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

    Membership Issues Internet voting, hacking and ICANN
    posted by michael on Thursday July 19 2001, @09:47AM

    Mpawlo writes "Internet voting is not an option, according to a recent study. I find this interesting in the light of the ongoing study of the ICANN At-Large Membership.

    The Caltech-MIT study on the Voting Technology Project was released on July, 16. You will find the report "Voting - what is, what could be" interesting when considering the At Large Membership issues of ICANN or other e-democracy project (like the US presidential election to mention one of them...)."

    The report is published online in PDF-format.

    One of the findings:

    "Internet voting is not a near-term solution because of the threat of computer hacking."

    In their introduction to the report, Caltech President David Baltimore and MIT President Charles M. Vest, note: "In the last [presidential]* election, Americans learned that at the heart of their democratic process, their 'can-do'spirit has 'make-do' technology as its central element. For many years, we have 'made do' with this deeply flawed system, but we now know how poorly these systems function. Until every effort has been made to insure that each vote will be counted, we will have legitimate concerns about embarking on another presidential election."

    The At-Large Membership Study Committee was recently formed to forge a consensus on the best method for representing the world's Internet users as individuals ("At-Large Members") within ICANN. The Study Committee tries to achieve agreement on an appropriate and effective means by which Internet users worldwide may participate in ICANN's activities and decisions.

    On a related note, former ICANN chairman and member of the Study Committee, Esther Dyson calls for global internet parties.

    I am very pessimistic about such an idea and I think it is well in line with ICANNs previous work, thus utterly flawed and naive. This is a great idea as such - world democracy seems like a utopia, but I can not see it happen overnight - if ever.

    In my opinion it is time for a more realistic approach to the domain name regulation. Why not use one of the current more or less global organizations or treaties and expand them with domain names? The function as such is needed, but it should be moved to a less flawed organization that has true accountability, transparency and is representative of the international community.

    When it comes to ICANNs role as such, or the function of ICANN, I do not see it beeing expanded in any way. As stated by Larry Lessig:

    "ICANN's role is to be a tiny, coordinating body for technical standards made elsewhere; its function is to assure those standards sustaing and support the stability and diversity of the Internet."

    Do you consider the Internet voting issue dead?

    How would you design the ICANN membership and voting structure to avoid the problems mentioned in this report?

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  • published online in PDF-format.
  • Esther Dyson calls for global internet parties
  • Larry Lessig
  • Voting Technology Project
  • the At Large Membership issues of ICANN
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