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Consensus against resolution?
I submit that there is a strong near-consensus in the Internet community
against this resolution -- or would be if the community were aware of it.
If, however, the community does became aware of this proposal, it will be
little thanks to ICANN. The proposal was launched quietly on the website
about a week before the meeting -- far too short a period for meaningful
comment, especially given the crowded agenda. Indeed, as of this writing,
23 August, the proposal is not listed among the matters visible on the
initial ICANN web page (www.icann.org). It is buried on a later page,
several screens below "Hotel Information". I was not aware of it until
someone sent me email about it.
I think it is completely inappropriate for a matter of this sort to be
aired in this fashion, and for that reason alone the resolution does not
merit even the limited consideration the IDNO proposal appears to have
Yes, it's a lawyer going on about procedure again. But those of us who
are not able to attend meetings in person count on there being effective
notice and reliable procedures, or our remote participation is diminished
towards meaninglessness. And ICANN, particularly when advising the
subsidary bodies such as the pNC, does not have at present a very good
record of punctillious observation of procedure.
On the merits, the performance of the current Board, on matters ranging
from its membership outreach, its financial acumen, its dialogic skills
with the Internet community (Chair Dyson excepted), and its policy on
openness, all suggest to me that neither ICANN or the Internet would be
well served by extending the terms of the majority of the current
It will no doubt be suggested that but for this resolution there is no way
for the organization to continue. (In which case the resolution is a
foregone conclusion, and public comment merely a formality, since no
amount of public comment could stop this from happening.) This is perhaps
true, but it gives rise to two counter-observations. First, the reasons
why we are at this pass are almost entirely the result of misplaced
priorities on this Board's part. The second is that if it is indeed the
case that this Board must perpetuate itself in this fashion or ICANN dies,
it only strenghtens the case for new blood.
I and many others had expected that the first and primary task of the
Interim Board would be to find a fair way to choose an initial, elected,
Board. Had this been the central initial focus of the organization, we
would not be at this pass.
I suggest therefore, that if this really is inevitable, as an interim
measure three board members agree to be chosen by lot to volunteer to
resign, and that the Board replace them with new interim directors who
better represent the diversity of views on contentious issues. The Board
might, for example, pick someone who has been active in the GA such as
Dennis Jennings, someone from the IDNO organizing efforts, and someone who
has been active in the corporate sector such as Amadeu Abril from CORE or
perhaps Roger Cochetti from IBM. It is time that the ICANN board be more
closely connected to the interest groups so that a fuller dialog can