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CYBER-FEDERALIST NO.5: The ICANN Member Nomination Process (fwd)
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CYBER-FEDERALIST No. 5 September 6, 2000
THE ICANN MEMBER NOMINATION PROCESS
Civil Society Democracy Project (CivSoc)
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR)
(CivSoc of CPSR)
The Member Nominations phase of the ICANN elections ends this Friday
(September 8). With just a few days left, we can begin to see some likely
nominations and some electoral trends.
The most useful website for following the elections is the ICANNnot site,
which summarizes each region's election. That site is located at:
(Many thanks to Mr. Andrew Bloch for creating that site!)
In what follows, I summarize the present state of each regional election
and speculate about the future.
Europe has had the highest turnout of any region, with over 32% of all
activated members voting (21% of all members in the region.) Europe also
has the fewest open positions for member nominations -- only 2 of 7, with
the other 5 positions already filled by ICANN's nominees.
The two candidates most likely to win a nomination are Andy Mueller-Maguhn
and Jeanette Hofmann, both from Germany and both with strong credentials
for representing civil society concerns on the ICANN Board. The clear
leader is Mueller-Maguhn, with more than twice the endorsements of any
other candidate. Mueller-Maguhn is the Speaker of the Chaos Computer Club
(www.CCC.de), an organization that promotes issues like privacy and freedom
of information. (My German colleagues have uniformly emphasized that the
term "chaos" refers to its philosophy of freedom and non-hierarchical
Jeanette Hofmann is a university-based social scientist who has done
extensive studies of the IETF. She is a founding member of the European
chapter of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (www.CPSR.org)
and a signatory to the Civil Society Statement
Two other leading European candidates are Lutz Donnerhacke and Dmitri
Bourkov. Donnerhacke is a co-founder of FITUG (www.FITUG.de), which is a
member of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (www.GILC.org). With about
800 endorsements, he is only about 250 votes behind the Jeanette Hoffman at
the time of this writing. Bourkov, the only non-German candidate with
large numbers of endorsements, has a background in the technical areas of
network development in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Election data for Europe is available at:
An archived discussion forum for Europe is available at:
The region with the greatest contrast to Europe is Asia. There, only about
12% of activated members have voted (less than 5% of all Asia regional
members.) Asia has three candidate positions still open, but so far only
one member has passed the 2% threshold for nomination.
The leading candidate is Hong Jie Li from China, who has over 1000 votes.
He has a business background and expresses concerns about business
development. Three other candidates each have between 400 and 500 votes.
Kuo-Wei Wu, from Taiwan, has a background in the technical and research
community and is active in APNIC. Jon Ho Kim, from Korea, is an expert in
intellectual property law.
The fourth candidate is Yukika Matsumoto from Japan. She is the only
leading Asian candidate to strongly advocate civil society issues. She has
worked with NGO's, most notably JCA-NET, which is the Japanese member of
the Association for Progressive Communications (www.APC.org). At the time
of this writing she has the third-highest number of votes, but has still
not passed the 2% threshold needed to win a nomination.
Election data for Asia is available at:
The North American region has three clear leading candidates for its three
open positions. All three have strongly supported values of civil society.
Karl Auerbach was a co-founder of the Boston Working Group, which played an
important role in ICANN's creation, ensuring that there would be an At
Large membership. His extensive reform platform for ICANN can be seen at:
http://www.cavebear.com/ialc/platform.htm . Barbara Simons is the former
President of the Association for Computing Machinery (www.ACM.org) and
founded its Internet Governance Project
(http://www.acm.org/serving/IG.html), which supported the work of Kathy
Kleiman. Simons is also a long-time member of CPSR. Both Auerbach and
Simons have endorsed the Civil Society Statement (Auerbach contributed
significantly to its creation.) The third candidate who has also passed
the 2% threshold is Emerson Tiller, whose platform supports free speech and
open democratic governance of ICANN.
Election data for North America is available at:
In this region one candidate has emerged as a clear leader, although a
second person may still pass the 2% limit. With the majority of ICANN
members located in Brazil, it is not surprising that both candidates are
from that country.
Claudio Silva Menezes has over 800 votes out of a total of 924 at this
time. He works for the Banco do Brasil in IT management. In a distant
second place is Aluisio Nunes, with 60 votes. He is an independent
consultant in strategic management and marketing research.
Election data for Latin America are available at:
Although only 54 votes have been cast so far in this region, the rates of
participation are roughly equivalent to North America. Here the threshold
to surpass is the fixed limit of 20 voters. Two of the three candidates
are still far below that, with 8 and 6 votes.
The leading candidate here is Calvin Browne of South Africa. He is a
director of the corporation managing the .co.za domain name space, which is
the South African equivalent of .com. He also has years of experience
participating in activities of ICANN and the Internet Society.
Election data for Africa is available at:
These data allow one to speculate on what the future holds.
Clearly nationalism is a strong factor in these regional elections. In
each region, the leading candidates are citizens of the countries with the
most voters. The big countries are Brazil, Germany, United States, South
Africa, and China and Japan.
In two regions -- Europe and North America -- voters have shown a clear
preference for candidates expressing concerns for free speech, privacy, and
democracy (what I here call "civil society values.") Every single
successful candidate in Europe and North America has advocated civil
For the final elections in North America, where Lawrence Lessig is also a
candidate, fully 4 of the 7 Board candidates in October will likely be
explicit supporters of such values. (This multiplicity of candidates does
not risk splitting the vote and causing them all to lose, because the
election rules will allow for the aggregation of votes.)
In Europe, only 2 of the 7 likely candidates in October seem to have a
strong background in civil society issues. However, they are both from
Germany, the country likely to exercise the greatest influence on outcomes.
Thus, 2 of the 3 final German candidates will almost certainly be strong
supporters of such values.
In Asia, there is still some chance that one civil society candidate may
make it on the ballot -- Yukika Matsumoto. Otherwise, that region's
electoral choices in October will largely be among candidates from the
industry and technology communities.
In Africa and Latin America, the candidates with the clearest civil society
orientation will be those nominated by ICANN. Both of ICANN's African
nominees endorsed the Civil Society Statement (see:
http://www.cpsr.org/internetdemocracy/friends-of-civsoc.html ). One of
ICANN's Latin American nominees, Raul Echeberria, also endorsed the
Statement and was the recipient of an endorsement from the Association for
Progressive Communications (www.APC.org).
Between now and Friday's election deadline, a few questions remain. The
biggest question is whether Asia voters will nominate Yukika Matsumoto, the
only advocate of privacy, speech, and the public interest who has a chance
to get on the ballot. In Europe, Jeanette Hoffman could still lose her
position to Lutz Donnerhacke, although support for Hoffman seems to be
increasing as the deadline approaches.
The election rules do allow members to switch endorsements. Yukika
Matsumoto could still benefit from a last-minute wave of switched
endorsements, particularly of other candidates with no prospect of success
declare their support for her. That may allow her to pass the 2% threshold.
In October the big question will be whether voter behavior in this phase
will be repeated in the October election. Today's voter behavior has been
characterized by considerable support for candidates supporting civil
society values. If the October elections look like the Member Nomination
phase, then new Directors may be elected who will supplement ICANN's
current concern with property rights with a concern for speech, privacy,
and consumer rights.
The Civil Society Statement is available at:
Candidates and readers are welcome to comment on this analysis. Comments
on the previous Cyber-Federalist, No.4, have been offered by: Vint Cerf,
Christoph Weber-Fahr, Carl Malamud, Hans Klein, and David Reed. See:
CYBER-FEDERALIST is a regularly-published series of analyses and
commentaries on Internet governance and ICANN elections. It is produced as
part of the Internet Democracy Project. See:
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