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Dyson: Misrepresented on ICANN position

Esther Dyson responds: Many of the quotes and paraphrases in this article were inaccurate or careless about subjects that some people take very seriously.


Dyson: Misrepresented on ICANN position

In response to the April 27 Wharton article that ran on News.com, "Esther Dyson on Internet privacy":

Unfortunately, many of the quotes and paraphrases in this article were inaccurate or careless about subjects that some people take very seriously. The big problem is the coverage of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), although some other items similarly missed the point. There is a lot about ICANN to criticize, but I do so in the hope of improving it, and inaccurate reporting hurts the credibility of what I was trying to say.

I would be happy to sit down with you and discuss ICANN, and what I think should be done to fix it, in greater detail.

Some of my criticisms of ICANN are correctly reported and accurate, I believe. However:

I do NOT think the Commerce Department should take over any of its functions. I do NOT consider ICANN's job to be "Internet policing."

I do NOT recall talking about personal security on the Internet; I think I did mention privacy (which is a different concept) and in a different context.

ICANN's mandate has not grown, though its activities may have.

I'm not sure the Jonathan Postel ID is quite accurate; I said researcher.

"She said what she has learned most is that business strategies and plans--of great importance to U.S. companies--make up only about 5 percent of what counts in places like Russia." Actually, I said that this holds true everywhere!

And most of what I said about Russia was about the past.

I am NOT investing in Africa; I am interested in what happens there and I'm funding an NGO (non-government organization) there.

And finally, though I did admit "humility" about a couple of my assumptions in "Release 2.0," I'm pretty happy with how the book has stood up over time. And I don't think occasionally being wrong is shameful--if you admit it!

Esther Dyson



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