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ICANN Injustices wrt Stakeholder Group Charters

  • To: gnso-stakeholder-charters@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: ICANN Injustices wrt Stakeholder Group Charters
  • From: Robin Gross <robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 13:31:06 -0700

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class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent:.5in"><b>RE: ICANN Stakeholder Group 
Charter Injustices</b></p><div class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal">Dear ICANN:</div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> 
<div class="MsoNormal">IP Justice appreciates this opportunity to provide 
public comment. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Founded in 2002, IP 
Justice is an international civil liberties organization that works on 
intellectual property and Internet law and policy issues.<span 
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>IP Justice is a noncommercial 501(c)(3) 
public benefit organization based in San Francisco with an international board 
of directors and members in countries from all corners of the globe (<a 
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>IP Justice participates in the Generic Names 
Supporting Organization (GNSO) as a member of the Noncommercial Users 
Constituency (NCUC).</div> <div class="MsoNormal"><b> <o:p></o:p></b></div> 
<div class="MsoNormal"><b>ICANN Cannot Ignore the Consensus Charter Created by 
Noncommercial Users in a Bottom-Up Process<o:p></o:p></b></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">IP Justice is 
writing to express our deep disappointment with the unjust manner in which 
previous public comment (period ending 15 April 2009) was discarded by ICANN in 
the reformulation of the proposed Noncommercial Stakeholder Group Charter<a 
style="mso-footnote-id:ftn1" href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1" title=""><span 
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">NCUC undertook 
months of consultations with a diverse range of parties in the creation of its 
draft charter<a style="mso-footnote-id:ftn2" href="#_ftn2" name="_ftnref2" 
title=""><span class="MsoFootnoteReference"><span 
style="mso-special-character:footnote">[2]</span></span></a> proposed for a 
Noncommercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  
</span>NCUC participated in an extended consensus process that involved global 
civil society, ICANN board, staff, members of the At-Large community, and other 
noncommercial actors in the creation of the charter submitted by NCUC in March 
2009.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">Civil society’s 
NCSG charter was explicitly supported by over 80 noncommercial organizations 
and individuals in the April 2009 Public Comment period.<span 
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>Every single noncommercial organization that 
submitted a comment during the period supported NCUC’s charter and asked ICANN 
not to force noncommercial users into constituencies for electing leadership 
positions (the “silo-model”).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span></div> 
<div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">During 
discussions at the March 2009 ICANN meeting in Mexico, NCUC specifically asked 
ICANN if the NCSG charter it was drafting was inconsistent with the report of 
the ICANN Board Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) and NCUC was told its 
draft charter was not inconsistent.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  
</span></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal">Yet in June, without any explanation or regard for democratic 
or bottom-up processes, ICANN staff and Board SIC threw out the consensus 
charter that civil society developed and replaced it with an entirely different 
model -- the silo-model that civil society explicitly said would stranglehold 
noncommercial users in policy development.<a style="mso-footnote-id: ftn3" 
href="#_ftn3" name="_ftnref3" title=""><span class="MsoFootnoteReference"><span 
style="mso-special-character:footnote">[3]</span></span></a></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"><b>Why ICANN’s 
Proposed Silo-Model is Bad for Noncommercial Users<o:p></o:p></b></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">NCUC and civil 
society made numerous efforts in public statements in April to explain why the 
silo-model of governance being imposed by ICANN harms noncommercial interests 
in the overall GNSO policy process.<a style="mso-footnote-id:ftn4" 
href="#_ftn4" name="_ftnref4" title=""><span class="MsoFootnoteReference"><span 
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>Yet these concerns remain unanswered by 
ICANN.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">In particular, 
ICANN’s attempt to divide the GNSO Council and Executive Committee seats among 
arbitrary (and board-selected) constituencies within the NCSG encourages 
competition among constituencies, while an entire stakeholder group wide 
election (as proposed by civil society) encourages consensus building and 
cooperation between constituencies to elect NCSG representatives.<span 
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>Noncommercial users will be in a constant 
stranglehold with each other, competing for scarce resources and 
representation, and will remain ineffective in the larger GNSO policy 
negotiations, if the ICANN drafted charter is allowed to replace the consensus 
charter drafted by noncommercial users.</div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">Noncommercial users 
understand well what we are up against in the ICANN policy development arena: 
full-time highly paid lobbyists from the wealthiest industries relentlessly 
lobby the ICANN Board and staff for preferential advantages for their 
companies.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>Noncommercial users 
understand that if we are to have any chance of influencing ICANN policy it can 
only happen when we join together and are able to work cooperatively toward our 
shared objectives.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>This can be 
accomplished by stakeholder group wide elections, which encourage candidates to 
reach beyond their own constituency for support.<span style="mso-spacerun: 
yes">  </span>But the charter drafted by ICANN to keep noncommercial users 
accountable only to their own focused constituency, rather than the entire 
stakeholder group, will render all noncommercial interests dead on arrival in 
the new GNSO.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>That is exactly what the 
commercial constituencies want and why they lobbied the board to change the 
NCSG charter to benefit commercial participants.<span style="mso-spacerun: 
yes">  </span>(Remember the commercial representatives are still angry that 
noncommercial users are supposed to be given parity to commercial actors on the 
GNSO Council, and this is one way of keeping noncommercial users less effective 
on the council).</div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"><i>ICANN's attempt to impose a top-down governance structure 
on noncommercial users against our will calls into question ICANN's legitimacy 
to govern; it undermines confidence in ICANN's commitment to democratic values; 
and it appears ICANN is unable or unwilling to protect the broader public 
interest against commercial pressures.<o:p></o:p></i></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">Now ICANN should 
listen to noncommercial users and finally respect our democratic wishes 
regarding a governance structure that advances noncommercial interests.<span 
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>Thus ICANN should seriously reconsider its 
attempt to impose a controlling top-down charter on noncommercial users against 
their expressed will.<o:p></o:p></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"><b>Board Gives 
Commercial Constituencies a VETO Over Any Board Decision to Permit Future 
Constituencies</b><span style="font-weight: normal"><o:p></o:p></span></div> 
<div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">Amazingly, the 
Commercial Stakeholder Group Charter<a style="mso-footnote-id:ftn5" 
href="#_ftn5" name="_ftnref5" title=""><span class="MsoFootnoteReference"><span 
style="mso-special-character:footnote">[5]</span></span></a> that was drafted 
by the 3 existing commercial constituencies and which gives each of those 3 
constituencies a VETO over any board vote creating a new commercial 
constituency to be represented on the GNSO Council was rubber-stamped for 
approval by the ICANN Board SIC.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span></div> 
<div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoFootnoteText">In 
particular see ICANN’s proposed Commercial Stakeholder Group Charter: </div><p 
class="MsoFootnoteText" style="margin-left:.5in">"4.2. Membership shall also be 
open to any additional constituency recognised by ICANN’s Board under its 
by-laws, <i>provided</i><span style="font-style:normal"> that such 
constituency, </span><i>as determined by the unanimous consent of the 
signatories to this charter</i><span style="font-style:normal">, is 
representative of commercial user interests which for the purposes of 
definition are distinct from and exclude registry and prospective registry, 
registrar, re-seller or other domain name supplier interests." (italics 
added)<o:p></o:p></span></p> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal">If commercial constituencies can veto a decision by the Board 
of Directors, who is running ICANN?</div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">How will giving 
existing participants a veto to block new participants on the GNSO Council 
encourage new commercial entrants?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span>If 
adopted, the CSG charter will ensure that no new commercial perspectives are 
allowed to take hold in the CSG – only the 3 existing constituencies can hold 
all power in the future under the CSG charter.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  
</span></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"><b>Treatment of Stakeholder Group Charters Shows ICANN 
Unaccountable to Public Interest<o:p></o:p></b></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">Why did ICANN take 
all decision making authority away from the noncommercial users, but give total 
decision making authority (+ veto power) to commercial participants in the 
draft charters? </div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"><i>The difference in treatment by ICANN between commercial 
and noncommercial users in the charters is astounding -- but points solidly to 
one of ICANN’s biggest flaws: its subordination of the public interest to 
select commercial interests engaged in insider-lobbying.<span 
style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span><o:p></o:p></i></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal">Fixing the SG 
charters to hold ICANN accountable to the public interest and Internet users 
(instead of only commercial lobbyists) would be a good start to addressing the 
pervasive lack of confidence in ICANN’s ability to govern fairly.</div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> 
<div class="MsoNormal">Respectfully submitted,</div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> 
<div class="MsoNormal">Robin D. Gross</div> <div class="MsoNormal">Executive 
Director</div> <div class="MsoNormal">IP Justice </div> <div 
href="http://www.ipjustice.org";>http://www.ipjustice.org</a></div> <div 
class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"><i>“Is ICANN 
Accountable to the Global Public Interest?”</i><span style="font-style:normal"> 
see:</span><span style="font-family:ArialMT; color:#0032E6"> <a 
href="http://bit.ly/34tmz";><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New 
Roman&quot;">http://bit.ly/34tmz</span></a></span><o:p></o:p></div> <div 
style="mso-element:footnote-list"><br clear="all"> <hr align="left" size="1" 
width="33%">  <div style="mso-element:footnote" id="ftn1"> <div 
class="MsoFootnoteText"><a style="mso-footnote-id:ftn1" href="#_ftnref1" 
name="_ftn1" title=""><span class="MsoFootnoteReference"><span 
style="mso-special-character: footnote">[1]</span></span></a> Public Comments 
Filed in Comment Period Ending 15 April 2009 on Stakeholder Group Charters: 
<span style="color:blue"><a 
 </span>see also <i>“Is ICANN Accountable to the Global Public 
Interest?”</i><span style="font-style:normal"> at <a 
 <div class="MsoFootnoteText"> <o:p></o:p></div> </div> <div 
style="mso-element:footnote" id="ftn2"> <div class="MsoFootnoteText"><a 
style="mso-footnote-id:ftn2" href="#_ftnref2" name="_ftn2" title=""><span 
class="MsoFootnoteReference"><span style="mso-special-character: 
footnote">[2]</span></span></a><span style="mso-spacerun: yes">  
</span>Consensus charter for noncommercial users developed by civil society and 
submitted by NCUC: <a 
 and its Executive Summary: <a 
 <div class="MsoFootnoteText"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div 
class="MsoFootnoteText"> <o:p></o:p></div> </div> <div 
style="mso-element:footnote" id="ftn3"> <div class="MsoFootnoteText"><a 
style="mso-footnote-id:ftn3" href="#_ftnref3" name="_ftn3" title=""><span 
class="MsoFootnoteReference"><span style="mso-special-character: 
footnote">[3]</span></span></a> ICANN drafted NCSG Charter: <a 
 and its intended “mystery” Section 5 at: <a 
 <div class="MsoFootnoteText"> <o:p></o:p></div> </div> <div 
style="mso-element:footnote" id="ftn4"> <div class="MsoFootnoteText"><a 
style="mso-footnote-id:ftn4" href="#_ftnref4" name="_ftn4" title=""><span 
class="MsoFootnoteReference"><span style="mso-special-character: 
footnote">[4]</span></span></a> For example, see Comment by Adam Peake at <a 
 Joint Civil Society Statement at <a 
 Comment from Milton Mueller at <a 
 Comment from WSIS Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus at <a 
 for just a sampling of the many comments making this point.</div> <div 
class="MsoFootnoteText"> </div><div class="MsoFootnoteText"><o:p></o:p></div> 
<div class="MsoFootnoteText"> <o:p></o:p></div> </div> <div 
style="mso-element:footnote" id="ftn5"> <div class="MsoFootnoteText"><a 
style="mso-footnote-id:ftn5" href="#_ftnref5" name="_ftn5" title=""><span 
class="MsoFootnoteReference"><span style="mso-special-character: 
footnote">[5]</span></span></a> Proposed Commercial Stakeholder Group Charter 
(drafted by existing constituencies and rubber-stamped by ICANN posted to: <a 
 style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </span><o:p></o:p></div> </div> </div> 
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JUSTICE</div><div>Robin Gross, Executive Director</div><div>1192 Haight Street, 
San Francisco, CA  94117  USA</div><div>p: +1-415-553-6261    f: 
+1-415-462-6451</div><div>w: <a 
href="http://www.ipjustice.org";>http://www.ipjustice.org</a>     e: <a 
class="Apple-interchange-newline"></span><br class="Apple-interchange-newline"> 

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