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.