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[ncdnhc-discuss] Bucharest: June 27 Pubic Forum - At-Large report

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Random-bits] Bucharest: June 27 Pubic Forum - At-Large report
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 03:17:25 -0400
From: James Love <james.love@cptech.org>
To: "random-bits@lists.essential.org" <random-bits@lists.essential.org>

In the public forum, Esther Dyson and Denise Michel just presented the
at-large proposal.  It is essentially a top down proposal, which allows
organizations but not individuals to join, and will later develop a yet to
be defined method of managing public input.  The group not only did not
propose the development of any mechanisms for votes by individuals, but its
only suggested the board "consider" allowing this effort to "select" its own
steering committee, and even then, under "Board-approved guidelines."

"We also recommend the Board consider allowing the At-Large Supporting
Organization to select their Steering Committee and Board members under
Board-approved guidelines/criteria."

Vint asked Denise if there would be methods of determining if the
representatives of these groups actually represented the interests of their
own users, and elaborated on his concern that they may only represent their
own views.  Denise said that they would be working on this issue, and Esther
took the floor and discribe a system used by two merging corporations to
confidentially poll (shareholders/stakeholders?).   She also noted that when
the results were contrary to what was desired, the poll results were not
made public, and then she suggested this polling firm might be available to
provide services for the at-large structures consultation.  It was not
obvious why Esther had come up with this example, or where she was going
with it.   There was another exchange regarding Esther's comment that she
hoped for the development of "parties" that cut across regions, prompting
Vint to indicate that he hoped this would not happen, which prompted Esther
to appear to back off, and Denise to emphasize their understanding that the
process would be managed in such as way to help faciliate consensus.

There were several persons in the room who have worked on At Large efforts,
including for example Aizu Izumi, Vittorio Bertola and Wolfgang
Kleinwaechter, who were recently elected leaders for incannatlarge.com[1],
Esther's previous at-large effort, and persons who were involved in the NAIS
and ALSC efforts.  Only two persons from the floor spoke on the Michel/Dyson
report, myself and Harold Felt from Media Access Project, a US NGO that
works on free speech issues.

I began by noting that we are meeting in Romania, a country that has only
recently abandoned a governance system that limited political freedom.  I
said that I opposed the top down managed public particpation system that
Denise and Esther were proposing, and that it was likely to be used to
control and supress criticism of ICANN, and that if ICANN was to get the
trust of the public and governments, there had to be mechanisms for people
to freely express opposition to its policies, and to freely choose their own
leaders.   I noted that ICANN is comfortable allowing a handful of select
selected businesses represent all businesses on earth, but was unwilling to
allow individuals to represent themselve directly, even in a structure that
has little or no real power.

Vint said the board was short on time, and I was cut off.  There will be
further opportunties to discuss these issues later during the period to
discuss the ERC report.

Harold Felt echoed some concerns about the at-large proposal.

[1]  I was also elected to the "temporary" steering committee of
icannatlarge.com.  This body was supposed to hold a new election within 90
days.  When it became clear that the panel was not going to hold a new
election within the 90 days, I resigned.

James Love, Consumer Project on Technology
http://www.cptech.org, mailto:love@cptech.org
voice: 1.202.387.8030; mobile 1.202.361.3040

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James Love, Consumer Project on Technology
http://www.cptech.org, mailto:love@cptech.org
voice: 1.202.387.8030; mobile 1.202.361.3040

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