The webcast for ICANN's meeting in New Zealand is finally up and running, and I have managed to join (at 11pm my time) with the end of the report reading and the public forum.
It's just like being there. In fact, if often seems so abstract when you're there in person that to watch it on a flickery screen over the Net seems somehow more real.
What's happened the past day or so? Who knows? There is precious little information. I still don't have the SSAC's reports – flagged by Twomey as newsworthy (more so than this transparency, vote fudging stuff). What Twomey has just announced – seemingly out of the blue – is a new Presidential Strategic Committee.
God knows why, although I remember in an interview with Twomey in Vancouver that he said he planned to create more presidential committees, having formed one over IDNs. The committee membership is not fully decided, nor it seems is its role. But it has Karklins and Cade on it, which is odd. Is Twomey trying to create a brand new ICANN constituency because everyone else has decided they don't trust him anymore? That's how it looks at the moment.
Another point of interest: Vint Cerf seems to have finally understood that Edward Hasbrouck will not be beaten down through process, daft delay and ingenuous behaviour.
Mr Hasbrouck originally had quite a simple request about the .travel domain. His predictions and warnings also turned out to be completely true. Yet he was ignored and then mucked about. Bad idea. Mr Hasbrouck comes in the best tradition of the unshakeable investigative journalist and, having been dismissed, has pushed to the very edge the requirement for ICANN to offer an independent review of its processes and decisions.
Hasbrouck's angry encounter with Vint Cerf in Vancouver still didn't wake the chairman up to the fact that he wasn't going to let go. But just now Cerf said he had received 31 letters supporting Hasbrouck. The latest ICANN delay tactic is now to direct him to ICANN's independent reviewers, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR). The ICDR is the place to go, Mr Hasbrouck is told after six months of constant questioning.
And ICANN will create a Web form, Vint said, to make it easier for people in future to apply for an independent review.
Don't hold your breath for that form, or for how good or useful that form will be. Or even if the ICDR will even launch a proper review of ICANN. But clearly there have been discussions going on in ICANN towers. I wouldn't put it past Mr Hasbrouck to push this the whole way. And I know alot of people who will be supporting him in that effort.
One of them is writing this post.