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[alac] [EU-RALO WIKI bylaws key issues for discussion]

  • To: ALAC <alac@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [alac] [EU-RALO WIKI bylaws key issues for discussion]
  • From: Annette Muehlberg <annette.muehlberg@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 23:02:34 +0200

All,

this is the content of the ralowiki which is very much a result of the inputs after the Preperatory meeting for an EU-RALO in Frankfurt 28th of May 2006. Some ICANN background material has been added.

The draft of key issues is ment to be for discussion.
First discussion takes place in the RALO workshop this sunday morning at the ICANN meeting in Marakech.


The document is attached.

Best

Annette Mühlberg

ALAC Chair



*Ralowiki*

In this *WIKI*, we want to discuss the best possible structure for building up a European Regional At-Large Organisation (EU-RALO). Our aim is to give user's interests a voice in ICANN and make an impact on its policies.

All people interested in promoting consumer and civil rights in ICANN's policies and work are welcome to take part in this discussion. www.wecann.net/ralowiki


Background material


Relevant parts of ICANN bylaws

ARTICLE XI: ADVISORY COMMITTEES

Section 1. GENERAL

The Board may create one or more Advisory Committees in addition to those set forth in this Article. Advisory Committee membership may consist of Directors only, Directors and non-directors, or non-directors only, and may also include non-voting or alternate members. Advisory Committees shall have no legal authority to act for ICANN, but shall report their findings and recommendations to the Board.

[...]

4. At-Large Advisory Committee

a. The role of the At-Large Advisory Committee ("ALAC") shall be to consider and provide advice on the activities of ICANN, insofar as they relate to the interests of individual Internet users.

b. The ALAC shall consist of (i) two members selected by each of the Regional At-Large Organizations ("RALOs") established according to paragraph _4(g) of this Section <http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-02jun03.htm#XI-2.4g>_, and (ii) five members selected by the Nominating Committee. The five members selected by the Nominating Committee shall include one citizen of a country within each of the five Geographic Regions established according to _Section 5 of Article VI <http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-02jun03.htm#VI-5>_.

c. Subject to the provisions of the _Transition Article of these Bylaws <http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-02jun03.htm#XX>_, the regular terms of members of the ALAC shall be as follows:

1. The term of one member selected by each RALO shall begin at the conclusion of an ICANN annual meeting in an even-numbered year.

2. The term of the other member selected by each RALO shall begin at the conclusion of an ICANN annual meeting in an odd-numbered year.

3. The terms of three of the members selected by the Nominating Committee shall begin at the conclusion of an annual meeting in an odd-numbered year and the terms of the other two members selected by the Nominating Committee shall begin at the conclusion of an annual meeting in an even-numbered year.

4. The regular term of each member shall end at the conclusion of the second ICANN annual meeting after the term began.

d. The Chair of the ALAC shall be elected by the members of the ALAC pursuant to procedures adopted by the Committee.

e. The ALAC shall annually appoint one non-voting liaison to the ICANN Board of Directors, without limitation on re-appointment, and shall, after consultation with each RALO, annually appoint five voting delegates (no two of whom shall be citizens of countries in the same Geographic Region, as defined according to _Section 5 of Article VI <http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-02jun03.htm#VI-5>_) to the Nominating Committee.

f. Subject to the provisions of the _Transition Article of these Bylaws <http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-02jun03.htm#XX>_, the At-Large Advisory Committee may designate a non-voting liaison to the GNSO Council.

g. There shall be one RALO for each Geographic Region established according to _Section 5 of Article VI <http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-02jun03.htm#VI-5>_. Each RALO shall serve as the main forum and coordination point for public input to ICANN in its Geographic Region and shall be a non-profit organization certified by ICANN according to criteria and standards established by the Board based on recommendations of the At-Large Advisory Committee. An organization shall become the recognized RALO for its Geographic Region upon entering a Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN addressing the respective roles and responsibilities of ICANN and the RALO regarding the process for selecting ALAC members and requirements of openness, participatory opportunities, transparency, accountability, and diversity in the RALO's structure and procedures, as well as criteria and standards for the RALO's constituent At-Large Structures.

h. Each RALO shall be comprised of self-supporting At-Large Structures within its Geographic Region that have been certified to meet the requirements of the RALO's Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN according to _paragraph 4(i) of this Section <http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-02jun03.htm#XI-2.4i>_. If so provided by its Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN, a RALO may also include individual Internet users who are citizens or residents of countries within the RALO's Geographic Region.

i. The criteria and standards for the certification of At-Large Structures within each Geographic Region shall be established by the Board based on recommendations from the ALAC and shall be stated in the Memorandum of Understanding between ICANN and the RALO for that Geographic Region. The criteria and standards for the certification of At-Large Structures shall be established in such a way that participation by individual Internet users who are citizens or residents of countries within the Geographic Region (as defined in _Section 5 of Article VI <http://www.icann.org/general/archive-bylaws/bylaws-02jun03.htm#VI-5>_) of the RALO will predominate in the operation of each At-Large Structure within the RALO, while not necessarily excluding additional participation, compatible with the interests of the individual Internet users within the region, by others. Each RALO's Memorandum of Understanding shall also include provisions designed to allow, to the greatest extent possible, every individual Internet user who is a citizen of a country within the RALO's Geographic Region to participate in at least one of the RALO's At-Large Structures. To the extent compatible with these objectives, the criteria and standards should also afford to each RALO the type of structure that best fits the customs and character of its Geographic Region. Once the criteria and standards have been established, the ALAC shall be responsible for certifying organizations as meeting the criteria and standards for At-Large Structures. Decisions to certify or de-certify an At-Large Structure shall require a 2/3 vote of all of the members of the ALAC and shall be subject to review according to procedures established by the Board. On an ongoing basis, the ALAC may also give advice as to whether a prospective At-Large Structure meets the applicable criteria and standards.

j. The ALAC is also responsible, working in conjunction with the RALOs, for coordinating the following activities:

1. Keeping the community of individual Internet users informed about the significant news from ICANN;

2. Distributing (through posting or otherwise) an updated agenda, news about ICANN, and information about items in the ICANN policy-development process;

3. Promoting outreach activities in the community of individual Internet users;

4. Developing and maintaining on-going information and education programs, regarding ICANN and its work;

5 Establishing an outreach strategy about ICANN issues in each RALO's Region;

6. Making public, and analyzing, ICANN's proposed policies and its decisions and their (potential) regional impact and (potential) effect on individuals in the region;

7. Offering Internet-based mechanisms that enable discussions among members of At-Large structures; and

8. Establishing mechanisms and processes that enable two-way communication between members of At-Large Structures and those involved in ICANN decision-making, so interested individuals can share their views on pending ICANN issues.

*Section 3. PROCEDURES*

Each Advisory Committee shall determine its own rules of procedure and quorum requirements.

*Section 4. TERM OF OFFICE*

The chair and each member of a committee shall serve until his or her successor is appointed, or until such committee is sooner terminated, or until he or she is removed, resigns, or otherwise ceases to qualify as a member of the committee.

*Section 5. VACANCIES*

Vacancies on any committee shall be filled in the same manner as provided in the case of original appointments.

*Section 6. COMPENSATION*

Committee members shall receive no compensation for their services as a member of a committee. The Board may, however, authorize the reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses incurred by committee members, including Directors, performing their duties as committee members.


Relationship to ICANN

What follows of EURALO accepting financial support of ICANN, if so?


Aims and Principles

High-level: The aim of the European At-Large Organization is to give user's interests a voice in ICANN and make an impact on its policies Part of that is:

   *

     strengthening consumer protection and human/civil rights in ICANN
     policies

   *

     identifying social impacts of technical infrastructure design

   *

     taking cultural diversity into account when formulating technical
     standards (e.g. IDN implementation)

   *

     representing user's interests and defining public interest aspects
     of Internet

   *

     Privacy

   *

     Free Speech

   *

     net neutrality

   *

     open access

   *

     transparency

   *

     accountability

   *

     securing non-discriminatory market access, preventing monopolies

   *

     strengthening user's participation in ICANN decision-making
     structures / More direct participation by end users

   *

     Regional capacity building

   *

     Outreach (empty word? / definition needed)

   *

     Discussion concerning the above mentioned issues with EU and
     European (ICANN definition) governments?


Questions to discuss

   *

     on the one hand we would like to have as many cultures and nations
     represented within the EURALO, on the other hand, how can we avoid
     red tape (bureaucratic structures) over boarding quota arrangements?

   *

     Danger of political paralysis


Membership of the EU-RALO

RALO to have both (DECISION 2006-05-28)

   *

     Internet related civil rights and consumer protection
     organizations,...

   *

     Individual members

Issues concerning membership

   *

     which personal data do members have to supply? (picture electronic?)

   *

     do you verify identities and how? by sample? by asking for
     documents? by fees? )

   *

     Membership fees

   *

     for preventing fake individuals from joining

   *

     different fees for orgs and individuals?

   *

     (double memberships as individual and organization representative
     -> what voting rights then?)

   *

     membership application on suggestion of EURALO members only? (e.g.
     preventing mass joining or shifting of the burden of proof for
     exclusion reasons)

   *

     possible exclusion reasons?

   *

     e.g. "GONGOs!" (governmental NGOs), especially since ICANN Europe
     definition includes evolving democracies

   *

     memberships approval:

   *

     who approves?

   *

     ALAC or EURALO

   *

     ALAC and EURALO

   *

     eligibility criteria (which and who is setting them? ALAC / EURALO

   *

     residence status

   *

     nationality (Europe according to ICANN definition)

   *

     when approval

   *

     any time?

   *

     at EURALO General Assembly?

   *

     duration of approval process

   *

     - how?
     After screening procedure by a mandated existing member? Member
     recommends/ or disapproves new membership?


Working Structures


Communication infrastructure

To find the most effective way to work together and make an impact on ICANN's policies, we have to take several issues into account, especially the Interaction between global and regional level
(What is the point of having a regional organization?
How should this be reflected in our working structure?)


   *

     We will work with communication tools (mailing lists, websites,
     wikis, etc.)

   *

     questions:

   *

     Should we have one mailing list on a global level or also separate
     lists on the regional level?

   *

     Do we need a communication infrastructure independent of ICANN
     staff and financing?

   *

     Who is eligible to post

   *

     Should ICANN staff be allowed to observe and take part in EURALO
     Communication (be on lists etc)

   *

     Is/are the list(s) public?

   *

     One website on the global level or several regional websites

   *

     Purpose and aims of the website on the global level?
     (This website (including a Regional At-Large Section) could help
     us to keep us informed and participate in ongoing discussions and
     policy developments.)

   *

     How do we deal with the problem of different languages?

   *

     On a global level we have to deal with censorship issues (e.g. no
     wikis in PR China)

   *

     How do we prevent our list from being used as advertising platform

   *

     Can a list be overcrowded by too many participants? Too many postings

   *

     Issue-oriented mailing lists? e.g. privacy, IDN, etc.


Issue Oriented Working structure?

To organize work more efficiently we have to figure out what are the most important issues we want to work on.

If the At-Large Advisory Committee on a global level forms Task Forces on certain issues, this could also help the information flow with individuals or working groups on the regional level. Maybe it is possible to have special fora with information published on special issues e.g. privacy, internationalized domain names,...

That would give At-Large-Structures the chance to avoid information overkill and work efficiently on issues of their special interests.


Languages

For building a democratic structure with the participation of all on an equal footing our global Babylon is a pain in the neck.

Do we expect everyone to speak English? To use English only is the most efficient way, but excludes those who do not speak it.

Within Europe though, there are so many languages, that English is probably the only one all Europeans could agree on.

If regions choose to use different languages, than this approach is on the one hand helpful to involve local internet users, on the other hand are they excluding themselves from the debate on global level? The result will be double work and a lack of transparency. Some English speaking people would have to take part in both fora and try to serve as mediators.

At least some translational help should be guaranteed. We should define which papers and newsletters should be translated into which languages and who is going to pay (e.g. regional at-large budget, or central/global at-large budget).

DECISION 2006-05-28

   *

     Discussions and decisions in English

   *

     "Language liaison" volunteers

   *

     effort to translate core documents for outreach purposes / financing?

   *

     priority: make bylaws, core values, goals, mission available in as
     many non-English languages as feasible


Management

On a very basic level we have to deal with the question whether we want a full fletched decision-making and representing structure for RALO. This enables at least on paper rules and such accountability and transparency. On the other hand we get a lot of bureaucracy this way.

A different approach would be to opt for more informal structures. This can work very well, but is, formally less transparent.

Financing by ICANN of General Assembly meetings is crucial for the functioning of a RALO


General Assembly

   *

     Financing of travel expenses for how many participants, 100?

   *

     eligibility mechanism


Board /chairs

Should there be chairs?

Should there be a board?

Do we want gender quota?

Financing for meetings of the chairs and/or board? If so, how much, for which purposes?


Election Committee


Secretariat

Do we need a secretariat/ administrative support If so who is going to finance it - how much?


( do we need a council? )


Decision Making


Voting rights and procedures

   *

     different voting power for individuals and organization?

   *

     (one member one vote)

   *

     (one organization one vote)

   *

     (voting according to organization's size)

   *

     (relative voting weight for individuals and organizations?)

   *

     different voting modes?

   *

     deciding majorities

   *

     simple majority ?

   *

     qualified majority?

   *

     consensus

   *

     vague consensus - who asserts?

   *

     Quorums?

   *

     voting procedure

   *

     electronic voting

   *

     personal voting

   *

     voting procedures respecting data security and privacy

   *

     Issues related voting procedures

   *

     Voting for two ALAC seats

   *

     Question related to the allocation of voting rights - partly in
     relationship to certain issues

   *

     To help the discussion, here four models:

   *

     MODEL A: Organizations only
     Only organizations are members. One organization one vote. All
     organizations vote to elect Chair, ALAC members and other
     representatives. MAIN PROBLEM: Exclusion of individuals,
     especially those who are active but not affiliated with any ALS.

   *

     MODEL B: Mixed
     Both organizations and individuals can be members. One
     organization one vote. Every X individual members, a
     representative is elected, that gets one vote as well.
     Organization reps + individual members reps form the voting
     college (or you can call it a council) that elects Chair, ALAC
     members etc. MAIN PROBLEM: Indirect representation, a bit complex.

   *

     MODEL C: Individual-based
     Organizations supply the list of their individual members. All
     lists are merged, also individual members of the EURALO are added,
     and you end up with a huge general voting roll. All individuals in
     this roll vote to elect Chair, ALAC members etc. MAIN PROBLEM: You
     really need to verify the identity of all individual voters, and
     this is very difficult and costly. Also you could again get mass
     elections without careful evaluation of candidates.

   *

     MODEL D: Mixed membership and direct elections
     Equal right of membership of individuals and organizations.
     Members of member-organizations can become individual members.
     Representatives of member organizations can also be individual
     members and in this case would have two votes.
     One individual/organization one vote for decisions and elections
     of person.
     Definition concerning which decision can be delegated to the
     board/chair etc. is needed.

   *

     MAIN PROBLEM: Different sized constituencies are represented equally.

   *

     Positive Argument: Any other form but equal right of membership of
     individuals and organizations is too bureaucratic. Makes possible
     the participation of individuals, who cannot represent
     organizations. Direct, pragmatic and transparent elections within
     EURALO.

   *

     Organization represes + individual members reps form the voting
     college (or you can call it a council) that elects Chair, ALAC
     members etc. MAIN PROBLEM: Indirect representation, a bit complex.

Further remarks: All these models can be varied by weighing organizations by their size, but as it is almost impossible to certify in a secure way the number of members, it is very difficult and prone to capture.


pre-MoU/bylaws Phase

   *

     how to agree on bylaws

   *

     voting (majority) (two/thirds for bylaw change) (rough consensus)
     (combined with quorum)


post-MoU/bylaws Phase

   *

     how to change bylaws

   *

     voting (majority) (two/thirds for bylaw change) (rough consensus)
     (combined with quorum) (subject to bylaws / constraints from ICANN
     bylaws)

   *

     (selecting) (electing) ALAC members

   *

     (selecting) (electing) management -- council etc


(balance criteria? geographical, gender, etc?)


Meetings

   *

     (At least Annual General Meeting - physical? )

   *

     quorum?

   *

     Another open question concerns the "form" of the Annual General
     Assembly?:

Virtual? or real and physical? Physical assemblance or attendance of members ultimately depends on funding by ICANN, reimbursements of travel-, hotel- and stay-over expenses for about (up to maximum) 100 members.


Budget and Financing

   *

     working structure

   *

     translations )

   *

     ( paid research and expertise )

   *

     ( funds from ICANN? organizational support? )

   *

     ( publications / presentation to public / outreach)


Legal structure

   *

     Where to incorporate?

   *

     How to incorporate?

   *

     Incorporate at all? (note: I think incorporation is required to be
     able to sign MoU with ICANN --vb.)


Expected negotiation issues

   *

     membership structure - individual members

   *

     finance / funding / budget

   *

     freedom to independently set out work plan

   *

     pre-censorship of EURALO by ICANN

   *

     no interference of ICANN in EURALO internal communications

   *

     right to delegate one EURALO representative (with full voting
     rights) to ICANN board


Work plan


2006 to early 2007

( insert decisions from meeting here )


2007+

ACTION: Wolfgang Kleinwächter to circulate draft by Marrakesh

   *

     continuous outreach

   *

     ( publications / presentation to public / outreach)

Attachment: 060614_EURALO WIKI summary Bylaws Draft 1_Annette_Christoph.doc
Description: MS-Word document



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