I compliment those involved with the EoI group in what I believe are sincere efforts to make some constructive contributions to the new gTLD process. I think we should always encourage community members to take initiate and collaborate with other similarly minded community members in developing input to ICANN processes.
I am assuming that they sent a letter to Rod, Peter, Doug and Kurt because the Board passed a motion regarding a possible EoI effort. In that letter they said, "Our consensus-based, cross-community final draft will be presented to staff with minimal delay so that they can take comments from the wider community and subsequently prepare a plan for the Board as called for in the Board resolution." Based on the proposed membership of the group, I conclude that they define 'cross-community' as those who are strongly interested in speeding up the new gTLD process, so when they say 'consensus-based', it appears that they mean consensus of like minded parties. That is okay in my opinion as long as they are clear about that and don't try to represent their efforts otherwise.
Their efforts are clearly not an effort of the GNSO because they have not made any efforts to communicate with the GNSO Council in its role as the policy management body for the GNSO. As far as I am aware, they have not asked the GNSO Council to provide an observer to their group. I am not suggesting that they are in any way required to involve the Council, but at some point it seems to me that the issues they are confronting will need to come back to the GNSO. Without being critical in any way, they may not want this to be a GNSO process because, if it was, we would need to follow the GNSO PDP in the Bylaws.
Because we have not received a request to provide an observer, it doesn't seem to me that we are in a position to provide an observer. If they did invite the Council to provide an observer on behalf of the GNSO, what would the role of that observer be? We would need to understand that before making any decisions.
Based on what we know right now, I don't think there is anything to prevent Stephane from participating in the EoI group as long as it is clear that he is doing so strictly in his personal capacity and not as a representative from the Council.
Other thoughts are welcome.
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