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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Membership Issues Suspension of Voting Rights
    posted by jon on Sunday April 29 2001, @04:51AM

    Anonymous writes "On 10 April, the Names Council decided to adopt the report of the NC Budget Committee which called for the suspension of the voting rights of financially delinquent constituencies after 180 days "until such time as the DNSO or its agent receives all past due amounts including the varies late payment fees."

    Only one constituency (the NCDNHC) did not vote in favor of this resolution. One of their representatives, Milton Mueller, has argued: "It is illegitimate and bad policy to link budgetary matters to representation rights. DNSO is supposed to be a representative body. Nothing in the ICANN by-laws or the White Paper suggests that representation hinges on paying some arbitrarily defined fee. Linking those two could cause ICANN serious legal and political problems. (That is not an idle threat).""

    The current cost of participation for each of the seven DNSO Constituencies is $15,371. It is clear that this sum represents a financial difficulty for one constituency, and may well represent a barrier to entry for other emerging constituencies (such as the long-awaited Individual's Constituency).

    At a time when ICANN projects $5,580,000 in revenues, and has readily authorized $450,000 for an At Large Membership Study (ostensibly to allow for enhanced community participation), I find it astounding that a decision has been made to embark upon a course of action that potentially puts member's voting rights in jeopardy. Rather than choosing to ask for a Bylaws amendment that might provide for expenses reasonably related to the legitimate activities of the Corporation (such as DNSO administrative and operational costs), punitive measures have instead been adopted.

    This is a classic case of the tyranny of the majority, and should be a matter of grave concern to the membership of the General Assembly. What is at stake is the prospect that certain domain name policy issues may be voted upon by a body that is no longer fully representative of the Internet community (in clear violation of White Paper principles). The General Assembly should be taking a stand on this issue.

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