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This proposal is inconsistent with the way NCSG will be organized

  • To: "cyber-safety-petition@xxxxxxxxx" <cyber-safety-petition@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: This proposal is inconsistent with the way NCSG will be organized
  • From: Milton L Mueller <mueller@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 18:40:54 -0400

If this group wants to form a constituency under the terms proposed in the NCSG 
charter, I would not be opposed to it. But I have to express opposition to the 
petition in its current form, because it proposes a constituency structure that 
is destructive, and inconsistent with the consensus view of how the 
Noncommercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) should be organized. 

An NCSG charter has been proposed that is supported by all the other 
noncommercial organizations. Cheryl Preston is literally the only holdout. In 
that plan, constituencies can form relatively easily, and can be organized 
around an ideological principle, regions, or any other grouping principle that 
might affect one's view of policy. They automatically receive a seat on the 
NCSG Policy Committee, their statements on policy must be included with all 
policy statements issued by the NCSG, and there are low voting thresholds to 
ensure that minority positions within the NCSG can require NCSG Council 
representatives to vote for the creation of a Working Group they desire.  

The important difference is that no constituency gets to automatically claim 
seats on the GNSO Council. Instead, GNSO Council seats will be elected on a 
Stakeholder Group-wide basis. This is done in order to ensure that Council 
representatives have broad support across multiple constituencies and multiple 
points of view. We want to make sure that the Council is composed of 
representatives who listen to and are accountable to the _entire_ NCSG, not 
just a small, cohesive faction within it. 

Does ICANN really want Council seats to be occupied by small. motivated 
factions who organize their own constituency? If you create a "cyber-safety," 
pro-censorship constituency today, is it not certain that a "civil liberties" 
constituency will be formed tomorrow? And will they get their own Council 
seats? Do you think these two constituencies' Council representatives will 
cooperate well? What is next, a "constituency for people who are 
pro-cyber-safety but not in favor of joining a pro-censorship religious 
conservative constituency?" Wouldn't those people have the same right to 
organize a constituency and claim Council seats as anyone else? 

That approach is a sure-fire way to continue the gridlock that has plagued GNSO 
deliberations. The Board needs to firmly reject it, and adopt the NCSG charter 
proposed by the NCUC. That will make it possible to have diverse 
constituencies, while rewarding and encouraging cooperation and 
consensus-building within the SG.

Aside from these objections, Ms. Preston's propsal is inconsistent and not well 
thought out. For example, she says in her cover letter that the constituency 
can incorporate law enforcement interests, but as parts of governments, LEAs 
are not eligible to be in the GNSO, except as a representative of GAC. The 
eligibility requirements for her constituency seem to be borrowed from the old 
NCUC charter, which would not allow government officials to join. There are 
many other minor details like this. 

There are other problems with this proposal and the associated charter. What 
happens where there are more than 6 constituencies -- there are, after all, 
only 6 seats? What happens if one of these constituencies has 30 active members 
and the other only has 10? Do they get the same number of seats? 

Bottom line: this constituency application must be evaluated in conjunction 
with Preston's proposed NCSG charter.  If you want the GNSO to continue to be 
fragmented and deadlocked along factional lines, you will support Preston's 
NCSG charter and this constituency application. If you want to truly improve 
the GNSO, then accept the NCUC's charter proposal, and ask Preston to revise 
her constituency application in line with that new and more constructive view 
of what constituencies are. 

Milton Mueller

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