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

    ICANN Meetings Thoughts on those Empty Seats
    posted by DavidP on Monday November 04 2002, @06:22AM

    I've always had trouble thinking about the "ICANN public participation" issue, and I'm a little conflicted in how I feel concerning the relatively meager attendance at the Shanghai meeting. On the one hand, if ICANN is going to be a little United Nations for the net, deciding (or trying to decide) questions about internet 'policy' that will affect all internet users worldwide, we need the highest degree of transparency and the broadest possible participation in its decision-making processes. On the other hand, if ICANN really were to become a technical, standards-setting institution, public interest in its deliberations will, and probably should, evaporate; somebody out there in the bowels of the ITU is making decisions about how telephone numbers are allocated among countries without too much public participation, and public participation has not made the IETF an effective institution. So while I emphatically don't mean to suggest that the empty seats in Shanghai were a good thing, I'm not entirely convinced that they were a bad thing. Just a thought.

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    Thoughts on those Empty Seats | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 18 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Thoughts on those Empty Seats
    by rhill on Monday November 04 2002, @10:19PM (#9986)
    User #3320 Info | http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/
    Please meet the person in the bowels of the ITU who allocates telephone numbers among countries: me. I don't actually make decisions, the decisions are made by what we call Study Group 2, a committee of experts from governments and industry. And the decisions are typically NOT made case-by-case, but on the basis of agreed rules. In the case of telephone numbers, the rules are in ITU-T Recommendations E.190, E.164, and E.164.1.

    For information on Study Group 2, please see:


    Public participation takes place primarily through the government agencies that contribute to the work. Typically, those agencies have gone through formal consultation processes that are fully open to public comment in their countries. There is also some direct participation at the ITU level through user groups that are members of ITU. To date, those user groups have mostly represented very large users, that is industrial companies, but there is no restriction on participation: a group representing individual consumers could become an ITU member and contribute to the discussions.

    I think that that hasn't happened for telephone numbers because consumer groups are satisfied with the input they have at the national level and satisfied that their government representatives take those inputs into ITU.

    Richard Hill
    Counsellor, ITU-T SG2
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Thoughts on those Empty Seats
    by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Monday November 04 2002, @10:16AM (#9977)
    User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
    I can imagine a great world, with a great ICANN, with lots of empty seats at ICANN meetings. But this isn't that world, or that ICANN. The seats aren't, IMHO, empty because ICANN is boring or harmless or doing what seems reasonable. They're empty because it's not worth the expense to attend and not be listened to.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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    Re: Thoughts on those Empty Seats
    by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Monday November 04 2002, @11:22AM (#9982)
    User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
    Interesting comment. You imply that they should have known ahead of time that they were not going to get them. How might they have known that?

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