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EFF Press Release Archives

Press Releases: July 2002

July 29, 2002

Director Successful in Challenge to ICANN's Obstruction

Los Angeles - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Director Karl Auerbach prevailed in his lawsuit against ICANN today, gaining access to records management had improperly withheld for more than 18 months. Rejecting ICANN's claim that it could impose vague and broad restrictions on Auerbach's access, Judge Dzintra Janavs ordered ICANN to provide the records within a week.

"I'm pleased that I will finally be able to do what I was elected to do - to oversee ICANN's activities," said Auerbach, who the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) represented.

Auerbach began asking for corporate records in November 2000, shortly after he was voted as the North American Elected Director of ICANN. After ICANN management delayed for nine months, it granted Auerbach conditional access to corporate records if he signed a "policy" -- which the Board of Directors had not ratified -- that placed his ability to access and copy the records at ICANN's sole discretion.

"California law is clear that directors must oversee the operations of a non-profit corporation," explained Auerbach's lead attorney, James Tyre. "We are pleased the judge recognized that ICANN was essentially trying to deny Mr. Auerbach his rightful access under the law."

The court's tentative ruling stated that ICANN's inspection procedures "unreasonably restrict directors' access to corporate records and deprive directors of inspection rights afforded them by law."

"Auerbach's intent to reform ICANN is not a legitimate basis for limiting his role as director," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "Today's headlines exposing rampant corporate fraud demonstrate the need for careful oversight by directors."

EFF is scanning in the tentative ruling and will soon make it available online. The case, entitled Auerbach v. ICANN, case no. BS074771, was filed in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County.

Contact:

Cindy
Cohn
Executive Director

James S.
Tyre
EFF Special Counsel
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