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US not happy with Donuts hiring Atallah

Kevin Murphy, October 22, 2018, 18:16:01 (UTC), Domain Policy

The US government appears to have reservations about Donuts’ recent hiring of ICANN bigwig Akram Atallah as its new CEO.

Speaking at a session of ICANN 63 here in Barcelona today, National Telecommunications and Information Administration head David Redl alluded to the recent hire.

Atallah was president of the Global Domains Division and twice interim CEO.

While most of Redl’s brief remarks today concerned internet security and Whois, he concluded by saying:

While the community has greatly improved ICANN’s accountability through the IANA stewardship transition process, there are still improvements to be made.

As one example, we need safeguards to ensure that ICANN staff and leadership are not only grounded ethically in their professional actions at ICANN, but also in their actions when they seek career opportunities outside of ICANN.

One potential fix could be “cooling off periods” for ICANN employees that accept employment with companies involved in ICANN activities and programs. This is an ethical way to ensure that conflicts of interest or appearances of unethical behavior are minimized.

ICANN faced similar scrutiny back in the 2011, when ICANN chair Peter Dengate Thrush pushed through the new gTLD program and almost immediately began working for a new gTLD applicant.

That was the same year Redl moved from being head of regulatory affairs at CTIA — lobbying for wireless industry legislation — to counsel to the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee — helping to craft wireless industry legislation.

Here are his remarks. Redl starts speaking at around the 38-minute mark.

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Comments (3)

  1. Rob Hall says:

    What a crock.

    There is absolutely ZERO evidence there was any wrongdoing here, and yet people seem to get up at the microphone and imply it.

    What good would a cooling off period do. What a stupendously dumb idea. Akram is the CEO of one of ICANN’s largest Registries. Of course ICANN has to continue to deal with Donuts. Whats the suggestion, that they don’t take a call from the CEO of Donuts for a period of time ?

    The CEO of each Registry must also certify documents to ICANN each year. Should they not take them now because he is CEO ?

    This is utter nonsense and should be called out as such.

    Now, if the suggestion is that ICANN can’t contact Donuts for a year, including ICANN’s compliance and legal departments, and Donut’s can do whatever it wants in that year, then I am all in. I would snatch John Jeffrey in a heartbeat !

    But please, stop this silliness. It is simply an attempt to bring disrepute to someone who has acted beyond reproach and served our community with honesty and integrity.

  2. Rubens Kuhl says:

    He should just ask FDA to put a ban on donuts, since they are unhealthy.

  3. John Berryhill says:

    What a joke.

    The head of Redl’s department was the vice chairman of a Cyprus bank through which Paul Manafort laundered funds, and this jackass Redl has “concerns” about ICANN. How quaint that a Trump administration official has “concerns” about ethics or conflicts of interest.

    Where do they get clowns like this guy?

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