ICANN member sues over document access

A board member of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organisation that oversees the Internet's...

A board member of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organisation that oversees the Internet's technical infrastructure, is suing the group for access to corporate records.

ICANN staff have been stonewalling director Karl Auerbach's request for corporate documents for more than a year. Auerbach filed a petition with the Los Angeles courts yesterday. The Electronic Freedom Foundation is assisting in the lawsuit .

Auerbach says he first began requesting copies of several ICANN corporate documents, including its financial records, in December 2000. After a nine-month delay, ICANN chief executive officer M. Stuart Lynn distributed to ICANN's board a newly drafted policy covering access to ICANN records. Auerbach maintains that the policy, which has never been approved by the board, is unacceptably restrictive.
His complaint details a lengthy exchange with Lynn over access rights and procedures. Under California law, corporate directors have the right to inspect and copy all corporate records, Auerbach's petition claims.

He is requesting that the court orders ICANN to release all the corporate documents listed in his petition, which include ICANN's ledger of its funds and financial obligations, paperwork relating to the organisation's employee hiring and policies, documents tracking ICANN's dealings with its law firm, and logs of international travel by ICANN officers.

Auerbach was elected to ICANN's board in November 2000 as the at-large representative for the US and Canada. His term expires in November. He has long been a critic of ICANN; reforming the organisation to increase its openness and accountability was a key element of his campaign platform.

ICANN is a non-profit organisation based in California. An ICANN representative could not be reached for comment.

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