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Re: [names] Breaking in to the discussion -----> trust

At 10:56 PM 10/12/99 , Mike Roberts wrote:
>At 10:22 PM 10/12/99 , Jonathan Weinberg wrote:
>>At 07:40 AM 10/12/99 -0400, Esther Dyson wrote:
>> >Another way we/ICANN can get trust more broadly is to have a board composed
>> >of people elected from the various communities that shape/depend on/deal
>> >with us, and that's a major motivation behind the current elections 
>> (and the
>> >rush to get them done).  Over time, people will trust the institution (I
>> >hope); in the short run, the presence of individuals they trust, elected by
>> >themselves, will help a lot.
>> >[snip]

Unfortunately, ICANN has gamed the election
process to effectively eliminate *all* ICANN
critics from consideration.  Consequently, no
trust will be built, and the new board members
will be as subservient to the puppetmasters as
the current ICANN board is.

More below . . .

>>This seems to me important; people will be more likely to see the board as
>>legitimate (that is, "trust" it) to the extent that they feel they had a
>>fair voice in selecting the Board members.  In this connection, though, I
>>can't help noting my view that the Board is squandering that opportunity
>>when it comes to the proposed bylaws amendments it just posted.  The
> > indirect election system for "at-large" members seems designed to eliminate
> > any possibility of buy-in from the membership deriving from a role in
> > selecting the Board.  Why would anybody become a member of ICANN (and,
> > indeed, pay dues), solely for the privilege of selecting the people who
> > will select the people who will sit on the Board?  To the extent that the
> > "At-Large Council" members aren't themselves eligible for election to
> > ICANN, the system impossibly distances the membership from the actual
> > selection of Board members.  (It's not as if the folks selected by the
> > membership have some *other*, meaningful function, as with the SO councils.
> >  It also raises the question of why anyone would want to sit on the
> > At-Large Council.)  To the extent that the At-Large Council selects Board
> > members from its own ranks, OTOH, the scheme is inferior in just about
> > every respect to simple direct election; it invites the sort of spectacle
> > that we're currently seeing from the Names Council.
> >
> > Jon
> >
> >
> > Jonathan Weinberg
> > weinberg@msen.com
> >
>In consideration of the Membership Advisory Committee report in Berlin
>and subsequently, such as in the form of the various IDNO petitions
>related to individual participation, it became clear to the staff
>and to the Board that direct election of Directors from the At Large
>constituency would not result in an effective voice for users, and
>certainly not a balancing voice to the potentially narrow views of
>the three SO's, since the SO's have Councils charged with being
>the voice of their constituency interests.  As a result, the Board
>decided to create an advocacy mechanism for At Large interests in
>the form of the At Large Council.  It has the advantage of creating
>a parallel mechanism, it perhaps has the disadvantage that sufficient
>interest in becoming part of such a mechanism doesn't re4ally
>exist out there.  I and other members of the Board have received
>a substantial amount of mail to the effect that the naysayers on
>this issue are wrong, and that when the At Large membership
>outreach campaign is conducted next year, there will be many times
>more than the minimum requirement of 5000 subscribed at large members.

Why 5000 you ask?

Because 5000 is high enough to overrule
the 1000 or so knowledgeable people who
responded to the various U.S. Government
inquiries that resulted in the White
Paper.  Again, it's just another way
for ICANN to eliminate the "minority"
voices from its ranks.

Here's how I described it when ICANN
first announced this "consensus" plan:

>Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 13:50:03 -0400
>To: list@ifwp.org
>From: Jay Fenello <Jay@Iperdome.com>
>Subject: An Un-Educated Electorate
>Cc: com-priv@lists.psi.com, Becky Burr <bburr@ntia.doc.gov>,
>         paul.scolese@mail.house.gov, mark.harrington@mail.house.gov,
>         james.tierney@usdoj.gov, Esther Dyson <edyson@edventure.com>,
>         Mike Roberts <mmr@darwin.ptvy.ca.us>, comments@icann.org
>One of the most troubling aspects of ICANN's
>supposed support for a membership were comments
>made in Berlin.
>After months of debate within the Membership
>Advisory Committee, after months of debate on
>the MAC mailing list, and after a preliminary
>report issued in Singapore, we now have the
>final Membership report.
>Finally, we would be able to supplement this
>unelected board with representatives of the
>But based on comments by Conrades and others,
>the plan is now to form another committee to
>"study future issues" while implementing an
>outreach plan to build membership to the
>arbitrary number of 5,000.
>What I find truly outrageous is that while
>the establishment of Internet Governance
>proceeds behind a veil of secrecy, the plan
>is to turn on the media spotlight to build
>a membership.
>Of course, with Esther starring in IBM
>commercials, and Ogilvy helping to solicit
>the un-educated neophyte Netizens, and the
>millions of tax dollars collected from new
>domain name registrations, this process
>will be all too easy to sway.
>This is classic ICANN.  Give the rabble
>what they ask for, but game it so that the
>shadow forces behind ICANN retain control.
>One more reason why I claim that ICANN is


>Time will tell. The Markle Foundation says that it is important
>to foster democracy on the net, and it is putting $100+ million
>of its money into helping.  We've asked them for a very very tiny
>fraction of that number to help ICANN get its At Large membership
>program off the ground.
>It shouldn't be forgotten that although the Bylaws provide that
>the Board - absent emergency considerations - is obliged to
>refer policy matters to the cognizant SO, the results of
>consideration of the referred matters is required to be
>considered by the other SO's.  Although we have not gone so far
>as to provide the same requirement for the At Large Council
>at this time, it seems a reasonable thing to do and for the
>Board to look at as the At Large component takes shape next year.
>JW complains about "democracy in action" on the Names Council.
>Face it folks, democracy, direct and representative, has warts.
>Churchill was right.  We could have hired an organization
>consultant and handed the SO's a 100 page manual of rules
>and procedures and bylaw references.  We didn't.  They're
>doing it themselves with a minimum of interference from the
>Board and staff.
>- Mike


Jay Fenello,
New Media Relations
http://www.fenello.com  770-392-9480