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[Membership] Membership Recruitment - "Quick and Dirty" O.K., but let's not be shallow & filthy.



Dear Angelo,

If the Internet only affected those who currently use it, I'd agree that
ISOC would be the place to recruit ICANN's At Large members. However, the
net has already become an integral part of society, having a significant
impact on the operation of all businesses, institutions, governments, and
individuals. Note I said "all". It's not just those using the net that feel
its influence; it's the secondary and tertiary impacts as those not yet
using it loose competitive ground, and those seemingly "off-off line" sense
a sea change that they don't attribute to the (possibly unknown) medium.

These "impacts" will undoubtedly become the gist for books, curriculums,
departments, and exposť - a whole new industry. Today, we can remain aloft
and continue to label the activities of ICANN as merely "technical", or we
can acknowledge that, like the book, newspaper, radio, and TV the net is
having an impact on everyone's life.

If we start from the premise that the Internet's influence is omnipresent,
we next need to decide how best to involve those not currently intimate with
its governance. In this context ICANN's staff suggestion that we look to
ISOC as the key provider of At Large members seems a bit a bit too "quick
and dirty". I'll try a parallel to underscore my objection: Why not limit
voting for public office holders to government employees - for indeed, it is
they who are most immediately impacted by government actions. We ordinary
citizens are tangentially involved with only a small fraction of the rules
and regulations. Most have no impact what so ever. But government employees
spend their lives on these narrow but important issues. Their very
livelihood depends on the proper and continued operation of the government,
so why not put it into their hands?

So Angelo, while I appreciate the efforts, concern, and contributions of
many ISOC members I think its pool too shallow if we're to avoid capture by
a narrow - albeit well intentioned - group.

I stand by my "quick and dirty" group and propose (minimally) a four pronged
recruitment effort aimed at the following:

Registrars - NSI and the "testbed" registrars are established organizations
with direct and regular contact with domain name holders. They should
provide access to their customer lists as part of the membership drive.

ICANN Financial Sponsors - ICANN's financial sponsors should be persuaded to
contribute their contact lists as well as "At Large membership development
cash support" to further the Internet's development.

Consumer Groups - One hundred leading consumer groups should be contacted
and encouraged to contact their memberships about participating in the ICANN
At Large election.

Existing Internet-Related Membership Organizations - These organizations
should be contacted for prospective members but "automatic membership"
should not be provided to anyone.

Angelo, let's not leave it to the next generation to clean up our mess.
Let's do the Internet right. Let's acknowledge its wide impact and set
reasonable policy's on its governance. And let's get everyone interested
into the process. A four pronged "quick and dirty" is O.K. for now, let's
not set the bar too low.

Sincerely,

Tom Lowenhaupt

P.S. As a government official for a geographically delineated community, it
seems the Internet needs at least two levels of governance - the local and
global. I'll be a bit thin here, but my local pizza parlor should have as
much right to use Pizza Boy on the net as he does in the neighborhood. And
my local PTA should not have to contort itself to be found on the net. A
geographically ignorant, centrally managed Internet is detrimental to
geographic communities and its governance should not be exclusively global.
We need a local governance mechanism. "Santiago don't know squat about the
needs of Jackson Heights."