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[Membership] [Comment-Mac] Cone of Silence: ICANN or Internet Democracy is Failing

   Following is from an article in TELEPOLIS titled
   Cone of Silence
   ICANN or Internet democracy is failing

    by John Horvath 
        URL: http://www.heise.de/tp/english/inhalt/te/2837/1.html

   an excerpt follows:
        "...There's a battle being waged behind the scenes that many 
   of us don't know about - even those whose lives have now become 
   dependent on computer mediated communication systems like the 
   Internet. The process to hand over government control of the 
   Internet to a private body - a process which was formulated 
   last summer and initiated toward the end of that same year 
   - has been rife with problems that various sides are continually
   struggling to deal with.
   While many people who use the Internet will have heard about this
   process and the organisation involved -  ICANN , to which the whole
   process has become synonymous - the truth of the matter is that for
   the vast majority it is something relatively unknown. Indeed, there's
   been a "cone of silence" over the issue, and for those involved that's
   just the way they like it.
   In order to try and break this cone of silence and to better
   understand what is really at stake, what will be looked at is the
   origin and evolution of the process and the organisation it has
   created, ICANN. Its first moves and the corresponding negative
   reaction that gave the whole process a stillborn start will be
   examined, along with ways in which attempts have been made to rescue
   the process. This will be followed by a more in-depth look at those
   for and against ICANN and the process, along with some observations as
   to how and why the silent complicity that surrounds the issue exists.
   In the end, it will be shown how the issue is not just one involving
   the transformation of the Internet from a government body to a private
   one, but strikes at the very heart of democracy in the digital age. It
   also affects the emergence of a new form of civic discourse, one that
   transcends the limits of physical space. In fact, it's something which
   will profoundly change our lives, and unless more attention is paid to
   what is actually going on behind the scenes, a future will be built
   for us that will run counter to many of our hopes and expectations."

   (see URL for rest of article)

   Also there is an ICANN meeting in Berlin scheduled for 
   May 25-27.