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[atlarge-discuss] my comments about the working papers
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- Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 06:42:03 +0100
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HelpI think Vittorio's comments here contain a lot of very good material.
At the heart of what I think we should put forward is the concept of ICANN
creating an @large membership, made up of the membership of independent
organisations like our own (and any others who just want to be individual members
of ICANN's @large.
This concept would preserve the VITAL independence of the various @large
organisations, recognise the reality of multiple groups, and offer an incentive to
all groups to expand in terms of outreach in order to influence ICANN.
ICANN should accept those groups and organisations which set the administration
of the DNS as a significant issue in their constitution and concerns.
This "transfer of membership" to an ICANN-based ICANN@LARGE (with voting
powers) would actually offer people like us the opportunity to formally infiltrate
ICANN, but should not involve ANY loss of independence of the separate groups.
With reference to membership verification, I do not favour any mandatory membership fees.
To make our organisation accessible to all, membership should not be dependent on
fees, though voluntary contributions should be encouraged. Rather, there should be a
choice of 5 to 10 methods of self-verifiaction, from which applicants for membership
I personally favour one option being a reference from a school or hospital or similar, with
contact details where (in cases of concern) the reference can be checked and validated.
Nearly all of us (at least, in many countries) have contact of some kind with an
established organisation - and we should have maybe 10 other methods so as not to
discriminate against people in countries where any of this is difficult.
My one area of divergence from Vittorio (at least in terms of tone) is that I would be
less accommodating of the possibility of a Nominating Committee. The idea of a
Nominating Committee to determine choice of candidates is alien to me because:
(a) why should trust be placed in any Nominating Committee?
(b) it creates a delegated approach to selection, which distances people from their
democratic right to nominate their own candidates
(c) if the Nominating Committee exists within ICANN, and ICANN itself is corrupt,
why should anyone trust that it hasn't been "stacked" in such a way as to perpetuate
an already intolerable establishment (The "Lynn Dynasty", if you like).
The Internet is a worldwide resource and, as such, should not depend - for its
administration - on the nominations of an oligarchy. Manifestly, ICANN should be
democratically run, democratically controlled, democratically voted for.
Therefore, in any working papers we forward to ICANN, I think that independence
of organisations willing to "transfer members" to an ICANN-based @Large is essential.
And I think we should always assert, as a primary position, that all such transferred
members should have the power to democratically vote for around 10 Board members.
These Board members MAY represent a variety of constituencies, but that is a matter
for individual internet users - through their membership of ICANN's @Large - to determine.
There MUST be clear water between Denise Michel's proposed @Large and our
own independent organisation. We must not be merged or subverted. We must pursue
our own agenda. We must pursue our own Outreach. We must agree to "transfer
membership" to ICANN's @Large without any compromise to our own existence,
and obviously that transfer of membership must take place only with the consent of each
So ... a multiplicity of independent organisations, each with its own membership...
And ... a "transfer of membership" ... for the purposes of participation and
representation in ICANN's own @Large
And if we judge, after a period of time, that this doesn't work in our interests, we can
withdraw from the project and just carry on with our own.
In any case, we should always prioritise our own agenda, and goals, and website, and
outreach. We need to expand our vision for our own organisation, because our
independence (and the independence of equivalent groups) is the ONLY way that
ICANN's @Large will work.
Finally, to take the example of my own projected website and National organisation
at www.icannatlarge.co.uk , this would be legitimate as an independent organisation
(within OUR own @large) because the principle underlying ICANN's AtLarge should
not be empire, but a commonwealth of independent states.