ICANN Backs Off on Government Involvement
Date: Monday March 18 2002, @03:51AM
Topic: Board of Directors

According to a note Vint Cerf posted to the GA list yesterday, ICANN's current thinking is that, under the Lynn proposal, governments should not be free to select the people they want for "their" seats on the ICANN Board. Rather, governments should only be able to select Board members from a list provided to them by an ICANN-appointed nominating committee.

Cerf's note makes clear that under the Lynn plan, essentially all new Board nominations would be the product of a nominating committee selected by, well, the existing Board. It is becoming increasingly obvious, and ICANN is hardly bothering to deny, that the Board under the Lynn plan would be selected by and accountable to nobody -- except itself. But why in the world does ICANN think that world governments will be willing to give it tens of millions of dollars yearly, in return for a meaningless set of nominations from a pre-approved list?

Stay tuned, I guess . . .

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by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Monday March 18 2002, @06:14AM (#5352)
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Here's a note I sent to the GA list and Dr. Cerf on the topic of noncoms. Although Dr. Cerf has been answering a lot of the mail on that list, no answer on this one yet.

ICANN's experience with picking noncom's is pretty telling. The one that picked the candidates for the at-large last time was a stacked groups with no one at all from the 'loyal opposition'. Not surprisingly they only picked candidates friendly to management. And got pasted in both N.America and Europe.

The NomCom for the IPR was selected in a manner that produced a group unable or unwilling (by design?) to discharge its duties. No one has yet appologized for this or even tried to explain it.

The Lynn plan is a non-starter for a large number of reasons, not least mission gallop (also reflected in the Touton memo). But one of the reasons it is hard to take it seriously is the failure to describe a noncom procedure that is visibly fair, and not likely to be captured by the management.

The IETF uses a nomcom that is randomly selected from members who attend meetings and volunteer. Since ICANN has driven away so many of its members, and since meetings are rare and in expensive locations, physical attendence cannot be an element of selection for the nomcom. But nor can the staff be allowed to have the power to stack the deck, as they have amply demonstrated they are not able to discharge this function in a competent manner. Who then?

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