Comments on Non-Commercial SG charter
The world of Internet users is counting on entities like ICANN to counterbalance the weight and might of commercial entities that run the Internet and keep it going. Important as these may be, the voices of the end-users and the non-commercial community must be heard and seen to be heard.
I state the following in my own personal capacity as a co-inventor of modern IDN a decade ago. In that capacity, I suspect I also speak for many if not most of those in the IDN community (commercial or non-commercial) from the actual regional locales (as opposed to primarily Western/ASCII corporations that have a commercial interest in IDN names). In the past few years the non-commercial constituency in its current form as the NCUC, has been the only champion within GNSO (and perhaps even broadly ICANN) for those whose voices cannot be heard at ICANN via the various narrowly focused other GNSO constituencies mostly populated by Western corporations with vested interests. While such narrow-topic constituencies may well and rightly serve their constituents corporate purposes, the NCUC has been left with speaking for everyone else as an umbrella. This has indeed been the case with many disenfranchised - financially or linguistically or culturally - from the IDN community from many parts of the world. Over the years, in the absence of any interest from the other GNSO constituencies in serving the interests of those from the IDN-needy regions, it has been NCUC that has consistently spoken up and pointed out the many injustices in the ICANN process to deploy/delay IDNs on behalf of the people it will affect most. This is unequivocally on record - check ICANN archives and minutes.
By the IDN example alone, a strong NCSG is a necessary bulwark against the natural tendencies of an otherwise unfettered commercial agenda. particularly within an organization like ICANN that is non-profit and whose mission is stated to be for the public good.
Every thing I have read thus far while following the whole bottom-up year-long, non-commercial charter development process with full email-archived debate (a far cry from the last-minute 2-pager charter probably written over a beer that the Commercial Group seems to have come up with) and the current quick and fairly unceremonious "gutting and dismantling" of their work suggests that such overturning/gutting of their main elements will necessarily make the non-commercial group unable to serve the public in the capacity so badly needed. One could have legitimately argued that corporate interests/lawyers have taken over ICANN for quite some time (just follow the money as many would say) even with the current NCUC in place to push back. With the gutting of the proposed NC charter the situation will undoubtedly strengthen the hand of the corporate group further within ICANN.
I strongly suggest that ICANN, if needs be tinker at the edges of the proposed draft but in the main approve the charter more or less as is.
S. Subbiah i-DNS.net