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RE: [ga] Final draft of proposed mailing list rules

They're my personal views.  I'm trying to take Michael's suggestion to
involve myself a bit more in the lists.



[ -----Original Message-----
[ From: Mark Measday [mailto:measday@josmarian.ch]
[ Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2000 2:05 PM
[ To: mclaughlin@pobox.com
[ Cc: Michael Froomkin - U.Miami School of Law; Kent Crispin; ga@dnso.org
[ Subject: Re: [ga] Final draft of proposed mailing list rules
[ Andrew,
[ Could you clarify whether these are personal thoughts, represent 
[ the general thinking of the Board, or should be understood some other way?
[ Andrew McLaughlin wrote:
[ > Some thoughts on your thoughts:
[ >
[ > [ In my defense, I'd point out that since ICANN has yet to actually do
[ > [ anything to have a membership except make future membership 
[ less important
[ > [ and less attractive than in the original schema used to claim 
[ consensus
[ > [ for the ICANN structure, the DNSO-GA is currently the only 
[ forum in which
[ > [ individuals who might someday become "members" can participate it has
[ > [ functioned as a sort of proxy, or stalking horse, for the membership.
[ >
[ > That's silly, and it betrays a serious misunderstanding of what 
[ ICANN is and
[ > how it's supposed to function.
[ >
[ > 1.  ICANN has been working aggressively to implement a 
[ membership.  ICANN
[ > pursued funds from a number of sources over many months, and obtained
[ > $200,000 in grant funding from the Markle Foundation;  has 
[ hired a full-time
[ > project manager, a coding team, and a design firm;  has purchased and
[ > installed the necessary machines;  and is working to design, 
[ build, and test
[ > the various hardware and software components of a robust, 
[ fraud-resistant
[ > at-large membership.
[ >
[ > 2.  As a bottom-up policy-making body, ICANN relies on a distributed
[ > architecture for the development of policy recommendations.  
[ There are lots
[ > of places in addition to the DNSO-GA where individuals who might someday
[ > become members can participate.  A few examples:  the ASO
[ > <http://www.aso.icann.org>, operates two open mailing lists on address
[ > policy.  ARIN, RIPE NCC, and APNIC all feature open policy meetings and
[ > discussion lists -- see, for example,
[ > <http://www.apnic.net/general.html#mailing-lists>.  The IETF's 
[ > DNS-Ops working groups sometimes touch on technical issues 
[ relevant to ICANN
[ > policy questions.  There are BoFs at conferences like NANOG, 
[ > IETF, etc., etc.
[ >
[ > To me, the DNSO-GA mailing list has thus far demostrated that free-form,
[ > unfocused discussions add little to the development of consensus on
[ > technical coordination policies.  I have a great deal of confidence that
[ > Roberto and Harald and others will be able to significantly upgrade the
[ > performance and value of the DNSO-GA.  But I don't think you should look
[ > toward ICANN's At Large Membership as a substitute for the distributed
[ > nature of a bottom-up organization -- the real work toward building
[ > consensus should take place in the RIRs, SDOs, constituencies, working
[ > groups, etc., and not in large, undifferentiated, aggregated 
[ mailing lists.
[ >
[ > I hope that ICANN's at-large membership will help connect 
[ interested persons
[ > with the existing organizations and forums where consensus 
[ policies will be
[ > developed and discussed.  But I don't think ICANN should ever try to
[ > substitute for or compete with existing technical 
[ standard-setting and other
[ > organizations.
[ >
[ > I certainly recognize that ICANN's comment interfaces have left 
[ something to
[ > be desired.  We're shortly going to be launching some improved web-based
[ > forums in which interested persons can submit comments and 
[ discuss pending
[ > issues (the ad hoc group on numbering will use one of these).
[ >
[ > [ In particular, the decision to rewrite the ByLaws in order not to have
[ > [ individual "members" of any legally or politi
cally meaningful
[ sort flies
[ > [ directly in the face of the very consensus ICANN proclaimed
[ supported its
[ > [ initial structure, and represents a decisive break with the
[ White Paper
[ > [ vision that provided ICANN's original claim to legitimacy.
[ Furthermore,
[ > [ as described in some detail in
[ > [ http://www.law.miami.edu/~amf/individuals.htm, ICANN's
[ decision to remove
[ > [ the members-with-meaning was originally justified on a very dubious
[ > [ reading of California law, and was directly contrary to the
[ staff report
[ > [ which appeared to be the main document on the subject (it did
[ appear in a
[ > [ separate report which neither I nor many others following the subject
[ > [ appear to have read until it was too late, since it only appeared in
[ > [ August while we were on vacation).
[ >
[ > First, I think you mischaracterize the White Paper, which
[ stated that "Board
[ > Members should be elected from membership or other associations
[ open to all
[ > or through other mechanisms that ensure broad representation and
[ > participation in the election process."  The articulated standards are
[ > openness, broad representation, and participation.  ICANN's
[ current At Large
[ > Membership plan is open to anyone who wants to join, without charge.  We
[ > hope to make the membership globally representative through extensive
[ > outreach and recruitment.  Any member will be able to participate in the
[ > election process.  And through the membership, we hope to
[ facilitate greater
[ > participation in the ICANN Supporting Organizations and their
[ constituents.
[ >
[ > Second, I'm not sure what the reference to the staff report
[ means.  I wrote
[ > one of the two staff reports on membership, outlining one proposed
[ > membership structure.  After extensive discussion in Santiago
[ (both formal
[ > and informal), the Board adopted a different model.  The staff
[ report was
[ > one input to the Board, along with numerous others from the
[ community.  On
[ > the question of statutory vs. non-statutory membership, the Board placed
[ > greater weight on the views advanced by the Membership Advisory
[ Committee,
[ > which recommended strongly against statutory membership under California
[ > corporate law.
[ >
[ > I'm sorry that ICANN's August meetings didn't mesh well with
[ your vacation
[ > schedule.
[ >
[ > [
[ > [ I also continue to believe it is unfair to have the members' directors
[ > [ elected in stages while allowing the other directors to be
[ elected in one
[ > [ stage.  This seems calculated - yes calculated - to minimize
[ the influence
[ > [ of the individual directors for as long as possible.
[ >
[ > This strikes me as an odd paranoia.  ICANN has been entrusted
[ with ensuring the stability of a few key technical resources for
[ the Internet.  As such, ICANN has to merit confidence in the many
[ communities of individuals, businesses, universities, and others
[ that depend upon the Internet that it will not be captured by
[ crazy people through an untested, unprecedented global election
[ scheme.  The objective of staged elections is to test the
[ election system in a real-world setting, giving the ICANN
[ community a chance to observe the process and the results, make
[ improvements before the next round, or (if things have gone
[ horribly awry) reboot the whole process.  Better to catch and
[ correct efforts at fraud and capture before all nine At-Large
[ directors have been seated on the Board.
[ >
[ > Your language here is revealing -- you describe the At-Large
[ directors as "individual directors," as though the nine
[ SO-elected Directors were something other than individuals.  As
[ you know, all ICANN Directors bear a fiduciary obligation to
[ ICANN to act in its best interests, not in the best interests of
[ the organizations for which they work or by which they were
[ chosen for the Board.  This will be true for the At-Large
[ Directors as well.  All 19 Directors are "individuals."
[ >
[ > In general, I'm glad that I don't live in the gnostic world
[ which you seem to occupy, surrounded by devious fiends of
[ unsleeping malevolence (and their willing dupes), who are out to
[ entrench powerful oligarchs and betray the cherished notion of
[ "internet governance."  From my perspective, the ICANN world is
[ largely (though not entirely) populated by individuals of good
[ will and honorable intention who want to work together to build a
[ stable, robust, limited-purpose technical coordination entity
[ that serves the interests of the global Internet community.
[ (Yes, even your apparent nemesis Joe Sims.)  If you approached
[ the process in this way, your views might be accorded greater
[ respect by the broader community of participants.
[ >
[ > [ All that, however, is past, unless there is some chance the issues
[ > [ can be revisited in Cairo now that part of the Board is the
[ > [ elected representeatives of part of the stakeholders?
[ > [
[ >
[ > The whole point of the At Large membership and elections agenda
[ item for Cairo is to revisit and reconsider these issues.  This
[ is still, as it has been from the beginning, a step-by-step
[ process forward, often in fits and starts.  I'm certainly going
[ to advise the Board to reach closure on the form
[ > , structure, and content of At Large membership. What's your alternative
[ > proposal to what's already in the Bylaws?  Why don't you
[ prepare something
[ > to be posted when the public comment process starts in a few weeks (or
[ > sooner, technology willing)?
[ >
[ > [ 1) Is the ICANN Board going to take up in Cairo Jonathan Weinberg's
[ > [ suggestions on improving the role of the membership? (See
[ >

http://www.icann.org/comments-mail/comment-bylaws/msg00015.html )  Is some
> [ action required from outsiders to make this more likely?  If the Board
> [ not planning to do this, is there going to be an explanation as to why
> [ this is not in order?  (Please consider this a formal request to agenda
> [ this issue if such a request is required.)
> I'm sure Jonathan's suggestions will be given careful consideration by the
> Board.  I'll ask him to repost them in the dedicated comment forum, once
> it's been launched.
> [
> [ 2) Also, is the issue of new DNSO constituencies going to be in order in
> [ Cairo?  If not, when will the IDNO issue actually be discussed and
> [ resolved?
> [
> I've advised the Board that I don't think any of the proposals for
additional constituencies (including the IDNO and variations on it) have met
the test of broad support.  If the Board receives a proposal for a new
constituency that bears evidence of broad support among individuals (which
means many more than 35 individual members, in my view), I'll certainly
advise them to consider it.  The Board can only act on actual proposals,
though.  Is there a new effort underway to organize a broad-based, open and
inclusive constituency for individuals domain name holders?
> [ 3) While I'm asking questions, do you know anything about the pending
> [ applications for reconsideration that have been filed with ICANN?  Is
> [ there a page that summarizes the status of these matters?
> [
> The reconsideration committee page is at
<http://www.icann.org/reconsideration/recon-committee.htm>.  It's a bit
outdated at the moment, which is entirely my fault.  I'm going to try to get
it updated this afternoon.
> Best regards,
> --Andrew

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