Re: [wg-review] 3. [Constituencies]
>>> "Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M." <email@example.com> 12/29/00 09:32AM >>>
I suggest we start with threshold questions. For example: Is the DNSO constituency structure representative of Internet stakeholder interests?
Rod and all:
The problem is deeper, much deeper, than the simple fact that there is no individual's constituency.
The real problem is that the existing constituency structure has been deliberately gerrymandered to augment the power of some groups and diminish or eliminate the influence of other groups.
Under the current structure, all you need are ten solid votes on the Names Council. If you have that, it doesn't matter at all what other constituencies think, nor what the "consensus of the Internet community" is. You can just block anything you like, or ram through anything you like.
It is a travesty to call the current DNSO a "consensus management" process. I think Bret Fausett's earlier comments were saying something similar. It is a political process in which control of votes counts, nothing else.
I will go a bit further and indicate who controls the votes. There is a longstanding axis composed of the IP, B&C, Registrar and Registry constituencies. The ISP constituency is also basically part of it. These groups have worked out a "consensus" among themselves as to what will and will not happen.
The current constituency structure makes this possible. It basically gives the businesses who believe in subordinating DNS to trademark protection 4 constituencies, and those who oppose them one or no constituencies.
Consider the following case: AIM, an organization of major European brand holders, is a member of the Business and commercial constituency. That organization's representative, Phil Shepard, is on the Names Council. Now obviously, as an organization devoted to brand holders, AIM is concerned primarily if not exclusively with trademark protection. Likewise, AT&T, a major lobbying force, is an ISP, a member of B&C, and holder of hundreds of trademarks. So these groups, who do not represent more people or even more investment stake in the Internet than, say, the non-commercial constituency, can play around in three or four constituencies, whereas other points of view are confined to one.
Just do the political arithmetic.
Adding an individuals' constituency is not going to change much. IF we are going to retain a constituency structure at all (and I'm not convinced we should) we need to completely rework it.