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'Civil Society and ICANN Elections' (Draft)
The Internet Democracy Project sets out major issues for the ICANN Election

by Internet Democracy Project
Webposted on 01 July 2000

Draft
Yokohama Statement
on
Civil Society and ICANN Elections

27 June 2000

Internet Democracy Project

http://www.internetdemocracy.net
http://www.cpsr.org/internetdemocracy
 
 
 
 

This draft document articulates a civil society perspective on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and identifies issues for the upcoming At Large elections. 

Civil society is a third sector of society alongside the state and the market. Civil society supports freedom of association, freedom of expression, participatory democracy, and respect for diversity.  A vigorous civil society is also an important limit on the power of governments and on the power of the commercial sector. 

We encourage individuals and organizations to discuss this statement internally and with others and to suggest improvements. This statement will be further developed at the: 
    Civil Society Forum
    Yokohama, Japan (ICANN Meeting)
    Thursday, 13 July 2000, 9:00-12:00

For more information see web sites above.  Comments can also be submitted to Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) at 

Initial signatories (individuals):
Karl Auerbach 
  Individual Domain Name Holders Constituency (USA) 
Chris Bailey 
  Internet Rights Campaign 
  Association for Progressive Communications (APC) (UK) 
Tracy Cohen 
  LINK/Wits University (South Africa) 
Marc Holitscher 
  Unit for Internet Studies (Switzerland) 
Tomoya Inyaku 
  JCA-NET (Japan) 
Hans Klein 
  Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) (USA) 
Norbert Klein 
  Open Forum of Cambodia (Cambodia) 
Veni Markovski 
  Internet Society - Bulgaria (Bulgaria) 
  ICANN Membership Implementation Task Force Chair for East Europe 
Milton Mueller 
  Syracuse University (USA) 
Toshimaru Ogura 
  Net-workers against Surveillance Task-force (NaST) (Japan) 
Nii Quaynor 
 Network Computer Systems (NCS) (Ghana) 
Roberto Roggiero 
  INTERCOM - Ecuanex (Ecuador) 
Marc Rotenberg 
  Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) (USA) 
Barry Steinhardt 
  American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (USA) 
Shinji Yamane 
  Japan Chapter preparatory committee (Japan) 
  Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) 

 Guiding Values

1. ICANN must be representative. 

2. ICANN must be transparent. 

3. ICANN must use bottom-up processes. 

4. Intellectual property rights are not privileged over other rights. 

5. ICANN must limit itself to technical policy-making. 

6. The domain name space is not an exclusively public resource. 

7. Artificial scarcity and centralization should be avoided. 

8. ICANN must respect privacy. 

9. Costs should be minimal and equitable. 
 
 

Issues in the ICANN Elections
 

1. ICANN must be representative.

ICANN currently suffers from a democracy deficit. Since its creation in 1998 and continuing to the present, the commercial sector has had disproportionate representation on the Board of Directors.  The democracy deficit will continue at least until all At Large Board seats are filled by elected representatives. 


2. ICANN must be transparent.

Information-sharing should be maximized before, during, and after all ICANN decisions. 


3. ICANN must use bottom-up processes.

ICANN is in danger of becoming an organization whose policies and practices are determined by its staff. ICANN needs to rededicate itself to its original conception as a decentralized, bottom-up standards making organization. 


4. Intellectual property rights are not privileged over other rights.

The European Convention on Human Rights states, ôEveryone has the right to freedom of expressionö (Article 10). ICANN should not compromise the right of expression in order to protect the right of property. 


5. ICANN must limit itself to technical policy-making.

The power over Internet users inherent in DNS administration should not be used to make public policy. 


6. The domain name space is not an exclusively public resource.

The assertion that ôthe [domain] name space is a public resourceö (by ICANNÆs Governmental Advisory Committee) provides a basis for excessive state control. Likewise, the ônatural monopolyö model of country code TLD (ccTLD) registries creates an opportunity for excessive control. 


7. Artificial scarcity and centralization should be avoided.

Control points and artificial scarcity in DNS create barriers to Internet access and foster regulation of users. 


8. ICANN must respect privacy.


9. Costs should be minimal and equitable.

Similar services delivered in different parts of the world can have different cash values.  Likewise, usersÆ ability to pay can vary dramatically.