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Dateline: 18 February 2000 Early Edition
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The Bunfight Continues
The public bun-fight that erupted on the ISOCNZ mailing list and newsgroup following a threat of legal action by Domainz CEO Patrick O'Brien continues to attract overwhelming criticism of the ISOCNZ council.

At least two of the council members have come out and expressed opposition to the ISOCNZ endorsement of the action -- and that would appear to be just the start of yet another rift that threatens to crack the ill-prepared organisation apart.

I'm afraid that ISOCNZ is likely doomed in its current form -- in fact I'm surprised it has lasted as long as it has.

Stumbling from one PR disaster to another and proving itself almost totally incapable (or unwilling) to harness the power of the Internet to provide a proper democratic process for its members, ISOCNZ has never really been a success.

I know for certain that although the current spat and bad PR is limited to the confines of the industry, if the lawyers acting for Mr O'Brien (and paid for by your domain fees), go ahead and serve their summons on Mr Brown today, this whole issue will explode into the mainstream media. It has two words that make any journalist prick up their ears ... "Internet" and "defamation."

If the ISOCNZ council are happy to support having the dirty laundry of Domainz, ISOCNZ and the Internet industry dragged into the public spotlight then they ought to be hung drawn and quartered.

I would suggest that anyone with an opinion on this matter forward their views by email to The Chairman of ISOCNZ and the currently serving councillors. Of course I urge you to keep your comments short, polite and confined to the matter at hand. No points will be scored for being rude or offensive -- despite how offended you may feel about what is being done.

With the size of the Internet community now measured at something like half a million NZers, a membership measured at somewhere less than 200 is a clear indicator that ISOCNZ does not have the confidence of the average Net user. Likewise, the discontent expressed by many within the Net industry further indicates that ISOCNZ has no mandate to act as a consultative resource to industry or government in matters relating to the Internet.

I was hoping that I would have more time to get the alternative InternetNZ Organisation movement going by now -- but it looks as if, with around 300 people having already registered their interest in participating, that I'm going to have to spend the weekend finishing the job.

All those who have responded to the signup will receive a confirmation email next week.

It's about time we took control of the Net -- if only to ensure that the right to represent its users isn't hijacked by a bunch of suits and that the freedoms it offers, such as the right to free speech, are preserved.

As always, your comments are gladly received.


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