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    ICANN Bid for Independent Status Gets Cool Reception | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 25 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re:ICANNWatch - documenting ICANN?
    by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Tuesday April 03 2007, @07:39PM (#16939)
    User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
    I apologize -- it would have been much better to say "makes official" rather than "makes public", this being the first time (to my knowledge) it's appeared as a formal suggestion in an official report rather than a trial balloon. I had completely forgotten about the earlier drafts.

    On an only somewhat tangential point, I think one thing this points up is how useful it would be for those who don't do ICANN full time if there were a summary page -- maybe spreadsheet style -- where one could see the timeline of all ongoing ICANN consultations with a VERY brief bullet point summary of the issues they address.

    However, I totally disagree with your characterization of the RALO's which are by any ordinary definition INDIRECT representation of those thousands of voices. And I also disagree that ICANN has any obligation to listen (in the sense of giving weight as opposed to nodding politely) to what RALOs say. Contrast the position of, say, registrars' representatives. They have Board members with votes. (And the threat of lawsuits in the background.) It's that simple. Recall that the RALO's are the result of rejecting the real bottom-up suggestions for a membership structure because they were too empowering. (Remember the At-Large Study Organization's recommendations? ICANN's Membership Advisory Committee? Its Membership Implementation Task Force? The NAIS study? They all proposed rather more than what we got.)

    I also reiterate what I said about the Board meetings. All important ICANN decisions are, so far as I can tell, made in either in private phone board meetings, or in the secret pre-show meetings. ICANN's claim that it has meaningful transparency at the Board level is not credible. A number of former Board members agree. (And we'll see about Susan Crawford's treatment. ICANN has in the past routinely turned on its internal critics and been quite beastly to them when off-camera. It's not inevitable that this will repeat, but many of the same people are in the same positions of power...)

    Incidentally, even Esther Dyson now says that one of ICANN's biggest problems is lack of transparency -- said in an open meeting at the ASIL last week. Ambassador Gross said something similar. This is getting to be close to a consensus view...

    But I do take your final point above.
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