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[Membership] Joe Sims, Greg Crew, and list participation

Mr. Sims-

You've had forty-eight hours to mend your ways and remove the offensive
header from your message so that I could reply to it, but you apparently
haven't the character to admit a mistake and correct it. However, since I
don't want to lose the opportunity of replying to your posting (a strangely
rare occurrence for someone who has had the destiny of the Internet in his
hands for the past year), I've removed the header myself and will proceed
just as if yours had been a normal message from a conscientious netizen.

Joe Sims wrote:

> This is weird.  First you complain that the ICANN Board never speaks, then
> when a Board member speaks you tell him to shut up.  

Many people have complained about the ICANN Board's relative silence on the
Internet, and quite justifiably. There are members of the Board who have
never posted to any of the lists discussing ICANN issues, for example Linda
Wilson, which is unacceptable for an organization that pretends to represent
and speak for the Internet. 
As to telling a Board member to shut up, I never said or suggested such a
thing; on the contrary, I responded immediately to Greg Crew's two postings
and suggested ways in which he could make his future postings more
effective. What you have said above is a lie, like the lies you told the
House Subcommittee Hearing on October 7th, when you said under oath that you
didn't know how the ICANN interim Board members had been chosen. You
practice lying. It is your profession. But your lies are transparent. You
are no good at it.

> As Greg's second post makes clear, he is trying -- for no 
> compensation and clearly no glory -- to figure out how to make 
> this work,

By telling the DNSO that he (the ICANN Board) favors SO memberships that
exclude individuals? By telling people that "the degree of openness sought
can be provided by posting policy recommendations for public comment, which
ICANN will do before approving them", rather than that the recommendations
should be made through open consensus, and won't be approved until they have
it? By saying that "representation in ICANN be considered in the aggregate,
with SO's and AL membership structures together ensuring all possible and
interested constituents have a voice", after ICANN has issued a press
release, tantamount to an edict, telling the incipient SOs that ICANN won't
protect them in case of litigation and that they are best off incorporating
outside the ICANN structure?

> while you and some others appear only
> interested in promoting your personal version of the public interest.  

I enter into the debates on these lists like everyone else. What you are
doing here is simply appealing to the lowest prejudice against me and my
organization that has appeared from time to time on these lists, that
because the ICIIU isn't a membership organization I can't claim to
"represent" users. Well, that unsupportable prejudice against me has been
dropped long ago by the right-thinking and intelligent persons on these
lists, for lack of substance, since I do not claim to represent anyone but
myself, and I am an end-user. But no base and illicit argument, no
unsupportable prejudice is too low for you to try to avail yourself of.

> I would think that any serious participant in this debate would want to have
> more input from and interchange with the Board members; flaming every
> posting they make is not likely to produce this result.  

More input and interchange when it is well-intentioned, thoughful, and
useful. Not when it is partisan, thoughtless, and counter-productive. And my
post was no flame. I employed nothing but reason in it, although a reason
that goes against the insidious tactics that you have practiced in this
process and that you have instilled in the Board members, convincing them
not to be transparent and cooperative with the Internet. You dare talk of
input and interchange, after what you have done during the IANA bylaws
process, in the rout of the IFWP, in the secret selection of the Board, in
your continuing avoidance of all public exposure of your machinations with
the U.S. Government and others, as exemplified in the recently posted
pseudo-minutes of the January 17th ICANN Board teleconference? You have no
shame, Mr. Sims, that is obvious; but you are fooling no one.

> On the merits,
> Greg's point seemed pretty clear and even logical, although you are of
> course entitled to disagree:  if the ICANN At Large members are going to be
> any individual who wants to join, and they are going to elect half the
> Board, and the Board will make policy decisions after recommendations from
> the SO's, and any such decisions can only be made after full public
> disclosure in advance and an opportunity for public comment, then it might
> make sense for the SO's to have only organizations as members, which would
> be organizationally and logistically much simpler for them, and more
> consistent with their basically technical and specialized function.

Mr. Crew's point was clear, but it wasn't logical. There is no way of
knowing what the components of the ICANN at-large membership will be. No
clear guidelines have yet been decided upon. I attended the Berkman Center
meeting two weeks ago; there was no consensus on anything regarding the
at-large membership. As Mike Roberts recently said in a press interview, at
this rate there won't be an ICANN membership before the end of the year.

You say that policy decisions will only be made after full public disclosure
and public comment. Why should we believe this? When have we ever seen full
public disclosure from ICANN? And as to comments, do you think we have
forgotten comments@iana.org? I should think you would consider very
carefully using the word "comments" before employing it here, Mr. Sims.

We do not trust you and the ICANN Board. You have given us no reason to
trust you. We will believe that the ICANN membership will be broad-based and
fair when we see it, not before. Right now, we have a chance to make the
DNSO membership fair, without your meddling (we hope), so we will do what's
accessible to us.

Regarding your opinion that there is sense in the SOs having only
organizations as members, that is no more than your attempt to foist off on
the DNS community a corporate structure, in order for people like you the
more easily to manipulate and conytrol it, just as the INTA has tried to do.
They haven't succeeded, and neither will you.

> You
> should feel free to explain why you think this is not a good idea, but if
> the decibels were lower and there were fewer insults, it would likely
> produce more and more intelligent debate.

There was no insult in my reply to Mr. Crews. But there is insult in this
unfounded and dishonest attack on me. It was precisely in order to stimulate
Mr. Crews into a more intelligent debate that I answered him; and no servile
obeissance to the words of a Board member, or their attorney, has ever or
ever will produce intelligent debate.