Money Flows Easier in the Dark
Date: Wednesday October 17 2001, @03:38PM
Topic: ICANN Meetings

North American at-large elected ICANN Director Karl Auerbach has a few very pointed things to say about ICANN's latest secret meeting of its executive committee. It seems that ICANN's staff is using the committee (and the five Board members -- to their shame! -- are letting it be used), to avoid making potentially unpopular (and maybe even questionable) financial disbursements in public.

Get this: Not only is the public kept in the dark about matters that the staff plans to take to the ExCom, but the staff doesn't even have the courtesy to tell the other Board members what will be on the agenda. Nor does it even email them the decisions after the fact. Now that's bottom-up consensus decision-making!

It seems Karl learns about these meetings just like we do: he reads the ICANN Blog!

It would be amazing if it wasn't so predictable: ICANN is now totally out of control. And the claim to have open Board meetings is a nearly meaningless and highly manipulated ... well, let's just say 'fiction' to be polite.

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Re: Money Flows Easier in the Dark
by kodo ( on Wednesday October 17 2001, @04:52PM (#2999)
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Someone has to stop these guys! They used to be content to lie in private. But, now they just lie to our face while people like JDRP and VeriSign laugh all the way to the bank!

What is the rest of the world doing? It seems that people of the USA are powerless to stop the crusade of evil by ICANN.

Why does everyone in the world just sit around and watch them do this? What about he EU? or Asia? Can't anyone stand up to these crooks ?
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Re: Money Flows Easier in the Dark
by fnord ( on Thursday October 18 2001, @12:14AM (#3009)
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Sigh! Your never-so-humble resident net prophet has to say I told ya so yet again, even to Karl. I raised my concerns with him privately on January 18, 2001 that financial matters were excessively bleeding over into the ExComm. His response to me, which I won't quote as it was private (except thusly for accuracy) was that the ExComm had had that power for quite some time (he was right about that, actually since November of 1999) and that he had been told that their dealing with financial matters was really a matter of convenience. That answer seemed reasonable when I read it....

Much as I like Karl both as a person and as my AL representative, I just had to shake my head at his naivete. Getting his dander up about it now seems a bit too little (not his fault), too late (I told ya so). If even an outspoken critic of ICANN who is closer to the action than most doesn't get it for so long, is it any wonder that the press and the net community are so slow to wake up?

How have I managed to be right about ICANN's excesses so often (he asked immodestly)? It's easy kids, you can even try this at home. Here's my modus operandi for predicting ICANN actions: assume that you are an ICANN insider, assume you are completely corrupt, then ask yourself what you would do to protect and enhance your position. Give it a try and everything will fall into place, or worse.

Look again at that November 1999 resolution, it gives the ExComm the power of the full BoD. Why then have a full BoD at all? Why send them off around the world to meetings, particularily when the webcasts of those meetings testify that many of them hardly ever speak? Why do the tech SO's BoD reps put up with being excluded? Because there's always nice and changing scenery? I admit to being perplexed as to why the SO's that elected them find this acceptable. Because the tech stuff is done in the open? I'm a dweeb and I don't think rot and corruption stink any less just because you're wearing a propeller beanie.

And as someone perceptively points out, why have at large representatives? This is why I've been saying the ALSC is a sham, not worth spending time or energy on whether there are 3 members or 5 or 9 or indeed, even a majority of the BoD. If you're not in the sanctum santorum, you're nowhere. Learn from DNS design, why trade numbers when you can name names?

As to Kendall's anger about the situation, which I share (well kodo, we're not in the US anymore?), looking offshore for salvation is pointless. The offshore haven ICANN is building is foreign to all of us. IANAL but I think the answer is to use US law, and probably specifically California law, to ground this beast once and for all before it completes its migration to cyberspace and gets entirely out of the reach of us all. Few lawyers have truly stepped up to the plate on that score, which surprises me in the infamously litigious US as there is no shortage of targets.

As to what the average net user can do, onshore or off, the ICANN supranational government is no different than any rinky-dink town government, left without check they will do everything important (and inevitably corrupt) in committee and in camera. Read some Machiavelli if you don't yet get the program. Unfortunately, whilst such corruption doesn't often happen, or last, in the real world because even rinky-dink town reporters can and will call them to task and arouse the citizenry, the much-touted on the internet, everyone has their own printing press ideal just doesn't seem to be working very well. Thank goodness that at least ICANNWatch and a very few others continue to shine light into the ICANN nest of vipers, or it would all already be over. Still, it very nearly is. -g

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Re: Money Flows Easier in the Dark
by fnord ( on Saturday October 20 2001, @09:32AM (#3038)
User #2810 Info
As Karl pointed out, there seems to be no good reason why this business was not transacted during the last full BoD meeting, nor any reason why it could not wait until the next one. It was done this way because it can be, it was a test of the system. Future ExComm meetings will take it further. And so it goes... We'll see if I'm correct. -g
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