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Again, the voice of reason I mentioned in the past.  Nii's comments seem to reflect the current standing committee of ICANN.  However the other voices are not being heard.  Minimal dues are symbolic, but also carry some legal weight.  It is not a case of creating second-class citizens, but rather opening the membership to all, and giving those who need it assurance that they can option membership though a dues waiver.  Further, considering the state of technology (no way to verify identity over the Net) a hard copy authentication procedure is essential.  How can you have voting when you cannot authenticate the ballots?  I think a reasonable compromise can be reached.

Michael Gendron
State University of New York at Albany

-----Original Message-----
From:	Dr Nii Quaynor [SMTP:quaynor@ghana.com]
Sent:	Monday, April 12, 1999 4:02 AM
To:	Michael Sondow; ICANN MAC list; ICANN; Int'l Forum on the White Paper; toml@communisphere.com; Joop Teernstra; Jonathan Zittrain; Daniel Kaplan; DNSO discuss; dnspolicy@ntia.doc.gov; Einar Stefferud; Eric Weisberg; Esther Dyson; Jay Fenello; Karl Auerbach; Kathryn Kleiman; Larry Lessig; Milton Mueller
Subject:	Re: [Membership] COMMENTS ON M.A.C. RECOMMENDATIONS of MARCH 18

Some inputs for your consideration.

>1.  Any individual or organisation may be an AL member. Only
>ORGANISATIONS that are members of a SO are excluded.
>Comment: No criteria whatsoever for membership is a clear invitation
>to persons with no real interest in the Internet, but who seek to
>use a newly created organization to further their political
>ambitions, to join and manipulate their standing as members for
>their own purposes. As Joop Teernstra has so well pointed out in his
>proposal, an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
>clearly has a primary if not unique responsibility towards those who
>possess or make use of Internet names and numbers, and it is these
>who should be its members. As to excluding from the At-Large
>membership organizations that are members of the SOs, that is not
>only impossible to control, since organizations are after all only
>collectives of their individual members, but undesirable since the
>organizations that belong to the SOs, as well as the individuals who
>are members of them, need a forum for collective deliberation, and
>that, by all reason, should be the At-Large membership.

MAC deliberations at Singapore made recommendations on criteria. I recall
that the criteria *did not* exclude people with criminal record because of
potential problems of dissidents, for example. Hence its not true that no
criteria were specified. This meeting was an open meeting, as I recall.

I support the statement that those who possess or make use of Internet names
and numbers should be members. I however think that there are others who get
impacted by the Internet and should not be excluded. Several of these users
dont own names and *dont* know that numbers even exist. Hence a more
flexible and open membership should be sought beyond what you are calling

>2.  Members must apply by sending an on-line registration form
>provided by ICANN, giving an e-mail address and other minimal
>identification details, which ICANN will only attempt to verify if a
>complaint is lodged.
>This is merely a convenience for the ICANN Board; but, like the
>recommendation above, it invites the worst abuses. Who is to know if
>the persons applying even exist, or if any of their information is
>correct? Surely, minimal authentication, easily provided by postal
>service mail-back, must be required in order to substantiate the
>existence of the applicants.

MAC had discussed a more elaborate  procedure involving snail mail. I
believe its still being discussed so you may be jumping to conclusions on
this one.

>3.  Members must re-register annually. Changes to registered
>details, particularly e-mail address, must be advised on pain of
>loss of membership.
>What is the point to this if there is no hard-copy authentication of
>members' existence? It only invites further abuses, such as the
>creation of unlimited false identities on a regular basis, or in the
>event of an important vote.

A hard-copy authentication procedure has been discussed.

>4.  There will be no membership fee. (We consider this to be too
>difficult to set equitably, and costly to collect.
>This is preposterous on the face of it. No membership fee to belong
>to, and vote for the directors of, the international organization
>controlling the technological and sociological development of the
>Internet, the most economically and socially potent tool for
>communication yet invented by man? Why? So that the present Board
>need not go to the trouble of thinking of a way of collecting dues,
>something that is accomplished by every other organization without
>great difficulty? And with what consequences? That persons may join
>and vote, not only without having to substantiate their identity but
>without being asked to make any a priori personal contribution
>whatsoever? And how is ICANN to support itself? Through the funding
>of special-interest groups, invariably those with the biggest
>purses, and who will manipulate and control ICANN in proportion to
>the amount of financial responsibility they provide for its
>functioning? Is this what is meant by responsibility and
>responsiveness to the community, as expressed in the White Paper and
>ICANN's own bylaws?

Several Developing Country constituencies cannot pay the dues. We prefer not
to exclude anyone because of dues. We also want every one to join through
the front door *not* via some special back-door aid. The rich should not
dominate this membership group. We will like to avoid second-class citizens
in this membership.

>6. Members form a single world wide constituency to elect AL
>A nice sentiment. However, it remains to be seen if it has any
>inherent significance, in light of the other, more pragmatic,
>measures that may make its realization impossible.

This is meant to be a significant statement, I think.

>9. There is no limit to the number of candidates at any election.
>Shall all members be candidates, then? And voters as well? Every
>person in the world, regardless of their character, relation to the
>Internet, or willingness and ability to participate conscientiously
>in its functioning, may be both a member of ICANN and a candidate to
>its board of directors? This is to turn democracy on its head. As
>always in such undefined situations, those who wish to control and
>manipulate will find it easy to do so, since there will be no
>structure impeding them from imposing their own. He who organizes
>controls, as is well known.

Once again, I recall a criteria has been spelled out at one point in
Singapore. But then again, we should avoid any effort to *filter* candidates
since that itself biases the outcome.

>10. We see no need for a nomination committee, or for an electoral
>committee. These are tasks for the ICANN executive.
>And who is this executive? Is it not persons who must be empowered
>by the membership, which at first is not yet formed? In the chaotic
>and anarchic membership situation created by the foregoing
>principles, any two or more persons masquerading as the interim
>executive will have no trouble at all in manipulating the
>candidature and election of the At-large directors. There must be
>committees; as many as there are tasks to be performed; in order
>that the power to control events be distributed and therefore
>limited. The constant pretence that organization can be avoided will
>per force result in an undesirable organization. Just as nature
>abhors a vacuum, so human organizations abhor undefined
>responsibilities, which are invariably assumed by those interested
>in using the power that comes with them for their own ends.
>Our comments end here at the last recommendation. As stated earlier,
>the comments given here are poor because their subject is poor. We
>remain amazed that such poverty of thought could result from such
>richness of initiative on the part of so many. And again, we say
>that those who have reduced the rich suggestions offered in good
>faith by the potential members of ICANN to such poor recommendations
>stand aside to let those willing and able to provide ICANN with a
>better foundation for its future take their place.

There are always varied perspectives. A lesson may be not to pre-judge
quickly and not to  think that everyoneelse is wrong. These perspectives
have merit and need to be studied in their contexts.

These are my personal views.