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[Membership] Peripheral comments on MAC recommendations

I am sure I would not be the only one to wish to congratulate the MAC on their following recommendations. Many of the partisans will find fault with it, for partisan reasons,and the question of voting structure where a probably issue-driven group will be able to negate the professional constituencies on occasion will be interesting.

However the economics looks dangerous. ICANN would be promising to send mail and authenticate theoretically every internet user in the world, that's going to require staff, databases and a mailing operation (unless an efficient internet alternative can be found or membership can be subsumed into another existing entity like ISOC). That's probably ten dollars a head by the time you have a few thousand members. Surely it would be cost-efficient to charge a flat fee? And the question of demographic pricing is incorrect.
Internet users in deprived areas are the rich elites. They are well able to bear the fees. Flat fees would be much simpler to operate. Also on-line registration as below.

Principles of the At-large Membership

    1.  At-large membership should primarily represent those individuals and organizations that are not represented by the Supporting Organizations (SOs).

Why primarily? Who else should it represent? Shouldn't this be clarified?

The goals of the at-large membership are as follows:

        (a) to include any Internet user with access and verifiable identity in order to reflect the global diversity of users (membership should not be limited to IP address or domain name holders),

How will this reflect global diversity? Either members join as they wish (i.e. approximately North America 45% Europe 30% AP 20% LA 5% Africa 1% or will you be prioritising on price?

        (b) to elect Directors to the ICANN Board by procedures that are valid and authentic,
        (c) to ensure that ICANN’s corporate structure operates for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole, is not captured, and continues to provide fair and proportional representation of the entire user community,

What procedures will ensure fair and proportional representation?

        (d) to provide input from the user community to the ICANN Directors and
        (e) to do so in a cost-efficient manner.


    2.  At-large membership is open to both individuals and organizations, however, no organization that has a right to designate or otherwise directly vote
for an SO Director may register as an at-large Member.  “Organization” shall mean any institution officially recognized as a legal persona under the laws
of the nation where it claims legal residence.  Individuals who are members of the SOs or their constituencies are welcome to join the at-large
membership.  The most feasible protection against capture by interests that are not representative of the the user
community at large is to enroll as many Members as possible.


    3.  It is not recommended that membership fees be assessed at this time.  If membership fees should be assessed in the future, they shall reflect the
economic differences of the various geographic regions.

See comment above.


    4.  Online registration procedures should be favored, however reasonable efforts should be made to authenticate the identity of applicants.  The
suggested procedure for registration is as follows: an online form is filled out by the applicant who may thereafter be required to supply physical proof of
existence.  ICANN will respond by postal mail sending the applicant a membership identification code to use for voting and other transactions.  An
applicant shall provide the following data in the application:

        physical mail address
        e-mail contact (preferably an individual account)
        an organization shall also provide the name of its voting representative, that representative's e-mail address,     and evidence of legal identity

Why not assume that most people are honest and allow on-line registration to stand, with publication of the registrants? Then details could be required if challenged, conceivably paid for by the challenger. This should minimise the cost of registration, voter fraud and allow quick and easy on-line registration.


    5.  Membership shall expire 30 days after the annual election of Directors and must be renewed annually.  Unless otherwise specified, renewal will
generally be effective upon electronic confirmation by the member of the accuracy of existing registration data.  Members shall be required to notify
ICANN of any changes of address (e-mail and postal) during the term of membership.  Failure to do so may result in deletion from the membership list or
ineligibility to vote.


    6.  From time to time, ICANN shall sample the membership applications in order to determine whether the goals of membership are being met and
whether fraudulent registrations exist in sufficient number as to call into question the ability of the membership to meet the goals of Section 1 above.
ICANN may take reasonable steps to assure that these goals are met.  Members who submit fraudulent or inaccurate data shall be deleted from the
membership list. Multiple applications from the same organization or individual shall be deleted from the list.

Shouldn't these applications be made known to discourage others?


    7.  If desired, ICANN may appoint a committee (a) to assist in soliciting candidates in regions where there are few candidates or (b) to oversee election
details such as fulfillment of candidate criteria, however it shall not be a function of such committee to filter, screen or otherwise evaluate candidates on
any grounds other than for failure to supply the required campaign documentation of Section 12 below, in a true, accurate and timely fashion.


    8.  Privacy concerns should be foremost in the collection, safeguarding and use of a Member's data.  Except as may be required by applicable law, no
Director, officer or Member of ICANN shall be permitted to use such personal data for commercial or other private purpose nor shall any Member's
individual vote be made public.

Presumably the recent european data laws need to be taken into account also. There would be specific other restrictions on the use of data concerning EU citizens.


    9.  At-large voting shall be on the principle of one-person-one-vote.  An organization shall be limited to casting one vote on behalf of the entire
organization.  Individuals who vote for SO Directors in their capacity as representatives of SO-member organizations shall also have a right to vote for
at-large Directors in their personal capacity as at-large Members.


    10.  The at-large membership shall consist of a single voting class.  A Member may not vote in any election that occurs less than one month after the
Member has been registered.


    11.  Any individual who is a Member may stand for election as an at-large Director.  In the event that the number of candidates is so large as to
discourage careful consideration by voters, then ICANN shall have the option of requiring all candidates to provide evidence of a reasonable amount of
support from other Members for their candidacy.  ICANN shall take efforts to encourage participation of candidates from regions where there may be a
shortage of such volunteers.


    12.  Candidates for ICANN at-large Director shall provide the following documents prior to the final date for submitting nominations:

      1.proof of identity
      2.proof of citizenship (necessary to determine regional representation)
      3.proof of membership
      4.proof of adulthood as defined in the nation of the candidate's citizenship
      5.agreement to be online and accessible to the membership via the Internet with sufficient frequency to fulfill the responsibilities of office
      6.agreement to provide adequate personal time to fulfill the responsibilities of office
      7.agreement to provide for own language translations into English as necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of office (although it is hoped
        ICANN will be financially able to move toward providing translation of all its materials)
      8.biographical information not exceeding 250 words
      9.statement of positions on issues not exceeding 250 words
      10.statement identifying sources of income, financial interests, and other possible conflicts of interest

    13.  ICANN shall post the list of candidates and items 8 - 10 of their data on its web site no later than 30 days prior to the election.  ICANN  may
elect to provide online discussion fora or other formats for purposes of the campaign debate.


    14.  Election fraud shall consist of at least the following: providing false or inaccurate information concerning the candidate's obligations,  offering
financial or other value in exchange for a vote in a particular manner, or requiring a Member to vote in a particular manner as an obligation of
employment or office.  Any Member who participates in election fraud shall be deleted from the membership registration.


    15.  Voting shall be conducted using Internet-based methods to the greatest extent possible consistent with authentication requirements and applicable
law.  ICANN will work to design a method of cumulative voting by electronic methods that satisfies the requirements of applicable law and enhances the
likelihood of achieving quorums.  If proxies are used, they shall be limited to specific proxies which authorize and direct
    an officer of ICANN to vote exactly as specified in the proxy document.


    16.  Article V Section 6 of the ICANN Bylaws should be amended so that the SOs and the At-large may select their representatives without regard to
the election results of any of the other of them.  The following principles are recommended:

        a) unless authorized in advance by the Board of Directors, no two Directors from the same SO may be from the same region, and
       b) the at-large Directors must include at least one from each region and may have no more than 4 from the same region, and
        c) as a consequence of establishing independent regional requirements for each component of ICANN, the cap on the aggregate
        total of all Board Directors from one nation should be eliminated.


    17.  All general meetings of the at-large membership shall be open to the public and minutes thereof shall be kept and promptly posted on the  ICANN
web site.


    18.  Until further notice, all official communications to and from ICANN concerning the at-large membership shall be in the English language.


    Note:  The Membership Advisory Committee is still examining the assignment of nations to regions as discussed in Article V Section 6 of the
    ICANN bylaws.

          Last updated 28 April 1999 by Diane Cabell

                         Representation in Cyberspace Study | Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Mark Measday

Josmarian SA measday@josmarian.ch/measday@ibm.net
UK tel/fax: 0044.181.747.9167
French tel/fax: 0033.450.20.94.92
Swiss tel/fax: 0041.22.363.88.00

L'aiuola che ci fa tanto feroci. Divina Commedia, Paradiso, XXII, 151