[ga] Statement on Lynn Proposal
The NGO and Academic ICANN Study (NAIS) has issued a statement
responding to Stuart Lynn's recent paper proposing ICANN
restructuring. Comments/thoughts are welcome.
* * *
Preliminary Statement of
NGO and Academic Internet Study (NAIS)
On Proposal for Restructuring ICANN
We have preliminarily reviewed with interest the proposal offered
last weekend by ICANN's President Stuart Lynn to fundamentally
restructure ICANN. Let us share our initial reaction:
The proposal assumes that ICANN's experiment in an inclusive,
directly represented At Large Membership has failed, and that ICANN's
structure will not include such a membership in the future.
a) Yet, the Board has abridged its own process to evaluate the merits
of the report prepared by its own advisory committee on that matter -
the At Large Study Committee - which only a few days ago recommended
that ICANN continue to develop an At Large that would elect board
members. Since the Board is now unlikely to take the action necessary
to host an election in the next six months, the At-Large Directors'
terms will expire and the At-Large Membership will be terminated
without any decision by the community or the Board that such
termination is justified. We believe that the ALSC report, along with
our own recommendations regarding its implementation, should be
openly evaluated before the whole idea of the At Large is abandoned.
b) As we have stated in the past, openness, transparency,
inclusiveness, and participation are critical elements of a
legitimate ICANN. However, the Lynn proposal fails to provide
adequate support to these principles. We continue to believe that end
users and the public at large must have the ability to participate
meaningfully in ICANN, to act as a watchdog on its activities, and
to hold it accountable for its decisions that affect the public
interest. In its current form, the Lynn proposal would hamstring the
community's ability to conduct these important activities.
c) ICANN has typically described itself as "a technical coordination
body for the Internet". Re-focusing on ICANN's core mission is at
the heart of the Lynn proposal, indeed "mission" is mentioned with
great frequency throughout the document. However, we believe that the
appropriateness of the Lynn reforms will not be clear without an
explanation as to what the core mission activities are. We urge Dr.
Lynn to elaborate on his own conception of ICANN's technical
coordination mission, to define the activities that constitute that
mission, and to continue to explore mechanisms to ensure compliance
with that mission.
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