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ICANN Ombudsman – Office of No Independence?


In a recent Blog by the Ombudsman Chris LaHatte while responding to DCA’s complaints of Conflict of interest against two board members Mike Silber and Chris Disspain . In  his conclusions LaHatte states “I consider that no disqualifying conflict of interest, or indeed any conflict of interest at all,”.

He notes however that Mike Silber is Director and treasurer of ccTLD .za domain name authority and member of the Management Committee and treasurer of Internet Service provider Association (ISPA) South Africa, while Chris Disspain is Director and CEO of .au Domain Administration Limited, the .au ccTLD manager; .au has sponsorship agreement with ICANN under which .au pays ICANN a yearly amount based on the amount of names under management. Former Officer of ICANN, Paul Levins, has been named as a Director of .au Domain Administration Limited.”

In his recent blog post, Murphy notes Silbers affiliations saying “Silber is treasurer of ZADNA, the South African domain name authority, which oversees .za policy and ergo Uniforum’s ccTLD business, which is arguably a close connection to the .africa applicant”

Having been following the dotAfrica case for a while now, I believe that the Ombudsman opportunistic dismissal of DCA’s alleged COI on Mike Silber is an embarrassment to his office’s Independence from ICANN, as I  read more


James Barnley

I’m the editor of the DomainingAfrica. I write about internet and social media, focusing mainly on Domains. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll get a lot of information on Domain Issues, ICANN, new gtld’s, Mobile technology and social media.

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