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Joint Civil Society Statement Supporting Proposed Charter for the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) Submitted by Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC)

  • To: sg-petitions-charters@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Joint Civil Society Statement Supporting Proposed Charter for the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) Submitted by Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC)
  • From: "Robin Gross" <robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 20:46:46 -0700 (PDT)

Joint Civil Society Statement
Supporting the Proposed Charter for the
Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG)
Submitted by ICANN's Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC)
15 April 2009

        On March 16, 2009 members of ICANN's Non-Commercial User Constituency
(NCUC) filed a petition1 to form the Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group
(NCSG) as part of ICANN's ongoing GNSO restructuring efforts, which are
intended to, in part, correct the under-representation of non-commercial
interests in the ICANN policy development process.  One significant
factor in why more non-commercial civil society organizations do not
engage at ICANN is the great disparity in structural power between
commercial and non-commercial interests at ICANN, and we welcome this
opportunity to correct this imbalance via the GNSO restructuring.

        We, the under-signed non-commercial civil society organizations, support
the NCUC's NCSG petition because it will create an organizational
structure that can accommodate the full breadth and diversity of
non-commercial interests concerned with domain name policy.  The NCSG
petition encourages inclusiveness and cooperation among differing
viewpoints, facilitates minority representation, fosters the generation
of new policy proposals, and establishes councilors and officers that are
representative of and serve the needs of the entire Stakeholder Group
(SG) membership.  The NCSG petition also maintains a light-weight and
adaptable framework as is required for effective policy development at

        In contrast, SG petitions that attempt to fix a pre-determined number of
GNSO Council seats per constituency are inadequate at representing the
great diversity of non-commercial interests at ICANN.  Such a
constituency-based representation model encourages competition and
divisiveness among constituencies in the NCSG by setting up a zero-sum
game in which constituencies fight in internal power struggles and over
scarce resources.  Such a model cannot be a long-term solution and
requires constant re-negotiation over limited council seats every time a
new constituency is approved, tying up scarce NCSG resources and energy
with internal disputes rather than shared goals.  A constituency-based
representation model at the GNSO presents an invitation to gaming with
arbitrary groupings into imposed constituencies.  Instead of a system for
developing the best policies that can reach the broadest acceptance in
the SG, such a model encourages special-interest groups to consider only
their own particular narrow agendas.  It would encourage fragmentation
among non-commercial interests with an incentive of gaining more power on
the GNSO Council than may reflect actual support in the broader
community.  Under constituency-based representation models, a
constituency of 20 narrowly focused individuals is entitled to the same
representation on the GNSO Council as a constituency of 2,000 members. 
While competition can be a valuable tool in some cases, the new GNSO
model is intended to work through consensus building, compromise, and
cooperation among competing viewpoints.

We believe the NCUC NCSG Charter recognizes the problems of
constituency-based representation and has addressed them through
democratic SG-wide elections for GNSO Councilors, balanced with a low
threshold for recommending the creation of Working Groups to generate
policy proposals.  Other GNSO Stake-holder Groups have also recognized the
problems of a constituency-based model and proposed solutions similar to
NCUC's petition of democratic SG-wide elections for GNSO Council seats.

NCUC's NCSG petition provides a long-term solution that minimizes
competition and rewards consensus-building and cooperation among
constituencies.  For the GNSO Councilor to win her seat she must gain the
support of various constituencies within the NCSG membership.  The NCSG
will be much more effective as an SG with GNSO Councilors who understand
the breadth of ICANN policy issues -- rather than only the issues that
touch their particular constituency's "pet agenda" (or "raison d'être").

Thus the NCUC proposal accommodates the diversity of non-commercial
interests and encourages GNSO Councilors to be broadly representative of
the entire NCSG membership, while still enfranchising minority viewpoints
and fostering a more inclusive policy agenda.  For these reasons we
support the proposed NCUC NCSG Charter and ask the ICANN Board of
Directors to encourage wider non-commercial civil society participation at
ICANN by doing the same.  Thank you.

Respectfully Submitted,


African Commons Project (South Africa)
AGEIA DENSI (Argentina)
Akiba Uhaki (Kenya)
Aktion Freiheit statt Angst (Germany)
Alfa-REDI (International)
APWKomitel - Association of Community Internet Center (Indonesia)
Appui Mutuel Pour le Développement (Belgium)
ARTICLE 19 (International)
Association for Progressive Communications (International)
Asociatia pentru Tehnologie si Internet (Romania)
Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (Argentina)
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) (Bangladesh)
Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (UK)
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) (Canada)
Centre for Community Informatics Research, Development and Training (Canada)
Center for Digital Democracy (USA)
Center for Tecnology and Society (CTS) at Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil)
Centre for Independent Journalism (Malaysia)
Centre for Internet and Society - Bangalore (India)
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) (International)
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility-Perú (CPSR-Perú) (Perú)
CPR2 (Bangladesh)
Electronic Frontier Finland (Finland)
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) (International)
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) (International)
Essential Action (USA)
European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRi) (Europe)
Foundation for Media Alternatives (Philippines)
Free Software Foundation Europe (Europe)
FreePress (USA)
Freedom for IP (USA)
Fundación Comunica (Uruguay)
ICT Consumers Association of Kenya (Kenya)
Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University (USA)
Information and Communications University (Korea)
Instituto Brasileiro de Direito da Informática (IBDI) (Brazil)
International Institute for Sustainable Development (Canada)
Internet Governance Project (International)
Internet Research and Innovation Institute (Lithuania)
Internet Society Mauritius (Mauritius)
Internews International (International)
IP Justice (International)
Knowledge Ecology International (International)
Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC) (International)
PeaceNet Korea (Korea)
Privacy Activism (USA)
Privacy International (International)
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (USA)
Public Knowledge (USA)
RITS - Information Network for Civil Society (Brazil)
SchoolNet Foundation (Bangladesh)
University of Aarhus (Denmark)
University of the West Indies At-Large Structure (International)
World Privacy Forum (USA)
Yale Law School Information Society Project (USA)


Dr Graham Dutfield, Professor of International Governance, School of Law,
University of Leeds (UK)

Anriette Esterhuysen, Executive Director, Association for Progressive
Communications, APC

Daniel Dardailler, W3C and Web Foundation (France)

Divina Frau-Meigs, Professor, Media Sociology, University Sorbonne
Nouvelle (France)

William J. Drake, Centre for International Governance, Graduate Institute
of International and Development Studies (Switzerland)

Bazlur Rahman, Member, Strategy Council, UN-Global Alliance for ICT and
Development (Bangladesh)

Anna Fielder, Consumer Advocate (UK)

Andrea Naranjo, Anthropologist (Belgium)

Wolfgang Kleinwaechter (Germany)

Bahareh Afghahi (Iran)

Lisa Horner, Global Partners (UK)

Rudi Rusdiah (Indonesia)

Dr. Lisa McLaughlin, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies,
Department of Communication, Miami University-Ohio (USA)

Michael Gurstein, Ph.D., Director, Centre for Community Informatics
Research, Development and Training (Canada)

Hans Klein, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of
Technology (USA)

Claudia Padovani, University of Padova (University)

Dr Andrew A Adams, School of Systems Engineering, The University of
Reading, (UK)

Alex Gakuru (Kenya)

David Farrar, Director, Curia Market Research Ltd, (New Zealand)

Rafik Dammak (Tunisia)

Christine Horz, YECREA rep., section Diaspora, Media and Migration (Germany)

Jaco L. Aizenman, Presidente, Registro de Activos Financieros - RAF (Costa

Prof. Hakikur Rahman, Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Minho

Lina ORNELAS, Member of the International Association of Privacy
Professionals (IAPP) (Mexico)

Marco Toledo Bastos, University of São Paulo (Brazil)

Ledesma Piñeiro (Argentina)

Robin Gross, Attorney (USA)

Omar Kaminski (Brazil)

Jeff Chester (USA)

Virginia (Ginger) Paque, DiploFoundation (Venezuela)

Carlton Samuels (Jamaica)

(1)   NCUC petition for a Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) is
available at:
The Executive Summary of the NCUC petition is available at:

Attachment: NCSG_NCUC_Charter_Support_Final.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

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