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Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 08:23 GMT
Net body sued by own official
Karl Auerbach
Karl Auerbach: wants access to Icann records
One of the directors of the net's ruling body is suing the organisation over the way it spends money.

Karl Auerbach, one of the elected directors for Icann, has filed a lawsuit against the group to gain the access to its records he says he has previously been denied.

Mr Auerbach wants to see details of staff salaries, travel records and information about the day-to-day running of the organisation.

A civil liberties group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is representing Mr Auerbach in the legal battle.

Dangerous times

Since being elected in December 2000, Mr Auerbach says he has repeatedly asked to see the records of Icann (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

The Athenaum, Bucharest (BBC)
Bucharest will see a showdown over plans to re-organise Icann
Mr Auerbach was elected to represent US and Canadian web-user interests on the Icann board.

The organisation is registered in California as a non-profit corporation and under the laws of the US state is required to let its directors know how the organisation is being run.

"Icann management has denied me the tools I need to exercise independent judgment and fulfil my duties as director," Mr Auerbach said in a statement.

'Static bureaucracy'

He claims to have been offered access to the records only if he signs a binding confidentiality agreement - an offer he says he has refused.

Since December 2000, Mr Auerbach has been a persistent critic of Icann, claiming that the organisation is badly run, secretive and takes too long to make decisions.

In an e-mail sent to BBC News Online, Mr Auerbach said that without the oversight provided by its directors, Icann was in danger of becoming a static bureaucracy in which staff, rather than the organisation's elected representatives, dictated policy.

Icann has yet to comment on the lawsuit. Under a re-organisation plan floated by Icann head Stuart Lynn last month, Mr Auerbach looks likely to lose his post as an Icann director.

The final vote on the proposed changes to Icann will take place at the Icann meeting set for 24-28 June in Bucharest, Romania.

See also:

15 Mar 02 | Sci/Tech
Net shake-up plan prompts protests
26 Feb 02 | Sci/Tech
Net body plans shake-up
07 Sep 01 | Sci/Tech
Net body grapples with people power
25 Jan 01 | Sci/Tech
Brit to head net body
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