Summary Analysis of Comments In Public Forum - New Consumers Constituency Petition and Charter
Summary and analysis of public comments for: New Consumer's Constituency Petition and Charter Comment period ended: 14 May 2009 Summary published: 20 May 2009 Preparation by: Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director I. BACKGROUND In June 2008, the Board of Directors endorsed a series of recommendations on how to improve the structures and operations of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). One of the significant drivers of those recommendations was the goal to maximize participation in the GNSO and its policy development processes. Among the various recommendations endorsed by the Board was that ICANN take steps to clarify and promote the option to self-form new constituencies as a means to increase participation in GNSO policy development activities. The current ICANN Bylaws provide that any group of individuals or entities may petition the Board for recognition as a new or separate constituency, in accordance with Section 5(4) of Article X. Such a petition must explain (1) why "the addition of such a Constituency will improve the ability of the GNSO to carry out its policy-development responsibilities" and (2) why "the proposed new Constituency would adequately represent, on a global basis, the stakeholders it seeks to represent." The ICANN Board has now received a total of three formal petitions from prospective constituencies, including the subject of this forum - the Consumers Constituency. At the direction of the Board, the ICANN Staff developed a two-step process for potential new constituencies to follow. The proponent of the Consumers Constituency completed the first step of the process on 28 February 2009 by filing a Notice of Intent to Form a New Constituency <http://gnso.icann.org/en/improvements/consumers-constituency-noif-28feb09.pdf> [PDF, 28K]. The proponent of the Consumers Constituency completed the second step of the process- submission of a New Constituency Petition and Charter <http://gnso.icann.org/en/improvements/consumers-constituency-petition-charter-redacted-10apr09.pdf> [PDF, 228K] and Introduction Letter <http://gnso.icann.org/en/improvements/consumers-constituency-intro-letter-10apr09.pdf> [PDF, 109K] on 14 April 2009. Community comment on new constituency petitions and charters is an important component of the Board's evaluation of these petitions and will be used to inform the Board's decisions to approve or, at its option, to recommend any alterations or amendments to the various submissions. II. GENERAL COMMENTS & CONTRIBUTORS At the time this summary was prepared, a total of 6 community submissions were posted to the forum. One comment was unrelated to the topic at hand and one comment was an apparent spam posting; thus, there was a total of 4 relevant comments. The contributors, both individuals and organizations, are listed below in chronological order by posting date (with initials noted in parentheses). The initials will be used in the foregoing narrative to identify specific quoted contributions. Organizations and Groups: * AIM - European Brands Association, by Philip Sheppard (AIM) * Atlanta International Language Institute, by Eva Williams [Note: this post was off topic](AILI) * GoDaddy.com, by Tim Ruiz (GDC) Individuals: * S. S. Kshatriya (SSK) * Marcus (M) III. SUMMARY & ANALYSIS This document is intended to broadly and comprehensively summarize the comments of the various contributors to this forum but not to address every specific argument or position stated by any or all contributors. The Staff recommends that readers interested in specific aspects of any of the summarized comments or the full context of others refer directly to the specific contributions. Of the four respondents, one supported the petition, two did not support it, and one did not address the issue of support/non-support. Proposal Opponents: Those who did not support the petition presented differing arguments. In particular, the GDC comments expressed two concerns. The first was that the petition and charter appeared to be duplicative with another proposed petition and charter, that of the Cybersafety Constituency. Thus, GDC urged the ICANN Board to exercise caution when considering potentially duplicative petitions. Second, the GDC noted that the Consumers Constituency mission identified content-related issues as areas of concern, such as fraud, spam, and phishing, that GDC considers to be outside the scope of ICANN policy development, and which could lead to the constituency or its members misconceiving ICANN's role and purview concerning these issues. SSK, on the other hand, objected to the Consumers Constituency petition and charter for two different reasons. First, SSK noted that the formation of such a constituency was an "indirect and strenuous" way of achieving the goal of changing policy relating to cybercrime and that, "the founders of CC should have other avenues to meet their interests and that such avenues area available." Second, SSK objected to the petition and charter due to the constituency's apparent lack of adequate funding. In particular, SSK emphasized that the formation of a new and active constituency requires considerable expenses and in his opinion ICANN should require founders of new constituencies to raise certain minimum funds. Comments from M where solely directed at SSK's opinion concerning mandated funding for new constituencies. Specifically, M proposed that there should be no change concerning funding of new constituencies, but that in the future ICANN might require that constituencies achieve certain goals within a specified time period or they would dissolve. Proposal Support: AIM supports the Consumers Constituency petition and charter noting that ICANN policy development has neglected consumers' safety, security and stability concerns regarding the DNS for too long. IV. NEXT STEPS The ICANN Board is likely to consider all the relevant community input and move forward with guidance regarding all the new constituency submissions as soon as practicably possible. Any decisions with respect to the approval of the new constituency charters will likely take place in the context of the GNSO Improvements implementation processes.