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Re: [discuss] Individual representation

On 26 June 1999, Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com> wrote:
>The danger an open-admission individual representation is capture. 
>This is a very clear and present danger.  The ICANN membership
>committee recognized this problem, but their only solution was that
>the membership should be large.  Unfortunately, there is no evidence
>at all that these issues are important to more than a *tiny*
>population, and it just doesn't seem very likely that the membership
>of ICANN is going to be very large.  Therefore, any large corporation
>can capture the individual membership.  There is no significant
>defense.  Therefore, there should *never* be a situation where an
>open individual group can control more than half the board.

Wonderful.  Fine.  Right now, they can't control any of it.  And if
ICANN and/or anyone else has fears about "capture", the solution is
not to filibuster, blockade, and eliminate any attempts to gain
individual representation; the solution is to ADVERTISE.  999/1000ths
of the world don't even know you exist, much less that you're deciding
issues that affect their lives.  If ICANN can sleep at night after
deluding themselves into believing that everyone who has an interest
in this has already found and joined the appropriate group, then I
pity them, and strongly question their morals.

The reason the membership may be small and vulnerable to "capture" is
that ICANN is doing everything in its power to make very sure they
don't register on anyone's radar.  Maybe a good dose of "capture" would
be good for them.  Hey, look!  X's employees are suddenly all
over the place!  Should we eliminate that constituency, or should we
make an effort to let others know that we exist and in so doing, perhaps
we'll balance the membership out?

This is the question that ICANN must've (or should've) asked itself.
All actions after that fact seem to point to the former answer rather
than the latter.

>We are just at the halfway mark now, in direct individual 
>representation.  The influence of the General Assembly on policy 
>adds some to that weight.  Hence my contention that at this point 
>individuals already have more than half the power in ICANN.

As long as individuals lack the ability to serve on the DNC, as long
as they lack the ability to elect their own representatives that may
speak with the same voice as those who currently control the DNSO and
ICANN, the individual will never have even equal the power of the
lawyers and the corporations.  Instead, all our grievances, concerns,
and issues will ultimately be decided upon without our vote.  That's
not power, that's faith in leaders we could not, did not, and most likely
would not elect.

>Hence my statment that I am not sure whether some kind of 
>individuals constituency for the DNSO is necessary.

As long as there is voting representation for lawyers and corporations
within the DNSO, there will be a need for the same representation for

 Mark C. Langston