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My input about the report

  • To: board-review-report@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: My input about the report
  • From: "Philemon" <philemon@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 22:26:56 +0100 (WAT)

In response to the public comments call, I took the liberty to put forward
some comments upon the initial report prepared by the BGC ALAC review
Working Group. The initiative to set this WG is to greet, as it will give
the ICANN Board a wide visibility when appreciating the Westlake
Consulting final report, and help more the ALAC to become more effective.
Although I went through both the WC’s and BGC ALAC review WC’s reports,
the following inputs are directly related to the BGC ALAC WG’s report.

Individual Internet users are main components the At-large has given the
mission to work for, as it is their voice ICANN need to hear. However, all
long the structure ALAC-RALO-ALs, the place of individual Internet user is
a bit imprecise, besides on wonder if it is really a place or the places
from where an individual Internet user can expressed.
Many consider that individual Internet users are only link to different
ALs, which is obviously a short view. I understand that the report is
suggesting that the ALAC develop mechanisms so that other individual
Internet users could participate in the ICANN process directly through
ALAC without been members of an ALs, I strongly support this through. This
will bring certain diversity on where/how to be involved, and then avoid
possible ‘bottlenecks’ on the side of RALOs or ALs. Moreover, even it is
not always present in our mind, the public comments space on the ICANN web
site is another way an Individual Internet user may use to participate in
the ICANN policy process, as well as contribute in operational and
accountability issues of this organization, as far as it is channelled by

The WG report must emphasized the direct responsibility of ALs, though the
RALO, on the fact that not many ALs really active, and there is not enough
ALs involved in the At large community.  The report will recommend the
ALAC to set mechanisms so that the RALO is more effective on the ground
informing the organizations about ICANN and helping them to join the At
large community., this obviously suppose to provide ALAC with additional
resources. ALs should also more communicate also directly towards current
and potential   individual Internet users to educate them. Indeed, there
is often a lack of ownership when individual Internet users are not
informed or empowered so that they can have voice through the policy

I have also appreciated that the WG’s report had clearly advice that the
participation of the individual Internet user in ICANN is extended to the
ICANN accountability, operational and structure matters. Once again, if
the wide part of individual Interne user is not deeply, widely and
regularly informed on should not expect to see actions from them in
providing advices on policy development process, even less in their
participation in the ICANN operations, structure and accountability
related matters.

The Westlake report put forward three sanctions for non compliance-See
recommendations 14 and 15-. The WG gave its position only about the
sanction in connection with the voting right. We would like also to have
its position about the ineligibility for ICANN travel funding and
suspension sanctions suggested by the original report.

Besides, I am a bit septic on the viability for linking the compliance to
the process of selecting the At large Board members. Given the fact that
ICANN is structured and ALAC is functioning, it is possible now to set
mechanisms for managing this compliance issue, before the At large to have
its member(s) into the Board. Anyway, if an organization becomes an AL
this suppose that it has a minimum knowledge of ICANN issues, and should
therefore be able to begin participating, as well as performing its

While I agree that efforts must be put into informing and training ALS
upon ICANN issues, I think that this should only be considered as a
support to those organizations, and not as a condition for an AL to be
under the duty of  compliance.

The WG put forward its initial through about how to place the At large
member on the Board. Here upon, I have doubts that ALs, at this stage, are
mature enough to choose the best represent of individual Internet users
into the Board. I think that the selection of mechanisms to put in place
should instead involved the ALAC, and a number of “active” individual
Internet users been they members of a RALO/AL or not. Indeed, the
dangerous of leaving the choice to ALs-before been assure that they are
active and compliant- is that, the choice of vote is mostly links to the
decision of the sole main represent of the AL, instead of reflecting the
will of the community.


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