TechnologyIcann forced to reveal its finances

Icann forced to reveal its finances

A US court has ruled that Icann board director Karl Auerbach should be allowed to inspect the internet overseeing body's internal documents.

Auerbach has been trying unsuccessfully to gain access to Icann’s – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – financial records since he joined the board in November 2000, even though he is a board director and legally allowed to see all company records.

He has long been a critic of the organisation, despite being a board member, and has previously claimed that Icann has been too secretive and that it caters more to commercial interests rather than public good. Earlier this year, in a move designed to open up Icann’s movements, Auerbach sued the organisation for withholding financial information.

At a hearing yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs ordered that Auerbach should be allowed to inspect specified Icann documents, but also ruled that Auerbach must respect Icann’s confidentiality designations, with the Court to resolve any disagreements over the ‘propriety of those designations.’

In a statement Icann said: ‘While Icann believes that portions of the Court’s legal analysis are incorrect, it notes that the practical effect of the overall ruling is quite similar to the Icann procedure that Mr. Auerbach rejected last October.’

‘That rejection was followed, in March, by Auerbach’s filing of a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court challenging ICANN’s procedure,’ said Icann.

In her analysis, Judge Janavs ruled that California law does not permit California non-profit corporations to place any restrictions or conditions on director’s inspection rights, but allows only courts to place restrictions, after a demand for inspection has been refused.

‘ICANN respectfully disagrees and will consider whether to appeal this decision upon review of the Court’s written judgment, which will be issued next week,’ the group continued.

‘It is unfortunate that Icann’s limited resources must be used for matters such as this, which do not advance the core mission of Icann.’

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