[ga] Independance Day
Today in the United States we celebrate Independance Day. This is a
particularly apt moment to reflect upon grievances, upon lack of
representation in the decision-making process, upon the lack of the right to
elect our own officials, and upon an organizational structure that continues
to disenfranchise the rights of individuals.
The Non-commercial constituency and others are threatened by the potential
loss of voting rights if they fail to pay for representation on the Council.
The ccTLD community has already inaugurated efforts to create a separate
Supporting Organization, arguing that the DNSO is not sufficiently attentive
to its needs. This is indeed a time to consider whether the DNSO is
sufficiently attentive to the needs of the General Assembly.
One of the issues facing our forefathers here in the United States was the
question of taxation without representation. They were being asked to supply
the fruits of their labour without the benefit of a voting voice in the
legislative process. We too are being asked to supply the fruits of our
labour through contributions to a forum in order to confer legitimacy upon
the ICANN process, and in like fashion we too have been denied not only the
right to vote in the decision-making body of the DNSO, but we are now being
denied the right to fully participate as top-down Task Forces have come to
replace bottom-up Working Groups.
This is tyranny. When the Review Working Group was callously terminated by
the leadership of the Council, we were promised the following:
"The Names Council will be reviewing both the input from the final WG D
report and from the Review process to develop a new process to implement the
recommendations of the Review process. Full participation in this
implementation phase is envisaged. It is understood that the structure of
participation will be an improvement on the present structure of DNSO
working groups!" http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/council/Arc04/msg00840.html
Lies. There is no full participation, there has been no improvement, only
less participation, endless delays, and continued procrastination. The NC
Task Force report was issued on 17 February. What progress has been made?!!
Do we have any published Terms-of-Reference yet? No. Has the new Review
Task Force made any attempt to work in an open and transparent manner? No.
Do they have a publicly-archived mailing list where terms-of-reference have
been discussed? No. What has been done? According the last teleconference,
there has been some "drafting going on". More backroom dealings. Nothing
out in the open. At this rate, will there ever be an Individuals'
Constituency? Don't bet on it.
The Council determined its need to silence the voices in the Review Working
Group because we were engaged in serious discussions on structural changes
that called for a complete re-organization of the DNSO. We were not alone in
our conclusions... even the ICANN Board recognized the need for change and
issued a resolution to address the issue:
[Resolution 01.28] The Board asks the Names Council and other sources to
separate their proposals into those that improve operations of the DNSO as it
is constituted today and those which may result in changes in the structure
of the DNSO and/or major changes in its functioning.
Where is the Council's proposal to change the structure of the DNSO? There
is no proposal, nor will there be one. They will continue to defy the Board
and will continue to ignore the voices calling for change. Change must be
thrust upon the NC. They will not reform themselves nor the DNSO. In the
interim, we all suffer from the consequences of their lassitude and their
Why are there no more working groups? It does not accord with the
self-interest of the entrenched participants to allow for the opposing
consensus view of the majority to be articulated. They fear the prospect
of 120 voices raised in discussion on a topic because the results may not be
to their liking. We cannot have a working group on collisions in namespace
because we might conclude that ICANN is responsible and accountable for
creating such collisions. We cannot have a working group on the UDRP because
we might take a collective stance to decry the excessive influence of the
intellectual property interests, and might actually shift the balance in
favor of the individual against corporate interests. We cannot have a Review
working group because we might challenge an abusive power structure. We
cannot have a working group on .org because only the Council has the wisdom
to make the appropriate choices. This is unmitigated elitism.
There is not one single issue that should pass out of the DNSO without the
full involvement of the General Assembly.
Token participation in Task Forces is no more than a sop to keep us quiet.
The issue boils down to this -- what course of action should the General
Personally, I am in favor of following the lead of the ccTLDs and moving
forward to a discussion of withdrawing from the DNSO in favor of a Supporting
Organization that would better guard the interests of individuals. I look
forward to your comments. Happy Independance Day!
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