[ALAC] Where is ALAC on the TAS problem?

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Wed Apr 18 23:16:55 UTC 2012

Yes,  I do agree that there is a PI angle here.  And the ALAC has a duty of

I have been following the updates from both thru my 'watcher' on the
Announcements page as well as the Skype chat.  Those of us with some
technical skills do indeed have worries; Dev, for one, has privately shared
a few, in fact in line with some of the questions you raised.

I've run a few operating support systems for a living so I confess some
sympathy here.  In my view, Akram's statement should give us pause; we now
have a proximate cause, a better understanding of the risk profile but less
than useful hard facts on impact or origination/initiation. So, let's keep
our powder dry and wait till we see what they come with in the promised
'details' on Friday.

- Carlton

Carlton A Samuels
Mobile: 876-818-1799
*Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround*

On Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 1:34 PM, Beau Brendler
<beaubrendler at earthlink.net>wrote:

> Greetings, colleagues.
> Some discussions are taking place on the NCSG list about the TAS problem
> and the way ICANN is handling it. I do not see similar discussions taking
> place among the at-large. Pardon me if I have missed them. Indeed, I
> believe some have raised the issue in the skype chat of the TAS SNAFU (or,
> as my English relatives would call it, monumental cock-up), but with the
> opinion that end-users are not affected, so it's not worth worrying about.
> In my opinion the situation has become worse, to the degree I beg to
> differ -- the public interest is indeed affected. Note the most current
> communique from ICANN staff April 17:
> ---------------------------------------------------
> TAS Interruption - Update (17 April 2012)
> Statement by Akram Atallah, COO
> 17 April 2012
> ICANN's review of the technical glitch that resulted in the TLD
> application system being taken offline indicates that the issue stems
> from a problem in the way the system handled interrupted deletions of
> file attachments. This resulted in some applicants being able to see
> some other applicants' file names and user names.
> As reported yesterday, we are seeking confirmation that the solution we
> have implemented for this issue is effective.
> We are also conducting research to determine which applicants' file
> names and user names were potentially viewable, as well as which
> applicants had the ability to see them.
> Many organizations are seeking information on whether we will proceed
> with the planned publication of applied-for domain names on 30 April. We
> will update the target date for publication as part of our update on the
> timing of the reopening, no later than Friday, 20 April at 23.59 UTC.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Note that ICANN was aware of this "glitch" almost a month previously, but
> apparently took no action. In my opinion (and others), this situation is
> going to escalate. Certainly it is in the public interest, even beyond the
> obvious issue that there may be problems with applications from would-be
> public-interest gTLD sponsors.
> * Is it not within the public interest to demand a full accounting of what
> went wrong with an integral system, indeed, the first "system," to be
> publicly rolled out in the "mechanical" application process for new gTLDs?
> * Was the TAS hacked? Coded incorrectly? Who performed the work? Who
> reviewed it? Can ICANN as an organization address the credibility problem
> created by this? How can the public expect that the safety, stability and
> security of the Internet will be safeguarded by ICANN, if at the first
> phase of the process the organization cannot field a working system for
> gTLD applications?
> * Is ICANN aware, regardless of the bureaucratic or technical processes
> involved, that together with the temporary loss of the IANA contract, the
> back-and-forth of the IOC/RC process, and now the TAS problem, an observer
> may conclude that the organization can't fulfill its mandate?
> What should the ALAC do (in my opinion)?
> * Call for a full, independent review of the TAS process from soup to
> nuts. Why was the technical problem not acted upon sooner? What emergency
> response protocols are in place? Any?
> * Offer to coordinate candidate selection for such a review, to help
> ensure the same people who made the mistakes are not reviewing their own
> work.
> * Determine what organizational problems within ICANN led to this failure.
> * Undertake an analysis of those problems to address whether such
> incompetence could spill over into the actual process of bringing new gTLDs
> online, vis-a-vis the stability, safety and security of the Internet. Make
> that analysis comprehensive and, most important, public.
> * Undertake a review to determine if ICANN does, in fact, have the
> technical and organizational capabilities to actually execute its mission,
> and if not, fess up and hire some people who know what they are doing.
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