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WG: Markle Commits $1 million to Internet Governance





-----UrsprŁngliche Nachricht-----
Von:	Steven Clift [SMTP:slc@publicus.net]
Gesendet am:	Dienstag, 2. November 1999 21:07
An:	cybertelecom-l@listserv.aol.com; link@www.anu.edu.au; ispo@www.ispo.cec.be
Cc:	UPFORGRABS-L@CDINET.COM
Betreff:	Markle Commits $1 million to Internet Governance

 

Enclosed is an announcement about Markle Foundation support for 
efforts to improve public participation in Internet governance.  

Steven Clift
Democracies Online Newswire
http://www.e-democracy.org/do - Join Today
Consultant to the Markle Foundation for Web White & Blue
http://www.webwhiteblue.org


From:
http://www.markle.org/news/Release.199911021044.1219.html


November 2, 1999 

Markle Foundation Commits More Than $1 Million To Improve Internet 
Governance, Including Initiatives To Make ICANN More Publicly 
Accountable  


Markle's efforts designed to help ensure that all users of the 
Internet are aware of ICANN's role and have a voice in its decision-
making through selection of members of ICANN's Board of Directors  

Markle will fund public participation in ICANN and has enlisted The 
Carter Center, Common Cause, the American Library Association, 
Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and the Center for 
Democracy and Technology  

Key component of Markle's $100-million initiative - spearheaded by 
Markle President ZoŽ Baird - to improve people's lives through 
emerging communications media and information technologies  

November 2, Los Angeles, CA - The Markle Foundation is committing 
more than $1-million to improve Internet governance, including 
several major initiatives designed to make ICANN, the Internet's 
first international oversight body, more accountable to all users of 
the Internet, it was announced in a statement today by ZoŽ Baird, 
President of the Markle Foundation.  

After a year of initial activities, the first elected Board of 
Directors of ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and 
Numbers) is now being selected; nine of the 19 Directors have already 
been elected by three supporting organizations representing technical 
and commercial interests. Users of the Internet at large will elect 
an additional nine Directors, and Markle is helping to ensure that 
this election process is representative, fair and credible.  

Markle's first initiative - a $200,000 grant directly to ICANN to 
initiate this process-will enable the organization to hire staff, 
conduct outreach (including easy-to-understand educational 
materials), create technical mechanisms for global voting, translate 
key documents into several major languages for the benefit of all 
potential ICANN members worldwide, and initiate the voting process.  

Ms. Baird also announced that Markle had enlisted the support of, and 
is providing funds for efforts by, The Carter Center, Common Cause, 
the American Library Association and other organizations from around 
the world to help establish the election process, to reach out to 
Internet users, and to monitor the elections. These efforts are 
designed to encourage the greatest participation by the broadest 
geographic base of individuals and non-commercial users.  

Ms. Baird said, "Global institutions are beginning to oversee 
Internet activities. The decisions they make will determine whether 
the Internet achieves its potential as a powerful weapon for 
democratic values and aspirations. Management of the Internet by a 
private entity will not be stable or legitimate if that entity does 
not adequately include the public voice. So it is essential that 
ICANN - which is establishing rules that impact individuals and 
organizations alike - be accountable to all Internet users 
everywhere. Specifically, that means building a legitimate way for 
individuals to vote and create an authority they can trust. We are 
bringing in experts who can make this happen."  

Ms. Baird added, "The public must be aware of what is going on, 
understand what is at stake and have a meaningful opportunity to 
express its opinion. President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center, 
which has overseen scores of elections worldwide, and Washington, DC-
based Common Cause, under the leadership of former Massachusetts 
Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, give the Internet community the 
expertise of leaders who understand how to build and protect 
democratic institutions. They - and our other partners - will help us 
forge essential ties between the Internet community and established 
democracy advocates here and abroad."  

Esther Dyson, Interim Chairman of ICANN's Initial Board of Directors, 
said, "We're just delighted that Markle will make such a substantial 
contribution to ICANN's At-Large Membership program. Markle's 
commitment to broad public participation in setting policy for the 
Internet infrastructure is evident in the size of the grant and the 
attention to the issues that come with it. Although ICANN's specific 
mandate is limited, we hope its activities will be a key foundation 
for Markle's initiatives in building public interest and 
participation in the global medium. We plan to use the money to move 
quickly in public outreach, so that we can have broad and informed 
public input as we move forward in the design and implementation of 
the At-Large membership structure, which will ultimately produce 9 of 
our 19 directors."  

Initiatives announced today  

The initiatives announced today include a $200,000 grant to ICANN, to 
fund the first phase of ICANN's At-Large Membership Implementation 
Program. This program is designed to build ICANN's At-Large 
Membership so that any Internet user in the world can participate. In 
addition, this grant will support the development of standards to 
ensure a fair, legitimate voting process and technical mechanisms for 
global voting. ICANN's At-Large Membership will ultimately select 
nine of ICANN's 19-member Board of Directors (nine additional 
directors have already been elected by the three Supporting 
Organizations; the President/CEO is the 19th member).  

Markle is also partnering with a wide range of independent entities 
to improve ICANN specifically and Internet governance generally:  

∑ The Atlanta-based Carter Center, the world's leading election 
monitoring organization, will help the Internet community create an 
adequate mechanism to monitor the ICANN at-large membership elections 
in order to evaluate whether they are open and free of fraud. The 
Carter Center will also work with other leading experts in voting and 
democracy to determine standards for a fair election.  

∑ Common Cause, a 200,000-plus member, nonpartisan organization 
promoting open, honest and accountable government, will create and 
lead an international group of experts in governance and public 
accountability to advise ICANN about how to build bona fide 
membership and voting processes.  

∑ The American Library Association (ALA), the world's oldest and 
largest national library association, will distribute educational 
materials about ICANN and individual membership, including those 
produced by ICANN and others, in the United States and, in 
partnership with international library groups, throughout the world. 
In addition, the ALA has agreed to create virtual "voting booths" at 
libraries in the United States - and work with library organizations 
abroad to do the same thing - for the At-Large elections.  

∑ The Center for Democracy and Technology(CDT), a leading civil 
liberties organization based in Washington, DC, will produce a 
pamphlet on why the public should care about ICANN and the decisions 
its makes.  

∑ The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School- 
a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, 
and help pioneer its development - will explore mechanisms for open 
governance and deliberation online. In addition, Markle and the 
Berkman Center co-hosted a public workshop on ICANN and pressing 
public interest issues in Los Angeles on October 31st. (see 
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/icann/workshops/la)  

Markle also intends to take other steps to assist leaders from around 
the world to participate in meetings of ICANN.  

Said Scott Harshbarger, President of Common Cause, and former 
Attorney General of Massachusetts, "Throughout our 30-year history, 
Common Cause has been a leading voice for citizens on issues of 
democratic process, civic participation, and openness and 
accountability in American government. We look forward to drawing on 
this experience to promote democratic values in Internet governance 
through work with the Markle Foundation."  

"Libraries are the cornerstone of democracy," said ALA President-
Elect Nancy Kranich. "They provide the information people need to be 
well informed, and they provide access to millions of users. No place 
is better suited than libraries to foster democracy in action on the 
Internet."  

Jerry Berman, Executive Director of the Center for Democracy and 
Technology, added, "Control over Internet names could ultimately 
impact vital public interest including free expression, personal 
privacy, and the structure of tomorrow's Internet. An open and 
accessible domain name system makes it possible for anyone to stand 
on a street corner in cyberspace and speak to the whole world. We 
need to make sure that domain name governance is consistent with our 
fundamental civil liberties. Public interest participation in and 
oversight of this governance system is essential to preserve those 
liberties."  

"Deliberation is at the core of both open education and open 
governance: a chance for views to evolve and to be refined, rather 
than simply summed," said Jonathan Zittrain, Executive Director of 
the Berkman Center. "We are seeking to build a kernel of open source 
tools to facilitate broad-based online discussion, deliberation, and 
closure on issues that concern large and diverse groups of people and 
institutions."  

ICANN Initiatives are Centerpiece of Markle's Internet Governance 
Project  

The initiatives announced today at ICANN's first annual meeting are 
part of Markle's recently-launched Internet Governance Project (IGP). 
Markle has committed more than $1 million to the Internet Governance 
Project, which is designed to promote the public interest in 
nontraditional, international venues where decisions are increasingly 
made and standards are set that affect the Internet. These venues - 
non-governmental organizations such as ICANN and the World Wide Web 
Consortium (W3C), and intergovernmental or regional organizations 
such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Intellectual 
Property Organization - consider such issues as electronic commerce 
standards, intellectual property, consumer protection, privacy, 
content regulation, taxation and online jurisdiction.  

An important component of Markle's Policy for a Networked Society 
program, the Internet Governance Project will promote the public's 
interest in a number of ways, such as:  

∑ Increase awareness among public interest leaders about how the 
decisions of non-traditional policy-making entities are affecting 
their constituencies;  

∑ Provide useful, cutting-edge policy analysis from scholars and 
professionals from the law, political science, public policy and 
other relevant disciplines;  

∑ Assist in institution building by working with nontraditional 
policymaking entities to make them more accountable and democratic as 
they remain efficient and goal oriented.  

About ICANN  

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a 
non-profit, international corporation formed in September 1998 to 
oversee a select set of Internet technical management functions 
currently managed by the U.S. Government, or by its contractors and 
volunteers. Specifically, ICANN is assuming responsibility for 
coordinating the management of the domain name system (DNS), and 
other important features of the Internet.  

About the Markle Foundation  

Established in 1927, the Markle Foundation has focused on 
communications media for the past 30 years. A private not-for-profit 
philanthropy, the Foundation has assets of approximately $180-
million. Since the appointment of ZoŽ Baird as President in 1998, the 
Foundation has decided to focus its resources on helping ensure that 
emerging new media and information technology improve people's lives 
and on promoting the development of communications industries that 
meet public needs.  

In June 1999, the Markle Foundation established its Policy for a 
Networked Society program, which seeks to enhance the public voice in 
the consideration and resolution of policy affecting communications 
media and information technology. Markle's other programs are: Public 
Engagement through Interactive Technologies, Interactive Media for 
Children, and Information Technologies for Better Health. Markle 
pursues its goals through a range of activities including analysis, 
research, public information and development of innovative products 
and services. Markle creates and operates many of its own projects-
using not only grants but also investments and strategic alliances 
with non-profits and businesses. More information on the Markle 
Foundation can be found at www.markle.org.  

CONTACT:  

Julia Moffett  

Markle Foundation  

(212) 489-6655 x 337  

- OR -  

Stuart Fischer  

Robinson Lerer & Montgomery  
(212) 484-7758 
------- End of forwarded message -------

^               ^               ^                ^
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