[comments-review] Comments on RTF Report
I write as an active Member of the GA, @Large and the DNSO Review Working Group. WG-Review is my first WG experience which I undertook with some nervousness. Now I realize that a fresh and unencumbered outlook can be an asset. Whatever the merits of my comments, my participation has been encouraged by members with opposing viewpoints and as a result, I would only encourage WG-Review and DNSO to meet the challenge of diversity as a priority, by pushing forward with practical solutions for Outreach and Education, without fear of what this may bring upon ICANN in general and DNSO in particular for the future. That cannot be overstressed in the report.
About me. I am a British citizen, small business owner and entrepreneur. My technical training has been gained in film and television production over more than a decade working as a designer and director, mainly for BBC Television in London, England, during which time I won a British Academy Award. Therefore, I regard myself as fairly good at harnessing technical innovation and communicating effectively with the general public.
In the early 90s, I established a small real estate business in London, with a client base of large corporations, mainly US and Swedish. It's a niche market and my business is conducted directly at Senior Executive and CEO level.
Since the early 90s, I have been using the Internet on a daily basis, initially to communicate with clients worldwide, then as a way to manage business in the UK from the US, where I am now a permanent resident. I have since gained experience with international trading issues for the individual and small business person.
Current projects in development include a vineyard, boutique winery and visitor centre on Long Island, New York, for which we seek private investment partners (shameless plug).
I forward my personal comments below, also in italic text, together with relevant extracts from the RTF Report. These are intended to add a more balanced reflection of views strongly expressed by members of WG-Review since its inception in December 2000, as I have witnessed, and as recorded in the WG-Review Archive at dnso.org. Some of these viewpoints have been omitted from the current draft, I believe in error.
At the time of writing, focus of the WG-Review has largely moved on from the RTF Report using a structured work plan that will not be completed for some time. Therefore, the comments below simply highlight a few key areas which I believe it would be a mistake to omit from the RTF report altogether, but inevitably, these need further clarification, which I have no doubt will be forthcoming in due course in WG-Review's own report. I am collating some key documents for WG-Review at http://www.internetstakeholders.com, but this is very much a work in progress.
"The DNSO was formally established in March 1999 as one of ICANN's three Supporting Organizations.14 Since its establishment it has undergone tremendous growth in both membership of stakeholders and geographic representation. [To be added: statistics from each Constituency and General Assembly]."
As the General Assembly includes Constituency Members, statistics provided for members of the General Assembly who are already represented by a Constituency ought to be stipulated.
Comments received indicated strong support for andIndividual Domain Name Holders/Owners Constituency.31 (See section C.)
Other comments from WG-review indicated strong support for disbanding the existing Constituency Structure altogether. This should be reflected in the report.
don't need such a Procrustean mechanism if we simply give each person one vote
and let them cast it as they chose. As you suggest, many people will follow
leaders. That's fine - as long as the followers get to pick their
leaders rather than have them forced upon them by some pre-ordained constituency
The NC and the Board should also establish a means of communicating, to ensure that the NC is consulted on an ongoing basis, and DNSO input can be constructive. This can only be done if the NC takes a stronger leadership role in the DNSO]
So far as I can tell, the majority of WG-Review members did not support the suggestion that the NC, *as it exists* take a stronger leadership role. What was favored, was the suggestion that the GA take a stronger role as a means to ensure DNSO input can be constructive, not least by changing the Bylaws to enable the GA to elect its own Chair. This would mean that support for the last sentence above could only be claimed if the NC is to be reformed. At the very least, the report should clarify whether it is talking about the NC as it exists now or reformed and for further clarification, should add something along the lines of the following, which is one item under consideration as part of WG-Reviews work plan:-
basic problem is that noone can show agreement on how to decide which
constituencies to form and how to integrate them once they are formed. While it
may have been an interesting political experiment, it
Recommendation: [Suggestion: If there is an Individual Domain Name Holders constituency, the structure of the GA should be revisited to avoid duplication with the role of the individual constituency. For example, the GA could perform the role of an issue-intake mechanism. This could also be explored even if there is not an individual domain name holder's constituency, as the role of the GA in the DNSO process would then be very important. Recommend that ICANN in its request to the NC on the establishment of an individual constituency, include that the role of the GA should there be an individual constituency be evaluated and recommendations made.]
The recommendation should stress that the structure of the GA currently has no authority. It should also note that if the structure of the GA is to be revisited to avoid duplication with the role of an individual's constituency, by the same logic, the structure and role of existing constituencies should be evaluated to avoid duplication with the GA.
(Karl Auerbach, ICANN Director, made a similar point in WG-Review with respect to constituencies and the @Large).
procedurally, the NC needs to develop approaches that will allow for greater
involvement of NC representatives, minimize the amount of subjectivity and
increase the amount of measurable objective criteria in the consensus-building
process. This means, the NC has to be clear on its mandate and responsibilities,
and develop procedures and timelines to fulfill them. Some comments also
observed that it would be good for the NC to establish better communication with
the ICANN Board Members, as well as with the other SO
Recommendation: [Suggestion: address and further study mechanisms for the NC to address issues minimizing subjectivity. Further study how NC can establish clear mandate and identify/fulfill responsibilities.]
The large part of WG-Review's input on this issue has focused on the Domain Name Definition issue and this is extensively covered in the Archives. Certainly the report should note the significant amount of concern expressed by members over this issue. The DNDEF issue strikes at the very heart of DNSO's credibility, its subjectivity, objective criteria, consensus-building process, mandate and responsibilities.
Finally, regarding other comments posted here, I single out those posted by Greg Burton, WG-Review Chair, and Danny Younger of Babybows.com as having my support.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.