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Call for comments on DNSO Names Council amendments (Deadline: August 10)
Auckland, 7 August 1999
To the interim Board Members of ICANN,
I am writing as one of the constituency representatives who has already
been directly affected by this proposed bylaw change.
I do not want to dwell on the general legality of bylaw-changes that have
already been put in effect or the desirability that the Board is now
obsverved to reset the goal-posts in mid game, but more on the political
wisdom of this decision when it was first made.
NSI offered us one of their seats voluntarily in Berlin, perhaps not out
of the goodness of their heart but, but still with the net effect of
potential NSI critics added to the Names Council. The offer was made and
accepted with a strict understanding of "no strings attached".
I put NSI's offer to a vote in our constituency and there were warning
sounds from some members. Hindsight tells me that they were right.
The overwhelming majority of the IDNO members voted to accept the offer, so
keen was the desire of the members to at least have *some* representation.
It was accepted.
The provisional Names Council, on your authority, refused to admit us even
Introducing both Mr Sexton and yours truly to the NC, even as observers
only, would have helped to decrease the frustration of those who are now
still disenfranchised, given a slightly better balance of representation on
the provisional NC and increased its ability to come to consensus decisions.
>From a policy point of view, it was a bad way to treat supplicants.
Already, having our application rudely ignored in Berlin attracted just the
new members that feel strongly about Individual Domain Name Owners being
seen as telco/ISP/registry consumers who should remain mouth-less.
You have not appreciated the personal sacrifices that have been made for
ICANN--to answer ICANN's own call to form constituencies for the
unrepresented, as stipulated in your bylaws (Section 3, d.) and laid out
on the ICANN website.
Changing the bylaws, that have so far guided all players in this game (no
offence-I do not wish to belittle the importance of what we are all trying
to accomplish), is not a step that should be taken lightly, even if legal.
In my humble personal view, it undermines confidence of all participants.
Example: We, as the IDNO constituency, are applying for recognition as a
constituency in the DNSO under section 3. art.d.
What if you decide to change section 3, art. d to read:
(d) Any group of individuals or entities may petition the Board for
recognition as a new or separate Constituency.
Any such petition will be posted for public comment pursuant to Article
III, Section 3. The Board may create new
Constituencies in response to such a petition, or on its own motion, if it
determines that such action would serve the
interests of the Corporation. In the event the Board is considering acting
on its own motion it shall post a detailed
explanation of why such action is necessary or desirable, set a reasonable
time for public comment, and not make a
final decision on whether to create such new Constituency until after
reviewing all comments received. Whenever
the Board posts a petition or recommendation for a new Constituency for
public comment, it will notify the names
council and will consider any response to that notification prior to taking
Can you spot the difference with the original article?
I changed "purposes" with "interests".
Where would this little change leave us?
Among other constituencies too, there is nervousness about an ICANN that
can change it's bylaws as easily as its website.
Your bylaws have gone through five or six iterations, fought about by the
very same people still knocking on your door.
They represent *some* modicum of balance.
As interim Board, you should think twice before tampering with that balance.
For these political reasons, I would humbly recommend that you reconsider
this move, even if your legal advisers have recommended that you take it.
This writing is not about NSI.
It is about fostering trust.
P.S. It would have been better if you had displayed the to-be-replaced
articles along with the new ones. Perhaps you could still do this.
And to answer the question: yes, I would not mind this bylaw change, if
you would admit us to your DNSO as a fully equal constituency with three of
it's own seats, rather than just one, borrowed from NSI.
But rather than this modification, you might wish to re-consider the whole
Constituency is far too big a translation for "giving a voice to *one* (or
even more than one) company".
--Joop Teernstra LL.M.-- , bootstrap of
the Cyberspace Association,
the constituency for Individual Domain Name Owners