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Michael Roberts, esther Dyson, and the ICANN Board,

According to the agenda for Berlin that is posted on your website
(http://www.icann.org/berlin-details.html), you have rejected the
ICIIU's carefully thought out and progressive suggestions regarding
the Berlin meeting, which, if followed, would have permitted the
election of the DNSO's Names Council and the beginning of the
all-important work of the DNSO. 

Instead, you have scheduled an unnecessary and redundant DNSO
"General Assembly" meeting for the first day, before there is
anything for it to do (without elections and a Names Council, what
can possibly be the purpose of assembled constituencies?), a
day-long open board meeting for the second day, when the DNSO is
still unformed, and no useful activities at all for either the DNSO
or the At-Large membership for the last day, the 27th.

This meeting is, if your agenda is followed, in essence a waste of
time for the Internet community forming the DNS council of ICANN. It
is arranged only for the convenience of yourselves, the interim and
unelected ICANN board, and serves only to prolong your tenure and
your illegitimate control of domain name policy, which, if you have
your way, will now extend unchallenged by an organized DNSO until
the summer, or even later.

The ICIIU formally objects to this obstructionism by you of this
process. We object to your continued scheduling of meetings at which
important policy concerning the Internet is enacted without any
democratic procedures and without the creation of the organisms
within ICANN that would begin to permit such procedures. And we
object very strenuously indeed to the unnecessary and wasteful
financial burden you are putting on Internet users who, because of
your unmitigated scheduling of meetings at which real work is not
accomplished and which only serve your purposes as illegitimate and
unelected Internet policy-makers, are obliged to pay exhorbitant
travel expenses - since you have given them no way to effectively
intervene by proxy or other methods not requiring a physical
presence - merely in order to fulfill your need for a subservient
audience, a rubber stamp, and a backdrop for your undeserved

You have asked the DNS community to self-organize. It is
self-organizing. Now allow us to elect our Names Council and do our
work of creating policy for the DNS!

Michael Sondow, for the ICIIU
Dear Mr. Roberts and Ms. Dyson-

Is the ICANN Board planning to get the DNSO Names Council up and
running in Berlin? If so, you must realize that this is going to be
difficult logistically because it will require nominations and
elections in each newly-formed constituency, for its three NC
members, and if the manner of these elections is not carefully
planned they probably won't take place, or not take place in a
legitimate and sustainable way.

These elections are of great significance because they are the very
first elections conducted under the auspices of ICANN and because
they will be a test of the ability of the Board and the
membership-in-formation to discipline themselves to conduct the
affairs of the DNSO in a coherent way.

There are two major questions that, it seems to me, require
attention and resolution before Berlin:
1) How can the agenda for the three days in Berlin be arranged so
that the election of the constituencies' NC members is accomplished
in a logical and prepared-for way;
2) How can those elections be done so that their outcome is not only
legitimate but seen to be so by the members of ICANN, future as well
as present.

To be unassailable, the nominations and more especially the
elections for NC seats will have to be done so that people not
present in Berlin but who have signed up for the constituencies can
participate. Although a complication, this is unavoidable in view of
the openness and transparency requirements of ICANN and the DNSO. If
the elections are to be legally sustainable, they must be conducted
electronically as well as in person. 

However, despite this difficulty I believe that the elections can be
done in Berlin, through careful planning, a rearrangement of the
agenda, and an awareness on the part of everyone participating of
the need for efficiency.

The Board has asked constituency organizers to submit proposals for
a definition of the constituency they are forming and a procedure
for electing NC seats. This collection of proposals and discussion
of them by the Board is all that can properly be accomplished by it
before Berlin if a fair process is to be maintained, as I argued in
my note on "No rewards for doing wrong". However, it should be
sufficient if Berlin is well orquestrated.

How can the Berlin agenda be arranged best? Here is the ICIIU's
1. Eliminate the General Assembly planned for the afternoon of the
25th. No one will attend such an assembly who isn't in a
constituency, for the simple reason that no one is going to go to
Berlin without the intention of participating in the constituencies.
There is no compelling reason for holding a combined meeting of all
constituencies on the afternoon of the first day. That is something
best left for after the NC elections.
2. Have the Board make a decision on the constituency proposals
immediately after the morning meetings of the constituencies on the
first day. There is no reason why the Board should not be able to
make the necessary decisions since they will have had the various
proposals for some time, and any problems that arise between
organizers should be capable of being worked out at the morning
meetings; that's what they're for. If the Board will do this, then
the constituencies can meet again after lunch to nominate candidates
for NC seats. 
3. The election official or chairperson of each constituency should,
immediately following the nomination of NC candidates on the
afternoon of the 25th, communicate them, and those made prior to the
berlin meeting by persons not attending, by email to all who have
signed up for the constituency but aren't present, requesting that
they return their vote by email within twelve hours. This will be
made much easier and faster, indeed probably cannot be done
otherwise, if someone in each organizing group takes the initiative,
in the week leading up to Berlin, to prepare a list of adherents who
won't be present and advise them of the time-schedule on the 25th.
4. Since the Board has planned an open meeting for the 26th, we
propose that this meeting be done in two parts: from 9 A.M. til
noon, an introductory open Board meeting as planned, followed by
lunch until 1:00 P.M.; then, from 1:00 til 4:00 P.M., reconvening of
the constituencies separately to hold NC elections. Three hours
should be enough time for the elections if they have been prepared
for as above.
5. After the elections, a break from 4:00 until 7:00 for supper,
followed by a short general assembly of all constituencies plus the
Board to officially recognize the Names Council.

Let's run over this again briefly:

- All proposals in to the board in advance of Berlin.

First Day in Berlin (May 25th):
- Constituency meetings the morning of the 25th.
- Lunch.
- Decisions by the Board on constituency definitions and election
procedures early in the   afternoon.
- The rest of the afternoon for nomination of candidates in the
- Email candidates list to adherents not present, requesting an
email ballot back from them within twelve hours.

Second Day in Berlin (May 26th):
- Open Board meeting all morning.
- Lunch.
- Elections of NC seats in the constituencies in the afternoon.
- An early supper.
- Reconvene briefly in general assembly with the Board to have the
Names Council recognized.

Third Day in Berlin (May 27th):
- Meeting of the Names Council in the morning to choose a
chairperson and set a tentative agenda   and timetable.
- Lunch.
- General Assembly of the DNSO, presided over by the new Names
Council, in the afternoon.

This makes sense and can be done. It will be an important step
forward for the DNSO and ICANN. If it isn't done, the Names Council
and the work of the DNSO will have to be postponed for months, at
least until the next meeting of ICANN, and that is simply too long
to wait, as well as unnecessary.

M.Sondow, for the ICIIU

International Congress of Independent Internet Users (ICIIU) 
        http://www.iciiu.org       iciiu@iciiu.org