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[alac] Structure criteria draft..

  • To: alac@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: [alac] Structure criteria draft..
  • From: Thomas Roessler <roessler-mobile@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 09:07:43 -0300

Please find attached a first and very preliminary draft on what to
seem our insights about at-large structures so far.  Note that the
ultimate conclusion is that (1) either you don't need principles
beyond formal essentials, or (2) there are no such criteria which
would accomplish the goal, so one would have to rely upon procedures.

I'll be around the public forum for another hour or so, and will go
to the afternoon's substantial public forum discussions, if anyone
is still interested in discussing this stuff.
Thomas Roessler                         <roessler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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      <p><span style="font-weight: bold; font-size: x-large;">(Interim) At-Large
 Advisory Committee</span></p>
      <p><span style="font-weight: bold; font-size: xx-large;">Discussion
 Paper: Certification Requirements for At-Large Structures<br>
      <p><span style="font-weight: bold;">NN April 2003</span>  </p>
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        <span style="font-weight: bold;">Click here to comment on this 
        <span style="font-weight: bold; color: red;">Comments are most useful 
if they are received before NN April 2003.</span><br>
<hr width="100%" size="2">  
<h3><a name="intro"></a>Introduction</h3>
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">According to article XI.2.4.h of the new bylaws,
 2/3 of the members of the steady-state At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) 
will be elected by so-called Regional At-Large Organizations (RALOs). There 
will be one RALO per geographic region. Each RALO will be a non-for-profit 
organization, and will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ICANN.<br>
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">Each RALO wil itself consist of so-called At-Large
 Structures which are expected to be existing organizations. According to
article XI.2.4.i of the new bylaws, the At-Large Advisory Committee will
be responsible for certifying or de-certifying at-large structures with a
two-thirds vote. In this decision, the ALAC is supposed to apply criteria
which will be established by the Board, based on recommendations from the
ALAC. These criteria will be part of the relevant ICANN-RALO Memorandum of
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">Some of these criteria will vary across 
regions, and may be a matter of negotiation with those interested in setting 
up a RALO. Other criteria may be globally uniform.<br>
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">In order to determine possible globally uniform 
criteria (and to better understand possible side-effect of certain "local" 
criteria), the ALAC plans to employ a discussion process similar to the one 
which was used by the Evolution and Reform Committee throughout ICANN's reform 
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">Thus, the present document is the first in a
series of discussion papers in which the ALAC will propose possible criteria 
and processes, and will solicit comments.<br>
<h3><a name="bylaw-criteria"></a>Certification criteria defined in the new 
<p style="margin-left: 80px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">xxx - fix
this; outdated bylaw text used.</span><br>
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">Article XI.2.4.h of ICANN's new bylaws contains 
a number of fundamental criteria on at-large structures, which are, at this 
point of time, not subject to further discussion. They do, however, form the
general framework to be used by the ALAC.<br>
<ol style="margin-left: 80px;">
    <p><a name="bylaw-1"></a>At-Large Structures shall be self-supporting.</p>
    <p><a name="bylaw-2"></a>The At-Large Structures shall involve individual 
Internet users at the local or issue level.</p>
    <p><a name="bylaw-3"></a>The At-Large Structures in any given region shall,
in the aggregate, be open to participation by individual Internet users who
are citizens and residents of the relevant geographic region.</p>
<h3><a name="possible-uniform"></a>RALO models and corresponding criteria</h3>
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">The ALAC has identified two fundamentally 
models for RALOs, which might require different kinds of criteria to be applied
to potential at-large structures in a given region. <br>
<p style="margin-left: 80px;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">1.</span>
The first model is focused on putting all decision-making power in a given
RALO into the hands of individual members of the various at-large structures.
At-Large structures would be used to establish a regional membership which
would then hold a vote. In this system, at-large structures would basically
just certify the existence of those individuals interested in participating.
At-Large Structures' internal organization would remain separate from their
RALO involvement.<br>
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">Implementing this approach would at least require
a regional secretariat for managing membership issues and managing 
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">At-large structures would basically take on
an administrative function; the quality of their performance of this function
could, for instance, be assessed by approaches such as spot-checking some
individuals. In particular, only relatively minimal trust in these organizations
and their membership would be required. <br>
<p style="margin-left: 80px;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">It can be
argued that no substantial criteria would need to be applied to at-large
structures with this approach -- establishing the mere existence of the 
in question, and the identity of their leadership, would ultimately be 
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">It is well-known that this approach implies
a risk of "capture" when a single large-scale organization may effectively
take over an entire region. It is not clear how a region could protect against
this risk through objective criteria which are to be applied on a non-arbitrary
<p style="margin-left: 80px;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">2. </span>The
second model focuses on getting existing organizations involved as a whole.
While individual members of these organizations would of course be expected
to participate in broad policy discussions, decisions on the RALO level 
the appointment of ALAC members) would have to be done by representatives
of the at-large structures, assigning (e.g.) one vote to each at-large 
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">With this model, the greatest risk of undue
capture consists in a great number of (small?) organizations with overlapping
membership joining the regional at-large organization, and in organizations
with agendas not related to individual internet users' interests joining
a RALO and determining its positions.<br>
<p style="margin-left: 80px;">No objective and non-arbitrary criteria are
known which could help avoid this risk. The most common approach used in
situations like this one is to start from a set of known and trusted 
which can then co-opt other organizations they deem trustworthy.<br>
<p style="margin-left: 80px;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">With this
approach, "objective" criteria would be minimized, and at-large structure
certification would rely upon the judgment of established structures "in
good standing.</span><br>
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