[npoc-voice] Re: [NCSG-Discuss] Issues in this election
- To: Dan Krimm <dan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Marc Perkel <marc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [npoc-voice] Re: [NCSG-Discuss] Issues in this election
- From: Alain Berranger <alain.berranger@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2011 09:49:46 -0400
Dear Dan and Marc,
I thank you for your feedback. French is my mother's tongue but I will
obviously reply in English. I have just returned from a family vacation,
have just read your emails and will attempt to address soonest the issues
and/or special points you have raised below. I'm not a technical expert on
internet issues - in fact if I was to self-label I would say I'm a
generalist in international development with a deep global ICT4D experience,
from a Canadian public development funding agency (as a grantmaker) and NGO
(as a grantseeker) points of view. Hence, as a reflection of my general
approach if/when elected, I will consult with stakeholders within the NPOC
constituency on those issues/points where I do not have the necessary
expertise. I hope in due course to also become acquainted with as many NCSG
members as possible and feel more comfortable in consulting soonest with
them too. For now here are a few remarks.
Dan, Mark, to make it simpler I hope, I will embed my comments directly in
I take the opportunity to remind that, as a result of accepting my
nomination from a new NCSG member from Bangladesh, I have submitted an early
and comprehensive SOI stand alone document on this election, and addressed
every question as completely as I could. FYI, I have brought to NPOC, and
therefore to NCSG and ICANN, at least 10 members in the past few months. I
intend to continue such recruiting - elected or not to GNSO Council, because
I believe the NGO/NFP communities must have a stronger voice at ICANN than
up to now. A strong NPOC will mean a stronger NCSG.
Best regards, ALAIN BERRANGER
On Sun, Sep 11, 2011 at 3:34 PM, Dan Krimm <dan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I appreciate this offering, and I happen to be an example of someone who
holds a couple of .com domains but operates in an entirely not-for-profit
manner (my domains are used for essentially personal purposes, and there is
no revenue-generating function entailed -- I own the domains as an
individual, not as an organization), thus justifying my individual
membership in NCSG/NCUC. (I've also done some work for IP Justice and
NCUC, largely back in 2007, as well as a bit for IGC. I was previously on
staff at CPSR, and a few NCUC folks have had affiliations with that org as
I take your point that not all organizations operating with a .org domain
name are not for profit as well as not all organizations operating with a
.com domain name are for profit. I suspect it is the rule however when it
comes to the majority, although I have not seen statistics or relevant
research on the subject – a query on this to Richard Heeks from Manchester
University’s Centre for Development Informatics turned out nothing. I, for
one, prefer the *not-for-loss* label. I suspect you do not hold .com domains
to lose money neither, although I fully understand that making money from
them is not a primary objective, just a necessary sustainable process I
imagine. I do not know your activities but assume the .com domain names you
use are mission-critical to the achievements of these activities. As a
matter of curiosity, what is your rationale in going for a .com instead of a
.org domain name?
When it comes to NCSG elections, however, in addition to overarching
philosophy as general context, what I'm personally really interested in is
where you come down on active issues of direct relevance to ICANN,
especially issues addressed by GNSO. Privacy vs. access to registrant
information (i.e., due process) with respect to the WHOIS database.
Criteria for approving/rejecting gTLDs under the new policy (who has power
to veto and under what conditions and via what formal processes --
content-based? trademark disputes? "moral values"? processes for
appeal?). Some real nuts-and-bolts stuff relevant to representing us
meaningfully in this particular forum.
Agreed. I will consult the NPOC constituency for any official policy
decisions on your questions but meanwhile, here is where I stand. I believe
in privacy as one of the most important principle of a developed society,
realizing that the internet era has seen a substantial degradation in the
privacy of citizens, organizations and institutions of all kind. Privacy and
transparency principles are at odds however and attaining a balance is a
dynamic and continuous process - the objective is in the dynamic process not
in any given static equilibrium. To illustrate: will there ever be a
balanced dynamic consensus on WikiLeaks' principle of transparency and a
government’s principle of privacy for diplomatic communications? Are
diplomatic immunity privileges not abused every day somewhere in the world?
I believe that the required registrant information should be the minimum
required for a third independent party to repeat/complete the exact due
diligence process and come to the same conclusion as the registry evaluation
body. That minimum information should be public or there should be
reasonably efficient process for obtaining the information if protected
using a proxy or privacy service. I have spoken in that direction during the
late work of the JAS Working Group.
While the distinction that Marc draws can be important in motivating these
positions, it is ultimately the positions themselves that become most
important to us as a group. Marc's point is sort of an indirect way of
getting at this, but why not aim at it directly.
So, do you support the privacy and due process interests of individual
domain registrants that may not have an institutional buffer to hide behind
with respect to WHOIS identifying data?
I will consult here too to see if there is an NPOC consensus, but
personally, yes to your question. Individual domain registrants should have
the same privacy check points as all other registrants. In my book, all
domain registrants should have to provide the same level of information -
i.e. the minimum required for approved due diligence, as stated above.
Obvious to me is the point that the larger the institutional domain
registrants' organization, and also in terms of organizational complexity,
the more information will have to be provided. There will always be limits
and some will take advantage of that. Although I believe only a minute
number of registrants will exhibit rogue behavior at some point, I do not
think the "filter mesh" should be so fine as to seriously disempower
everybody else or limit entrepreneurial or innovative behavior.
What is your position with respect
to ICANN's treatment of domains in the context of trademarks or in the
context of character strings that are linguistically meaningful in moral
terms? Rights of national governments to veto gTLD applications (and the
appropriate role of the GAC at ICANN)? Formal processes in gTLD
ICANN should have policies that allow civil society, governments and
commercial entities to all register domain names and polices that allows
these participants to comment on how those policies are created. Allowing
the registration of domain names that correspond with trademarks is just as
important as allowing the registration of domain names containing a
trademark and other words for social or political commentary. Since
governments are important stakeholders in Internet governance, the ability
of governments to protect its citizens and private sector from a new
mischevious or ill-intended TLD should be facilitated. The government’s
input on ICANN policies should be encouraged and perhaps sought more early
by the GNSO in the process of developing policy. The answers in my book are
reasonableness of positions and enabling dialogue. This will lessen the
support for extreme positions.
I am comfortable with your being new to NCSG. I might be a little less
comfortable with your being new to ICANN per se, unless I can understand
how your general principles (or the general principles of those to whom you
will appeal for guidance) might inform your positions on ICANN-specific
policies, which is what this representation is all about.
Many other nominees here have substantial track records with respect to
ICANN policies -- they are "well-known quantities" here. In the absence of
a track record there needs to be something else of a rough equivalent in
order to judge a candidacy.
There was first day at ICANN for each and every one of us. I chose to run
early in elections because I can contribute fairly fast to the enlargement
of the NCSG membership and usually am a fast learner. I am retired with over
40 years of international development work, so I have time and experience. I
set foot on the African continent for the first time in Dakar when Mr.
Senghor was President and was successful in improving socio-economic returns
to Senegalese society from phosphate fertilizer mining. Over the next 40
years I slowly became an international development specialist, although I
find that learning is a life long process and try to apply that principle
My experience with multi-stakeholder organizations (International
Development Research Centre, the Global Knowledge Partnership,
Telecentre.org, the Institute for Connectivity in the Americas, etc…) and
success in reaching consensus among different groups with different
opinions… will hopefully help me in my future activities with NPOC and NCSG.
At 12:09 PM +0200 9/11/11, Alain Berranger wrote:
>Greetings to all colleagues,
>I'm new to NCSG via NPOC and very few of you know me.
>I am quite comfortable with the civil society sector or third sector,
>having worked with it internationally all my life and in most continents.
>While it can be generally accepted by most that US Foundations holding a
>501 c 3 IRS status can be clearly considered not-for-profit, they cannot
>be considered as civil society, but as a benefactor of civil society. Yes,
>501 c 3 are a US construct, but philanthropy exists throughout the world.
>Civil society, in a global sense, really represents communities of all
>kinds that come together for social, political, religious, environmental,
>even economic purposes and are always not-for-profit. If they are for
>profit, they cannot be truly considered civil society. Now, it is possible
>for a nonprofit organization to have a commercial activity (it is
>sometimes called earned income) provided the surplus funds from these
>activities (selling T'-shirts, running training workshops, etc...) are
>ploughed back into the fundamental mission and activities of the
>organization. Like Muhammad Yunus once put it to me: "Grameen can be
>defined as a not-for-loss organization...." so while its main objective
>was empowering poor women by ensuring they have access to micro-credit,
>they could also sell the products made by these women (I paid $5 in the
>90's in Dhaka for a lovely hand wowen cotton shirt made in a village
>somewhere and which I'm still wearing today!...). Sellling shirts did not
>make Grameen a commercial entity.
>It would be interesting to me to discuss the status of universities or
>governments, in relation to their main activities and their fundraising
>practices...but I will leave this discussion to another moment, hopefully
>during the election.
>On Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 4:52 PM, Marc Perkel
>Many people in this group know each other very well. Some of us (me) know
>a few people here well. So in this election, once it becomes a contest, I
>think we should perhaps talk about what the candidates bring to the table.
>I think it's important that we make the best decision we can out of the
>outstanding candidates we have to choose from.
>For example, since this is the non-commercial constituency and the rest of
>ICANN is commercial I think we need people who understand that just
>because someone has a 501c3 IRS status or a .org domain name that doesn't
>mean they are non-commercial. There are plenty of places for commercial
>users to express their interests and the non-commercial side is not one of
>them. So I'd like to see people who see the bright line between commercial
>and non-commercial be the ones who get elected. I personally feel that the
>voice of money is a threat to the future of humanity and that someone has
>to speak for people. And that someone would be us.
>The rest of ICANN is commercial* and governmental**.*
Philanthropy is a culture-specific phenomenon as well as an economic
transfer of resources. Again 501 c 3 are american-specific, so as global
philanthropy increases relatively faster than the US-brand of philanthropy,
diversity of foundation models, funding sources and grantmaking styles will
become the rule. That said, please give me an example of a “commercial 501 c
3”, because there are well over 70,000 registered foundations in the US and
I do not know one that is commercial - the IRS would not put up with it by
the way. In short, the Bill Gates Foundation cannot give grants that benefit
Microsoft. Telecentre.org, which is partially funded by Microsoft and the
Canadian government, is software neutral, so their grantees and members make
their software choices freely. The telecentre movement and not for profits
in general are huge supporters of Free and Open Source Software!
>In general, Mark, you seem to be in agreement with my statement on not for
profit civil society in my original email. If not, what is it that I said
there that is not factual?
As a member of NPOC and NCSG, I wish to represent only not-for-profits NGOs
at ICANN. So, we are in this together I would say.
I'm looking forward to engaging in the election process with the entire NCSG
community. I had hoped to be in Dakar to do some of it face to face, but
there was no travel allocations for the NPOC constituency. I trust you will
find me a team player even I don't make the team!
Best regards, ALAIN BERRANGER
>Alain Berranger, B.Eng, MBA
>Executive-in-residence, Schulich School of Business,
>Trustee, GKP Foundation,
>Vice Chair, Canadian Foundation for the Americas -
Alain Berranger, B.Eng, MBA
Executive-in-residence, Schulich School of Business, www.schulich.yorku.ca
Trustee, GKP Foundation, www.globalknowledgepartnership.org
Vice Chair, Canadian Foundation for the Americas - www.focal.ca
O:+1 514 484 7824; M:+1 514 704 7824