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[Comment-Pso] Comments on the PSO proposal

The IETF proposal submitted for the formation of a PSO
constituency is an important and useful contribution.

What is missing, however, is a liaison participatory
mechanism for Internet-related standards bodies and
others who cannot become a MoU signatory.

The most notable example is the International Telecommunication
Union's Telecommunication Standards Sector body - the ITU-T.
The ITU is an intergovernmental organization, and under both
its own organic instruments and practice, as well as those of
ICANN, the ITU cannot be signatory to a MoU that has it
exercising the substance governance powers of a private
corporation allocated to MoU signatories in the PSO proposal.
This impediment was raised at the ITU-T's own Telecommunication
Standards Advisory Group meeting in April.  It is a fundamental
and long-standing bar.

Just to make it clear - the ITU staff can effect liaison and informal 
participation such as exists already in the Government
Advisory Committee of ICANN or with other standards development
organizations.  What it cannot do is to be signatory to an
international agreement which places the ITU in the position
of continuing governance of a private corporation.

Although the ITU-T is the most obvious example, there are
certainly likely to be other standards development organizations
that for one reason or another, cannot meet the rather high
barriers specified in the current draft.

In the interests of assuring the kind of broad inclusion
of diverse affected constituencies required in both the White
Paper and ICANN's own Bylaws, it is suggested that this proposal
be modified to include additional classes of membership that
allows substantive liaison and involvement by such organizations
and others.

Indeed, the entities most affected by PSO are not organizations
at all, but private-sector businesses and developers who make use
of these protocol identifiers in the course of their offerings of
products and services in the marketplace.  It's not clear how these
most important constituents would even participate except in a very
secondary and indirect fashion.  The PSO should be more than just
a means of exercising governance authority and participation in
decision making by standards organizations.


A. M. Rutkowski
former prof of international law, New York Law School
former chief of telecommunication regulations and
   relations between members, counsellor to the
   Secretary-General, ITU