICM Stuart Lawley told The Register.

“We’ve been done wrong,” added Lawley. “I think what’s going on here is already clear, but I want the extra evidence.”

In the summary of their reconsideration request submitted to ICANN, ICM claims that “members of the (ICANN) Board voted against the ICM Agreement based on inaccurate information about the written statements of various governments concerning .XXX;” board members voted against the TLD based on “an unfounded concern that it could put ICANN ‘in a difficult position of having to enforce all of the world’s laws governing pornography’;” board members didn’t have “adequate information about the inappropriate involvement of the United States government in this process;” and, finally, that “Contrary to the direction of the Board…the ICANN President and General Counsel did not engage in negotiations with ICM Registry regarding amendments to the proposed registry agreement, nor did they recommend changes to respond to concerns expressed by the Board and/or ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee.”

ICM’s reconsideration request will be reviewed by four of ICANN’s directors. According to reports on the Register website, three of those four directors are among the nine who voted the proposal down last week.

ICM has posted its reconsideration request, the new FOIA complaint and a review and summary of documents obtained through its previous FOIA requests and copies of the documents obtained through those requests to the ICM website here: http://icmregistry.com/documents.html.

In addition to contributing to YNOT, Q is the Director of Traffic Development for NicheBucks.com and an eight-year veteran of the online adult industry.




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