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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Top net body clashes with director
Invoice, Eyewire
The accounts of the top net body are under scrutiny
Victory has been declared by both sides in a legal dispute over access to the business records of the net's top body.

In March Karl Auerbach, one of the directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, launched a legal battle to get open access to the financial records of the organisation.

This week a Los Angeles court ruled that Icann must open its records to scrutiny by Mr Auerbach.

But Icann also claimed success because the court imposed restrictions on where Mr Auerbach can view some records.

Paper chase

Mr Auerbach launched the legal action claiming that Icann was breaking Californian law by asking him to sign a confidentiality clause before it handed over documents.

Icann oversees the running of key parts of the net's addressing system.

He said that laws permit the directors of an organisation to scrutinise how it is being run as part of their duties.

"It's part of the job of oversight. You should have people poking and sniffing," said Mr Auerbach.

He said he wanted to see the records to ensure Icann was not guilty of misconduct, spending money improperly or conflicts of interest.

Icann said it was happy for Mr Auerbach to see the records as long as he did not share them with anyone.

The court ruling demands that Icann open up non-confidential records by 9 August to Mr Auerbach.

Confidential records can also be scrutinised by Mr Auerbach but only at the Californian offices of the net body.

The court will decide the status of any documents that one side believes are confidential but the other claims are not.

"The ultimate effect of the Court order is essentially the same as the Icann procedure that Mr. Auerbach refused to follow," said a statement from the net body.

Icann is now considering an appeal against the ruling.

See also:

07 Jul 02 | Science/Nature
20 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
15 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
30 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
07 Sep 01 | Science/Nature
24 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
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