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Re: [Membership] COMMENTS ON M.A.C. RECOMMENDATIONS of MARCH 18
- To: "Michael Sondow" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "ICANN MAC list" <email@example.com>, "ICANN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Int'l Forum on the White Paper" <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Joop Teernstra" <email@example.com>, "Jonathan Zittrain" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Daniel Kaplan" <email@example.com>, "DNSO discuss" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, "Einar Stefferud" <Stef@nma.com>, "Eric Weisberg" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Esther Dyson" <email@example.com>, "Jay Fenello" <Jay@Iperdome.com>, "Karl Auerbach" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Kathryn Kleiman" <KathrynKL@aol.com>, "Larry Lessig" <lessig@POBOX.COM>, "Milton Mueller" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: [Membership] COMMENTS ON M.A.C. RECOMMENDATIONS of MARCH 18
- From: "Dr Nii Quaynor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 11:01:36 -0000
- Sender: email@example.com
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
>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.