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[registrars] Challenge GAC citizenship requirement for Names Council membership.
Dear Colleagues in ICANN:
First of all, let me key in just what I said on this issue during the ICANN
meeting at LA Airport. References in the present tense refer to that time,
not this present posting:
I wish to challenge the citizenship rule as opposed to resident basis for
Names Council membership.
I questioned this rule yesterday at the CAG open meeting yesterday and was
presented with a hypothetical scenario that there were people with
residences in three countries (it was not specified whether these
residences were in the same or different ICANN regions.)
In Berlin, the IP constituency was unable to comply with the regional
diversity rule, selecting all three NC members from North America. I
personally know an Irish national who is an IP attorney, who holds a
permanent resident visa ("green card") in the U.S., but is in IP law
practice in Japan. Would he be an appropriate European representative to
the NC? I think not.
Hypothetical scenarios make bad rules.
Now that I've thought further about the situation, I'd like to amplify what
I said from the floor.
I suggest that the GAC was suffering from a serious blind spot (or hidden
agenda) in establishing this rule. If they had their eyes on the ball, it
would be clear that the first requirement for an NC member is a knowledge
of the Internet. Second, and far more important than citizenship, he or
she should reside in the region and have knowledge of the Internet in the
If these two points had been raised first by GAC, then it would be more
difficult to challenge the citizenship requirement. But GAC put the cart
before the horse. I don't want to label bureaucrats with a broad brush,
but it is clear that they have a blind spot on this citizenship issue.
Let us look at it another way: The Asia Pacific Region stretches from the
Bosporus, about the 20° meridian, to the International Date Line at
180°. Thus, the AP representative to the NC could be a resident and/or
citizen of the Middle East, starting from the Asian side of the Bosporus --
much of Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine
(Egypt?),Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Nepal,
Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia,
Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Japan, the Koreas, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, the
Philippines, Guam, The Commonwealth of Micronesia, The Federated States of
Micronesia, Australia, New Zealand, The Solomon Islands, Fiji, stepping
across the 180° meridian to the 210°, we rake in Western Samoa, American
Samoa, Tonga, French Polynesia.
What have I missed? I think that it's about 44 countries, well over half
the population of the earth live in what ICANN calls "The Asia-Pacific
Region". It's about 190° of the globe, over half the world. (On that
basis, we in the AP are badly represented in ICANN.) Of just which country
do you think the AP representative of the Registrars Constituency should be
a citizen? Should that person be an "Asian" or a Caucasian? Would not a
Caucasian with extended experience in Asia be a good representative?
Have I made my point? Oh, just what was my point? Yes, that Richard
Lindsay, an American Citizen legally resident in Japan with experience
elsewhere in Asia and with excellent knowledge of the domain name system,
is a suitable NC member.
If the members think a particular person residing in this vast area is the
right person to represent them, shouldn't their preference be enough? What
would citizenship of one of these 44 or so countries add to his or her
credentials to represent the region?