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    Board of Directors Abril i Abril on ICANN's board
    posted by tbyfield on Saturday February 22 2003, @12:43PM

    ICANN boardmember Amadeu Abril i Abril has written an explanation of "WHY I AM NOT RUNNING" for a new board term. When you set aside his de rigeur remarks about "conspiracies" -- a sine qua non when ICANN insiders acknowledge criticism of the organization -- his reasoning lends much credence to many of the basic critiques of ICANN. For example:
    [P]robably the clearest truth about ICANN is that the Board does not work as it should. There are many reasons for that ... but this is the reality: the Board discusses too little, too often it's done too late, most of the times on topics that have nothing to do with DNS or any other "core topic", and relate instead to "structure" and "process"; at the end of the day, we approve whatever comes from the staff ([where] all of the "intellectual processes" take place, as we all know).

    Abril identifies two basic tasks in store for ICANN: (1) "the need to renew the Board as a goal in itself," and (2) "the need to provide more DNS focus to the Board."
    Probably my only real frustration with ICANN is that there has been no way to get the Board's real attention to DNS issues. Just remember the way new TLDs were selected.... Remember the public discussions about IDN, deletions, grace periods, WLS, new registry agreements, transfers, WhoIs or any other topic in this area? Yes, they ranged from non-existing to scaringly poor...
    He's very well informed and has a reputation for shooting straight from the hip, unlike several of the mediocrities he counterbalanced, who will remain. Though I often disagree with his stances, he's both independent and principled. His departure will be a real loss.

    [Amadeu points out that I misspelled his name. :/ Apologies.]

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  • Also by tbyfield
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Abril i Abril on ICANN's board | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 21 comments | Search Discussion
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    Roles versus people
    by KarlAuerbach on Saturday February 22 2003, @02:09PM (#11217)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    One of the aspects of ICANN that has been visible to me as a board member and that has, unfortunately, been invisible to the public is the sense of the individual board members as people of quality.

    For the most part, the ICANN directors are inteligent, concerned, and motivated people. None of them got where they are in life without a goodly deal of ability to think and to act.

    One of the sad stories of ICANN is that the qualities of the individuals who compromise the board have been submerged into ICANN's collective entity and have been colored by an institutional "it's either us or them" siege mentality.

    Amadeau's message - which I read to be that ICANN needs a change in people in order to break the institutional inertia that has caused ICANN's collective corporate personality - strikes me as one that is very perceptive and very important.

    But a change of people on the board of directors, while necessary, isn't sufficient. Much of ICANN's institutional personality is carried in the momentum of its "staff". If there is value in changing the faces on the board, there is even more value in changing the faces on the "staff", particularly at the upper layers. Merely changing the president is not sufficient.

    In addition, much of ICANN's hostility to the public has been fueled by certain of ICANN's contractors - such as, but not limited to, its law firm. If there is to be a change in ICANN, ICANN needs to obtain services from providers who are more interested in ICANN and ICANN's obligations to the public benefit than in invoices and being wannabe Iagos. [field-of-themes.com]
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    At least the name...
    by Anonymous on Sunday February 23 2003, @12:31PM (#11226)
    Hi Ted. I know that following ICANN and getting all the facts and, more importantly, the reasons for those facts is difficult. But well, getting the names just right shouldn't be that difficult... My family name is Abril i Abril, not with a "y" between the Abrils. And, btw, everybody, everywhere, just call me Amadeu (and not Amadeau, Karl ;-)) Well, that's it for now.... Amadeu
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    by WIPOorgUK on Sunday February 23 2003, @12:38AM (#11220)
    User #3146 Info | http://wipo.org.uk/
    I am of the same opinion as you (and sentiment) - mainly gutless cowards and the corrupt sit on the board of ICANN.

    Getting on the board seems to change the personality of people.

    Take Vint - this man was somebody once deserving of high praise.

    His actions with ICANN shows he is now only worthy of scorn.

    When he joined ICANN in this high position, I believed he would turn it around - also make it more open and honest.

    He has fell in line with the rest of corrupt gutless directors.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Yeah ... Heard It Before
    by KarlAuerbach on Sunday February 23 2003, @10:58AM (#11225)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    I thought the same thing once. However, I was wrong.

    ICANN's institutional inertia affects not only its outward personality but also impededs internal discussions. ICANN has not had internal discussions - I can attest that the vibrancy and heat of the public discussions is reflected on ICANN's board by silence and passive submission to whatever response staff puts on the board's plate.

    Occassionally there have been board members (apart from myself and Andy M.M.) who try to raise some of these issues. However, after a few pleasant hurrumphfs the matter dies down and vanishes from the board's view. The institutional disease of ICANN - that decisions should be made by a zen-like pseudo-peaceful lapse into "consensus" rather than by direct and potentially confrontational voting - has kept those board members who wish to disagree from doing so with more than a mild murmer.

    There are board members who would, I believe, not have followed the herd had ICANN's internal culture not been so much in opposition non-conforming thought.

    ICANN's so-called "reform" retrenched and reinforced ICANN's institutional disease. There needs to be a massive replacement of faces within ICANN, and that replacement needs to occur en masse in order to avoid the co-option of the replacements one-by-one. However, a single-event change is unlikely - the "reform" plan has staggered replacements, a classical technique for squeezing out opposition. And if we listen to the excuses given by the board-squatters, we hear the word "continuity" excuse repeated again and again.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Touton's Puppet
    by KarlAuerbach on Sunday February 23 2003, @02:50PM (#11229)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    This is an odd thread of discussion - this will be my third comment that could be construed as being somewhat defensive of ICANN.

    As for Louis Touton - He's a powerful personality, he is smart both about law and technology, he works extremely hard, and he has his ideas about where the net should go. And it has been my experience that if he is given free-reign that he will use it. However, it is also been my experience that Louis is one those rare people among ICANN's senior staff who understands that the Board of Directors, if they ever were to chose to actually direct ICANN, is supreme within ICANN.

    Despite our disagreements, and those disagreements have been major and occassionaly rather heated, I would suggest that Louis has acted professionally and honorably, and if given clear limits by the Board, I believe that he would conform to those limits.

    There are Iago's who are pulling ICANN's strings. But I would not put Louis T. among them.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    by tbyfield (tbyfieldNO@SPAMpanix.com) on Monday February 24 2003, @07:29AM (#11232)
    User #44 Info
    not for nothing does the default installation of slash call anonymous contributors 'anonymous cowards.' if you're going to savage someone like amadeu in such personal terms, the very least you could do is sign your name, if only because, were you to sign your name, your tune would change. there are good reasons for anonymity, but using it as a launching pad for ad hominem isn't one of them.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • Re:Baloney by tbyfield Tuesday February 25 2003, @08:05AM
      • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    Re:Yeah ... Heard It Before
    by tbyfield (tbyfieldNO@SPAMpanix.com) on Monday February 24 2003, @07:32AM (#11233)
    User #44 Info
    perhaps you'd care (a) to substantiate your claim specifically, and (b) sign it?

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
  • 4 replies beneath your current threshold.

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