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[ga] Statement on Lynn Proposal

The NGO and Academic ICANN Study (NAIS) has issued a statement 
responding to Stuart Lynn's recent paper proposing ICANN 
restructuring. Comments/thoughts are welcome.


* * *

Preliminary Statement of
NGO and Academic Internet Study (NAIS)
On Proposal for Restructuring ICANN

We have preliminarily reviewed with interest the proposal offered 
last weekend by ICANN's President Stuart Lynn to fundamentally 
restructure ICANN. Let us share our initial reaction:

The proposal assumes that ICANN's experiment in an inclusive, 
directly represented At Large Membership has failed, and that ICANN's 
structure will not include such a membership in the future.

a) Yet, the Board has abridged its own process to evaluate the merits 
of the report prepared by its own advisory committee on that matter - 
the At Large Study Committee - which only a few days ago recommended 
that ICANN continue to develop an At Large that would elect board 
members. Since the Board is now unlikely to take the action necessary 
to host an election in the next six months, the At-Large Directors' 
terms will expire and the At-Large Membership will be terminated 
without any decision by the community or the Board that such 
termination is justified. We believe that the ALSC report, along with 
our own recommendations regarding its implementation, should be 
openly evaluated before the whole idea of the At Large is abandoned.

b) As we have stated in the past, openness, transparency, 
inclusiveness, and participation are critical elements of a 
legitimate ICANN. However, the Lynn proposal fails to provide 
adequate support to these principles. We continue to believe that end 
users and the public at large must have the ability to participate 
meaningfully  in ICANN, to act as a watchdog on its activities, and 
to hold it accountable for its decisions that affect the public 
interest. In its current form, the Lynn proposal would hamstring the 
community's ability to conduct these important activities.

c) ICANN has typically described itself as "a technical coordination 
body for the Internet".  Re-focusing on ICANN's core mission is at 
the heart of the Lynn proposal, indeed "mission" is mentioned with 
great frequency throughout the document. However, we believe that the 
appropriateness of the Lynn reforms will not be clear without an 
explanation as to what the core mission activities are. We urge Dr. 
Lynn to elaborate on his own conception of ICANN's technical 
coordination mission, to define the activities that constitute that 
mission, and to continue to explore mechanisms to ensure compliance 
with that mission.

Rob Courtney
Policy Analyst
Center for Democracy & Technology
1634 Eye Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
202 637 9800
fax 202 637 0968


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