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Re: [IFWP] The ICANN Ruckus

At 10:05 AM 8/19/99 , A Gehring wrote:
>You speak to the very heart of my concerns about the creation of our new

Hi Arnold,

Throughout this debate over Internet Governance,
there has consistently been two very different and 
distinct perspectives.  

One looked at the transition of authority from IANA
to ICANN as a purely technical matter, one that should
remain under the control of a technocracy.  
  - So what if civil liberties were not protected?  
  - So what if due process was ignored?  
  - So what if ICANN was captured?
As long as the technocracy got to decide policy issues 
on behalf of everyone else, this side was happy, even 
if they had to break some rules along the way.

The other side looked at this transition as the establishment 
of world-wide self governance, one that should be firmly based 
on representative and democratic structures.  Here, process was 
more important than decisions, representative structures were 
more important than political appointments.

By all appearances, these two sides have been equally matched, 
with approximately the same number of people supporting each 
of these positions.

Yet, over time, the technocracy has come to dominate ICANN.  
ICANN has justified this by claims of wide-spread community 
"consensus".  But if the public support has been approximately 
equal, exactly how has this consensus been arrived at?

>While I am not prepared to subscribe to any conspiracy theories
>regarding media coverage or lack thereof:

Nor am I.

I only point out that media bias exists. 
Even TOM GABLE, a 25 year veteran in Public Relations, 
has offered *seven* explanations for the media blackout 
we are under.  Again, he didn't suggest that the media 
wasn't biased, only that there were rational 
explanations for it!!!

Whatever the reason, the media is only presenting one 
side of this story -- the one that is supportive of 
the technocracy's takeover of the Internet.

>Absent a need for revolution the process for creating new governance
>fora is pretty boring stuff, and as such not a ratings booster for our
>commercial media.

Then why has the press covered over 50 stories 
supportive of the technocracy since the Congressional 
Committee on Oversight and Investigations held their 
hearing less than a month ago?

Truth of the matter is, this and the other explanations
for the continuing media blackout are just excuses.  In
actuality, the media *IS* biased.  I don't fault them
for that, but that's the way it is.  

And while I believe that the press should be free
to publish anything it wants, from any perspective
that it wants, I do object to their claims that they 
are *NOT* biased.  This, in effect, is the ultimate 
form of false advertising and consumer fraud.  

And this, in a nutshell, is really the heart of the 
matter, as it questions the very soul of democracy.

Perhaps those trying to establish representational
structures for cyberspace have been misdirected.
Perhaps, before this can be accomplished, current
representational structures need to be scrutinized 
and understood.  Perhaps, the current role of the 

media in our increasingly democratic society needs 
a little sunshine.

And if the press is biased, then it should be open
to public debate and scrutiny.  And if it is open
to this scrutiny, what better venue than the 

In closing, many have predicted that the Internet
will change the world.  Perhaps, just perhaps, 
exploring the issue of media bias is the place 
to begin.


Jay Fenello
President, Iperdome, Inc.    404-943-0524
What's your .per(sm)?   http://www.iperdome.com 

"All truth passes through three stages.  First, it is 
ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, 
it is accepted as self-evident." (Arthur Schopenhauer)

>Suggest that you take this call to the small subset of our nations
>retirees who have committed their leisure years to working in behalf of
>their own progeny.
>These may be the only folk who possess both the wisdom to understand the
>importance of setting the ICANN up on a solid democratic foundation, and
>the time to dedicate to  a task that bears no semblance of emergency or
>avenue for producing family income.
>Good luck finding them. Most are spending down the accumulated wealth of
>their children's ancestors to buy motor homes, winter homes, summer
>homes, and other vehicles for immediate self gratification and personal
>palliative care.
>The population of Limbaughdites will be the most difficult to reach. You
>should not even waste your time on them at this juncture.  You must wait
>until the ICANN delivers upon them significant degrees of pain.   New
>Law for the Digital Conquest:  'This will not take long.'  If we fail
>now, all is not lost, for this powerful polity will  likely be motivated
>by the Year 2024.  You are still young.  They will be there for you if
>and when it really gets ugly.
>And, You will not have to ask CNN to come.  If it is war, They will
>cover it.
>My preference, like yours, is to just do it right at start up.  Then my
>children and their peers can work, watch football, sing songs, pay
>taxes, vote, and live happy; free of the Digital Tyranny that never
>Arnold  Gehring
>I want the vote.
>Tuesday, August 17, 1999 6:28 AM Jay Fenello wrote:
>>Here's another story on ICANN that
>>properly frames the debate.  And it
>>is exactly this perspective that is
>>being suppressed by the media.
>>Excerpts from:
>>The ICANN Ruckus
>>by James Love
>>As presently constituted, ICANN could make policy on issues like spam,
>>copyright enforcement, privacy, standards for digital contracts or
>>Internet access in sub-Saharan Africa. It could do this and much more,
>>it could do very little other than attend to narrow technical issues.
>>other words, ICANN, via its own discretion, might just become the
>>governing voice of the Net.
>>ICANN will have governmental-type powers, but it will ultimately be a
>>private corporate entity. It can (and has) changed its bylaws at will,
>>needing just a two-thirds majority.

>>ICANN critics share a deep unease about concentrating this much power
>>the Internet in the hands of a private and largely unaccountable body.
>>It is becoming clear that ICANN is an entirely new system of governance
>>the Internet.
>>Under the current proposals, ICANN can pursue its own governance
>>be captured by various special interests, and make policy decisions
>>are of great importance.
>>Froomkin notes that the Magaziner White Paper, and its offspring like
>>ICANN, are not proposals for no rules, but rather for shifting
>>responsibility for who will make rules, without any clear answers about
>>the public's rights are protected.
>>When we talk about "self governance," we need to begin to talk about
>who is
>>the "self" and what is the "governance." We are inventing a new world
>>government for cyberspace, but we are not creating a new world
>democracy in
>>cyberspace, and this is the problem.
>>Let's go back to the drawing board and rethink governance in
>>with the explicit goals of protecting individual rights and providing
>>democratic accountability.
>>Jay Fenello
>>President, Iperdome, Inc.    404-943-0524
>>What's your .per(sm)?   http://www.iperdome.com
>>"All truth passes through three stages.  First, it is
>>ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third,
>>it is accepted as self-evident." (Arthur Schopenhauer)