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

On Tue, 25 Jan 2000, Andrew McLaughlin wrote:

> 1.  ICANN has been working aggressively to implement a membership.

No, ICANN has been working to spend the money that the Markle foundation
gave it in order to establish a membership.

> 2.  As a bottom-up policy-making body, ICANN relies on a distributed
> architecture for the development of policy recommendations.

"Bottom-up" and ICANN do not belong in the same sentence, paragraph, or
even in the same book. Much of the problem with ICANN stems from a
creation that was anything but "bottom-up."

> 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>.

I welcome you to review the records of the Swiss IFWP meeting, where
myself and one other gentleman were the sole voices of objection to
*ANYONE* other than the RIR's being involved in decision-making regarding
the RIR's. 

> The IETF's POISSON and DNS-Ops working groups sometimes touch on
> technical issues relevant to ICANN policy questions.  There are BoFs at
> conferences like NANOG, APRICOT, INET, IETF, etc., etc.

Great, however stating your opinion(s) does not equate to the power of a

> 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.

The GA mailing list is a reflection of the scope of the definition
of GA membership(none), the scope of it's duties(none), and the scope of
it's power(none.)

> 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 --

Considering there are exactly *0* consituencies that represent the
consumer or individuals this is exceedingly difficult.

> [ In particular, the decision to rewrite the ByLaws in order not to have
> [ individual "members" of any legally or politically 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
> 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. 

Which makes Michael's characterization completely appropriate and correct.
The current Board in no way reflects openness, broad representation or
participation. The majority of the current board was selected in a
closed processes, by parties unknown. Hardly what I'd characterize as
meeting any of the mandates in the White Paper. 

> ICANN's current At Large Membership plan is open to anyone who wants to
> join, without charge.

And with no power.

> 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.

Here's a clue: offer a meaningful say in the decision-making process.

> [ 
> [ 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.

It shouldn't if you had been paying attention to the vast number of
changes the ICANN board has made to its founding documents, and its'
propensity for ignoring those documents when they aren't convienent.

>  ICANN has been entrusted with ensuring 
> the stability of a few key technical resources for the Internet. 

Entrusted to persons largely ignorant of how the resources themselves
work. Makes sense to me....

> 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.

ICANN is already captured and has been since its inception.

> 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. 

The fiduciary obligation should be to the community it is supposed to
serve rather than to itself.

> 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." 

Power is an attractive mistress.

> 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. 

No, you were right the first time: the fiducary responsibility of ICANN is
to ICANN. ICANN serves the best interests of ICANN, not the community. 

                               Patrick Greenwell                          
                       Earth is a single point of failure.