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Re: [At-Large] GNSO and ICANN Improvements

  • To: Dominik Filipp <dominik.filipp@xxxxxxxx>, gnso-improvements-report-2008@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Re: [At-Large] GNSO and ICANN Improvements
  • From: "Jeffrey A. Williams" <jwkckid1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 17:12:31 -0700 (GMT-07:00)

Dominik and all,

  Very good overview observations and remarks here.  Our
members including myself have expressed similar and are
very supportive of Dominiks here.

  What is now, and has been for sense the inception of
ICANN is that is is under the thumb predominantly of
the hand that feed's it $$, namely registries, registrars,
and IP interests.  As such it is essentially still a club,
not an international organization and lacks ethical and
reasonable standards of any sort.  

-----Original Message-----
>From: Dominik Filipp <dominik.filipp@xxxxxxxx>
>Sent: Apr 26, 2008 1:05 PM
>To: gnso-improvements-report-2008@xxxxxxxxx
>Cc: At-Large Worldwide <alac@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: [At-Large] GNSO and ICANN Improvements
>I have gone over many posts on several publicly accessible ICANN mailing
>lists and other documents and have found several or more contributions
>illuminating and explanatory in giving an insight of what is going on at
>ICANN behind the scenes, provided we are able to read between the lines.
>Nothing, what we have not known before but perhaps some details about
>the technology of how craftily the public effort can be conducted and
>In fact, the common argument being always presented is how staffers are
>all keen on supporting all types of public interests. But only up to a
>moment when the public interests start colliding with leading interests
>of the financial and other sharks. When realizing what is at stake the
>stuffers immediately back off. Then the second sort of arguments comes
>into play, such as a given proposal is too strong, fundamental and which
>'will not fly' as registrars and registries will not support it anyway,
>and the like. As of this moment an ordinary user (naive user, volunteer)
>is being persuaded that a weaker solution is also acceptable, not
>perhaps that effective but still better than nothing. Along with ongoing
>verbal assurance that the staffers also share sympathy for public
>interests trying doing their best to achieve the most feasible solution,
>the user might easily get into a false but optimistic assumption as to
>have achieved something, not achieving anything real though.
>What is worse is that the staffers are not even willing to present
>prevailing views of the communities they represent once the views start
>clashing with the leading interests. This is indeed an interesting
>For example, the ALAC's updated domain tasting statement swiftly adopted
>the draft motion logic without first discussing it properly with its
>public audience. The question is why it acted this way, especially when
>it had preferred and presented a stronger position in the first place
>before. After all, it could have insisted on the stronger position.
>Nothing dramatic would have happened. The ALAC has no voting power and
>even if it had it is the BoD who makes final decisions.
>The similar approach has also been adopted by several other
>constituencies. Instead of clear presentation of prevailing views and
>concerns of the constituency members and the underlying public audience,
>the updated views swiftly adapted the actual view of the leading
>interest. Such updated statements do not reflect previously preferred
>constituency positions any longer but rather give in to the expectations
>of the leading interests. As a result, the constituencies thus do not
>act as self-confident sui juris bodies advocating the views they stand
>for, which would be a solid basis for further deliberation and
>consent-driven process based on seeking unifying arguments, but rather
>quickly seek political consent managed among constituency
>representatives; of course, driven by the leading interests they are
>advised to pursue. This tendency is apparent in several places in the
>Final Report on Domain Tasting when tracking the evolution of the
>constituency statements. That is, over and over again politics instead
>of deliberation.
>An interesting question is why it is, in certain circumstances,
>necessary to rush for unified statements at any price prior proper
>deliberation on the modifications. This, at first glance weird logic,
>starts making sense when we realize that a) the issue has to be approved
>quickly by minimizing the possible undesired impact of public comments,
>and b) the overall responsibility must be spread and crumbled among all
>involved parties so that nobody could be accused of anything. Either
>everyone or no one. As a practical consequence, those people are doing
>nearly nothing productive for their communities in such cases. Yes,
>there are cases when a progress is remarkable and reasonable motions are
>being approved but only if they do not clash with the leading interests
>or they are so apparent that simply cannot be ignored. A good example
>again is domain tasting. The phenomenon was recognized yonks ago and has
>been known and heavily reported for years as an abuse being constantly
>committed on wide community. So it had to be opened. But there is also
>the clash here as it is a profitable business of very high importance
>for all interested parties. The first shot was the $0.20-for-all-deletes
>motion. The same one I wrote a joke about more than a year ago. That
>time it was a joke only, but this time it seemed to become reality. The
>currently proposed final motion is unclear and ambiguous enough to allow
>for continuing the game under the hood. And when the public outreach
>fades out the practice can be guardedly reinstated.
>I would therefore strongly recommend that all staffers look into the
>ICANN Core Values again and carefully. Anyone who does not feel
>comfortable with the Core Values should reconsider his or her stay
>within the ICANN structures in order not to hinder active and competent
>participants from fluent work on substantive ICANN issues.
>I see just one important ICANN issue to address, to encourage the public
>community to clearly and dauntlessly identify and face those staffers
>who are exploiting the ICANN mission in order to privilege their own
>private businesses, deals, and interests to the detriment of all others.
>Namely, those who are just spoiling valuable effort presented by honest
>and competent members of the ICANN community.
>ICANN is an international organization representing all Internet users,
>not a private business elite club of registrars and registries!
>Dominik Filipp, a GNSO General Assembly list member
>ALAC mailing list
>At-Large Official Site: http://atlarge.icann.org


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