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ICANN works Harry Potter magic on net

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Internet overseeing organisation ICANN has a difficult task ahead persuading people to let it run the whole network when its contract ends in 2006. And it is willing to try anything to get there - including, it would seem, magic.

CEO Paul Twomey gave a brief rundown on what meetings were taking place at its four-day conference in Cape Town, South Africa, as we speak. But he remained strangely tight-lipped over what some groups would be discussing in the African sun.

Is the reason anything to do with the odd appearance of one Hermione Granger representing Hogwarts, who is listed as the first attendee to the conference on ICANN's website? Has the organisation spend some of its new bigger budget on hiring Harry Potter's female companion to train staff up on magical powers? Or even to teach them the Dark Forces against the evil Voldemort aka Yoshio Utsumi, secretary-general of the ITU?

"These rumours are mere fabrication," an ICANN spokesman confirmed. "Ms Granger is here in a personal capacity and will not be teaching or taking any classes."

So just who is Ms Granger there to see? Well, amazingly, a webcast of one meeting revealed all. Making a serious point about the consensus approach that ICANN takes oh so seriously, CEO Paul Twomey momentarily put his hand to his forehead and onlookers were stunned to see a lightning-shaped scar.

Paul Twomey is Harry Potter Seasoned ICANN watcher Michael Koomfrin was not shaken by the revelation that Twomey was in fact Harry Potter however. "It's the only logical explanation," he explained. "How else could ICANN have survived until now?"

Matters were further clarified when ICANN VP Paul Verhoef - who has been travelling in Europe investigating new spells - pulled off a wig to reveal a shock of red hair and confirmed he was the real Ron Weasley.

ICANN has refused to comment on rumours that chairman Vint Cerf was actually Draco Malfoy. ®

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