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    - The 'Unsettled Paradox': The Internet, the State, and the Consent of the Governed

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

    Government Advisory Committee (GAC) Canadian Government asks for input on ICANN Reform
    posted by michael on Wednesday August 21 2002, @03:18PM

    fnord writes "The Government of Canada has released a position paper on ICANN reform and asked for input to be received by September 10. While the position paper claims to be similar to the GAC position, it is somewhat toned down and more reserved in its support of ICANN."

    While one might expect that the GAC and Government of Canada positions would be near identical, particularily given that Len St. Aubin (Senior Director, Business and Regulatory Analysis in the Telecommunications Policy Branch, Industry Canada; Industry Canada is a federal government department) has acted and is listed as a Vice Chair of the GAC, nevertheless the Canadian Government position paper diverges in some areas, taking more of a wait and see approach.

    This may be due to a shift in policy position by the Canadian Government, as Len St. Aubin no longer appears to be involved, he has apparently accepted a government posting to Europe in an unrelated position. I also wonder about his position as the ex-officio non-voting member of the CIRA .ca Board, as he is no longer listed in that position by name. Or it may be due to the fact that as St. Aubin is, or was, involved with CIRA from their inception, their more open, transparent, bottom up, democratic, consumer friendly, et cetera, policies rubbed off on him. Or it may be due to the fact that GAC representatives don't necessarily represent the views of their governments anyway. One recalls that at this year's ICANN meeting in Bucharest the GAC was peeved to receive critical documents from ICANN only hours prior to their being discussed, clearly not enough time to call home and receive definitive direction from one's government, even without the difference in time zones. I, as a citizen of Canada, certainly wasn't awoken from my bed by a call from my Government for any input on ICANN reform that was needed immédiatement et tout de suite.

    So let me see if I've got this straight. The GAC thinks ICANN is (just about) swell, except a high-ranking GAC member, or at least a former one, or at least that government that appointed him, may not be on the same page. And the citizens who elected that government may be on yet a different page, if their own ccTLD governance (which they also largely elect) is any indication. Not to mention, although I already have so will again, the GAC Chair has recently not only received funding from ICANN which calls his objectivity into question, indeed his very fitness for the position is suspect (not to worry, I predict he'll soon move on to fill M. Stuart Lynn's position, I hear the pay is better). Yet we are supposed to believe that GAC pronouncements are somehow a definitive distillation of the policy positions of the governments of the world.

    The long and the short of it is you can expect that this canuck will be giving his government an earful. -g

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