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  • To: bylaws-amend-al-director@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comment
  • From: Karl Auerbach <karl@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 11:48:34 -0700

Since I was a member of the ICANN review committee that suggested the resurrection of public board members, I thought that I'd hold off my comments until the last minute.

I find the proposed amendment troublesome.

The reason is simple.

In our committee report we were rather clear that the board seat(s) to be created were to be filled by a process that included people from the broadest range of the community of internet users.

In particular we said that the ALAC was not the equivalent of that broad range but was but one element.

The proposed amendment disregards our finding and creates a process in which the ALAC is the sole only way for the public to chose its director(s).

The ALAC is but a tiny part of the internet community. And the ALAC's inability, despite seven years of ICANN money and staff support, has garnered only a tiny membership.

There is considerable reason to believe that the ALAC is not considered by many in the internet community as anything more than an ICANN-sponsored club. Today's ALAC membership compares very poorly with the over 200,000 people who came on board in a very short time and in year 2000 when ICANN had an open process for the public to select board seats.

The ALAC, like any body, is self protective of its role. As such it will become a gauntlet through which only those who conform to the ALAC's notion of ICANN orthodoxy will be named to fill the director seat(s).

For example, it is unlikely that any aspiring candidate who believes that the ALAC should be dismantled and replaced with a more broadly based and less Byzantine system would probably never be named by the process envisioned by this resolution.

In effect this resolution creates another ICANN nominating committee, but one that owned by the ALAC. That is not the kind of expansive measure of the public that we intended when we recommended that ICANN resume public board seats.

This resolution ought to be amended to make the ALAC but one source of candidates for the public board seats. There should be a mechanism, such as existed in year 2000, though which outside candidates can enter the contest even if they are opposed by the ALAC.

A true measure of whether the mechanism for the selection of a public director works is to consider this hypothetical: Suppose that 100% of the community of internet users who are not members of the ALAC support a particular candidate. And suppose that the ALAC opposes that candidate. A good system would seat the person supported by the vast majority of internet users. A poor system would be one that ignores that vast majority and seats the candidate of the much smaller ALAC.

The current resolution does not pass that test.

        Karl Auerbach

        Former (and only) publicly elected member to the
        Board of Directors for North America

        Member of the ICANN Board level committee to review public
        (at-large) participation in ICANN.

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