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[wg-b] Re: Setting the Record Straight

On Sun, Mar 26, 2000 at 11:56:21PM -0500, Michael D. Palage wrote:
> In addition to my duties as Chair of this Working Group, I am also
> secretariat of the Registrar Constituency. Needless to say the registrars
> have a vested interest in this Working Group. Therefore, the registrars have
> taken an active role in the process similar to their role in drafting of the
> UDRP.  To my knowledge there is nothing preventing constituencies from
> talking to other constituencies about ICANN policies that directly impact
> them.

So, were or were not decisions about the work of this group made
thusly and subsequently presented in Cairo as the product of this

> In the Status Report which I submitted to the Names Counsel there was a full
> and open disclosure of the negotiations transpiring between the
> constituencies. 

Not all interested parties are represented by, nor participate in, the
constituency structure.  The point of the working group model is to
ensure fair and equitable participation by _everyone_.  If there were
issues to be decided, the decision process should have occurred within
the working group, in the light of day, where everyone could
participate and a record could be kept.

> In addition, in Cairo on two separate occasions I updated
> the General Assembly and the ICANN Board on the consensus building efforts
> between the constituencies. Check the real-audio broadcast on archive at
> Harvard.

That's all I can do.  I wasn't able to fly to Cairo, being as I am
unsupported by a major corporation.  Even if I had, you were
presenting a document that was built outside of, rather than by virtue
of, the working group.

I acknowledge that the major players in this working group are the IP
and registrar constituencies.  However, any substantive decision made
by these two groups outside the working group very neatly eliminates
all other interested parties from participating.  In this case, it's
the 'minor players'.  While the occasional subgroup may wish to meet
to get work done, it's usually announced to the group as a whole, it
typically requires all such work to be brought back before the entire
group, and it generally does not include most of the working group.
Here, we have a case that appears to go against all of this.

With openness comes scrutiny.  That scrutiny will increase in the face
of even perceived impropriety.

> Now to further show what a devious person I am, when drafting the status
> report I let the Intellectual Property and Non-Commercial Constituency write
> their respective portions that appears in the status report.

I will again remind you that not all participants are represented by
those constituencies, or by any constituency at all.

> And in another
> behind the scenes clandestine activity, I am working with Eric Menge at the
> SBA to have a roundtable teleconference for all to participate. 

I eagerly await the announcement of the teleconference time, date,
dial-in number, and any codes or passphrases required to participate.
The announcement should be made to the working group, so that _ALL_
members may participate.

Or is this not the "all" you had in mind?

>Why you ask.
> Because I realize that not everyone can attend the ICANN meetings or belong
> to a constituency with the financial resources for teleconferences.

How gracious of you.  Why was there even a need to 'invite' certain
members of this working group to participate in discussions?  Why the
de facto death of this working group on or about Feb 16 2000?  The
record's there for all to see.  There was no conversation save a few
scheduling notes until after Cairo, yet somehow a report magically
appeared there.  The report was not generated in the working group,
nor was it submitted for approval before its presentation.  Yet,
somehow, "WG-B" had a product all of a sudden.

> In closing, I award you Mark Langston the Oscar for the best conspiracy that
> never was.

Conspiracy is all a point of view.  Oddly, it always seems to be those
on the outside looking in--the disencranchised, the disposessed, and
the unrepresented--that are branded as conspiracy theorists.

Funny, that: When everyone is included in the process, conspiracies
tend to vanish, because everyone is informed about the events of the
day.  One would almost think that this path would be preferable to
fighting off conspiracy claims at every turn.  I can't help but
wonder, then, why certain groups insist on operating in the shadows
like this.

NOTE: You never discredited or otherwise denied that outside work was
occurring, and that members of this working group were excluded from
decision-making processes; you merely rationalized it in this post.

> Sorry Mark, please don't take this e-mail personal, but it has just been a
> loooooong weekend, it is midnight and I still have a couple of hours of pro
> bono ICANN work to finish.

I don't take it personally at all.  Except that I am STILL completely
and totally unrepresented in the ICANN process, save for what little
voice I may yet have in these working groups.  Every time things like
this occur, I, and those in situations similar to mine, are _cheated_
out of their voice.

Until ICANN is a fair and equitable body, providing an equal voice for
_everyone_, you're going to have to deal with me, and those like me,
who take issue with the manner in which business is occasionally
conducted within these virtual walls.  What may work wonderfully in
the boardroom will not fare well at all in what is supposed to be an
open, inclusive process.

I hope you don't take this personally either, Michael.  You've shown
great strength and commitment in this task, and I commend you for it.
There are issues that need to be addressed with certain practices;
you, for good or bad, are the steward of those practices here.

Mark C. Langston
Systems & Network Admin
San Jose, CA