AT LARGE STUDY GROUP RELEASES FINAL REPORT
Recommendations on global Internet user community involvement in ICANN submitted to Board
November 5 -- The At-Large Study Committee (ALSC) submitted to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Board of Directors its final recommendations on how to structure participation and representation of the diverse global Internet user community ("At-Large constituency") within ICANN. In the report transmittal letter, the ALSC urged the Board to acknowledge that individual Internet users have a significant stake in ICANN's activities and should have the opportunity of fully participating in ICANN. The ALSC also encouraged the Board to solicit "expressions of interest" to determine the level of commitment to create a global framework for informed participation of interested individuals and At-Large involvement in ICANN.
"ICANN represents an effort at global self-regulation that, if successful, has great merit," said Carl Bildt, ALSC Chair, "Engaging all of the important stakeholders -- developers of Internet standards and providers of the domain name and address system and related services (currently represented in ICANN) -- as well as creating a voice for Internet users, should result in a system that contributes both to the stability of the Internet and to its constant evolution."
The ALSC called on the Board to end gridlock on At-Large and immediately adopt three basic principles to guide expedited action, while providing time for additional consideration of the report:
"We have worked to find a solution that is broadly acceptable to most and that will give the stability that ICANN needs for its important work. This is not the time for experiments, but for solutions that really work. The world is more and more dependent on the Internet. This requires an ICANN that works with a governance structure that assures transparency, accountability and stability," said Bildt, "and we believe that our proposal will contribute to this."
"There is a need for everyone to be ready for a compromise on an issue that has been divisive in the past, and we believe that our proposal represents the middle ground as well as being possible to implement," said Bildt.
A critical, defining element in our report is the recommendation that an At-Large Supporting Organization be created to foster sustained, direct participation of any interested individual in ICANN, said Pindar Wong, an ALSC Vice Chair, "Unlike last year, when individuals had no structure for sustained participation after casting a vote for a Director, we recommend a regionally based ALSO be created to make ICANN's issues intelligible to a broader community and give individuals a way to turn their feedback into tangible influence in an accountable, transparent and predictable manner."
In addition to offering a framework for all interested individuals' structured participation, the ALSC's recommendations focus At-Large membership (an electorate) on an identifiable and vested community, provide a reasonable, initial mechanism for registration and self-funding, and grant At-Large members a proportionate responsibility for selecting ICANN's Board.
The ALSC's final report is widely available on the Internet (at www.atlargestudy.org ) as of November 5, and will be the topic of a two-hour public forum at ICANN's annual meeting in Marina del Rey on November 12.
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