ALSC Outreach Meeting
March 9, 12:30 - 16:30
Attendees: ALSC Members Pierre Dandjinou, Ching-Yi Liu, Oscar Robles, and Pindar Wong (Meeting Facilitator), and ALSC Executive Director, Denise Michel.
Participants (that signed in): Danny Younger, babybows.com; Paul Jouve, clickfinders.com; Barbara Roseman, ASO AC; Lyric Apted, Verio; Peter Chany, Luddite Systems; Andrew Shen, EPIC; Robert Whitehurst, White Sight; Alan Davidson, CDT; David Short, IATA/.travel; Laura Bailyn, Markle Foundation; Scott Albert Jackson, Common Cause/NAIS; Chan Beng Seng, DAGA; R. Mandarino, Brazil Internet Cmt; Cassio Verichetti, Brazilian Steering Cmt.; M. Dowling, Domain Intellect; Rob Courtney, CDT; F. O'Brien, RMIT; A. Pissanty, UNAM/ICANN Director; German Valdez, NIC-Mexico/LACNIC; Oh Byouing-il, Progressive Network Korea; John Lewis; Myung Koo Kang, Korea Internet Forum; Chan Beng Sang, DAGA; Jonathan Band, Morrison and Foster; Adam Peake, Glocom; Izumi Aizu, ANR/GLOCOM; Wolfgang Kleinwachter, University of Aarmus; Hiro Hotta, NTT; Robert Whitehurst, White Sight; Ian Peter, Ian Peter and Assoc; Iris Pablo Hinojosa, COFETEL; Marilyn Cade, AT&T; Richard Francis, Internet Governance Consultants Ltd.; Toshimaru Ogura, CSIF; Tsugiza Kubo, JPNIC; Dave Crocker, Brandsenburg; Vicente Macedo, Brazilian Steering Cmt.; Robert Gray, Domainz; Myung Kang, Korea Internet Fourm; Andy Mueller Maguhn, ICANN At-large Director; Hans Kraaijenbrink, ICANN Director; Jeanette Hoffman, WZB/NAIS; Raul Echeberria, ENRED; Juliana Gruenwald, Interactive Week; Jose Peralta, Cofetel/Mexico; Don Simmon, Common Cause; Theresa Swinehart, DNSO/Worldcom; Edward An, AOL/Time Warner; Catherine Gabay, France Telecom; David Goldstein; Kim Heitman, EFA; Nobuo Sakiyama; Eric Dierker, Hi-Tek Multimedia; Sebastien Bachollet, CIGREF; Stefan Verhuest, University of Oxford/NAIS; J.Scott Evans, Adams, Schwartz&Evans/INTA/IP Constituency; Len Bayles, SnapNames; Steffan Hap?; Tony Harris, Cabase/ICOM.LAC; Tochimaru Ogura, Civil Society Internet Forum; Tony Holmes, British Telecom.; Masanobu Katoh, Fujitsu/ICANN Director.
Pindar Wong (ALSC Vice-Chair) introduced ALSC members and staff in attendance and gave a slide presentation on the ALSC: ALSC's goal is to forge a consensus on the best method for representing the world's individual Internet users ("At-Large Members") within ICANN; ALSC aims to fulfill its charter, address charter's specific questions as well as others, conduct extensive outreach, encourage consensus and submit final recommendations to ICANN Board in November, 2001(draft recommendations in September); thus far ALSC has proposed six members with unique skills and experiences, established website and email access, sent 6,000 + email notifications, drafted preliminary report on financial projections, posted aggregate election data, and announced initial outreach schedule; all interested individuals can help by participating in outreach events and studies, and providing input to the ALSC.
Andrew McLaughlin (ICANN Chief Policy Officer) gave an historical overview of ICANN At-Large Membership: ICANN's genesis, the NTIA White Paper, details the conditions of ICANN's formation; it has been assumed from the time of ICANN's creation that there must be ways for Internet users to participate in development of policy and selection of Directors -- ICANN tried one structure (last year's direct elections) and now it's time to ask the question "did that structure vindicate the objective of users having a role in ICANN Director selection and policy development"; these objectives have not been called into question -- these are fundamental tenants of ICANN and its agreement with the U.S. Government; the question -- and challenge for the ALSC -- is how do you provide for these functions in a way that is fair, open, participatory, and not vulnerable to capture; At-Large membership election process and results were reviewed ; in the election process, some things went very well, but he is concerned that ICANN's efforts may have allowed for vote packing, fraud, and other imbalances.
At-Large Study Initiatives:
Paul Jouve: Need outreach and disclosure to press, which can generate significant participation -- they can make users aware of their responsibility and will become involved; put effort into mobilizing the press and discouraging nationalism.
Izumi Aizu: Was involved in ICANN's former Membership Advisory Committee and recommended an At-Large membership fee; also is active in ICANN Coordinating Committee (ICC) to advance At-Large membership.
Tony Harris: Suggests making every domain name holder automatically an At-Large Member.
Andy Mueller Maguhn: Is especially interested in finding ways to enable At-Large Members to participate in ICANN depending on their interests.
Alejandro Pissanty: Given ICANN's narrow technical coordination role, to protect "democratic part of ICANN", we may need to have a "limited democracy" within ICANN until we figure out who is voting, why they are voting, and candidates and voters have an understanding of ICANN; we know there was capture and perhaps improper corporate involvement; we need to make sure we achieve broad participation.
[unknown]: Where can I sign-up to be an At-Large Member, and where is archive of correspondence between At-Large Members? Why wasn't membership re-opened after elections? First step in At-Large study should be re-opening of At-Large membership registration.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: At-Large membership was a limited registration for the election process and has ended; At-Large information and archives can be found on the ICANN website.
Andrew Shen: Archives of the Membership Advisory Committee would be useful to review; supports a low threshold -- a self-selective process -- for At-Large membership; www.icannmembers.org has information on the ICC's efforts to organize an At-Large membership.
Greg Crew: As a former ICANN Membership Advisory Committee (MAC) member he noted that MAC recommended against an At-Large membership mailing list to avoid misuse; people can use the ICANN site to communicate with others; an At-Large membership sunset provision was adopted so At-Large members would re-register every year to keep the list current (outdated worldwide lists would be expensive/difficult to maintain) -- also included sunset because this planned study.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: ICANN is completely transparent; its meetings are open, the website is open -- the only reason for At-Large membership is to put At-Large Directors on the Board; you don't have to be an At-Large member to participate in ICANN's process.
Pierre Dandjinou: Should define what At-large "public interests" we are talking about.
Ian Peter: Need democratic input into ICANN process; if you can think of another structure that can be used by ISOC or other organizations, please share it; every user needs to know their rights in a democratic process -- users need to be able to communicate with each other; issues surrounding role of ICANN need to be addressed.
[unknown]: References to "capture" remain undefined; defining and involving world's Internet users is very difficult.
[unknown]: the more diverse the input and the more diverse the group making the decision -- the safer the decisions; everything ICANN does ultimately effects users, so they should be involved.
Alan Davidson: Need At-Large because ICANN's decisions have the potential to impact broad set of users -- decisions that are not strictly technical (e.g. tlds); ICANN has the potential to have even a broader role through its control over the root; if you believe part of legitimacy comes from the consent of the governed, then ICANN needs to give users a role in its decisions; because there's a lack of good mechanisms for user input (like the Supporting Organizations), people focus on At-Large membership; At-Large membership also is seen as a basic bargain of ICANN's creation.
Jeanette Hoffman: The debate between technicians and non-technicians about who controls the Internet is an old one; almost every technical infrastructure is controlled by public rules (e.g. Air Traffic Control System); regarding the Internet, there's a question of what role government plays -- Internet identifiers are not within governments' purview; ICANN is at the forefront of including NGOs and other civil society groups.
Wolfgang Kleiwachter: Governments normally create a legal framework with the service providers, but with ICANN there was a consensus that governments should be on the sidelines; there was an early recognition of the need for bringing service providers and users together; but they need to step-up their involvement or governments will.
Andy Shen: Users are a check on the system and At-Large gives us the possibility of flexibility and can allow new interests to participate and have their voices heard.
Greg Crew: Ask why At-Large Directors are important -- because you want all stakeholders to feel that they have a say in a body that is "regulating" an increasingly important structure and service.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: Open participation -- Internet users are not structured as other interests are through a Supporting Organization -- maybe in ICANN's structure we need a User Supporting Organization; users organized in a "User Council" to advise Board on issues from a user's perspective would give a logical structure to user-appointed Directors on the Board.
[unknown]: There has been concern that Individual Domain Name Holders need a voice within the DNSO, some feel that if an IDNH's organization is created At-Large would be redundant.
Barbara Roseman: ASO and PSO are technical and narrowly focused, and aren't necessarily appropriate for people who are interested and un-affiliated and want to be involved in ICANN.
Andy Shen: Should keep it open and let people self-select; last year's election had a good level of involvement, so why would you turn anyone away?
Hans Kraaijenbrink: No one was turned away; my answer to who should be an At-Large member is "an interested Internet user".
Andy Shen: Creating a "user structure" removes needed flexibility -- why worry about defining members and structuring an organization?
[unknown]: Registered as an At-Large member last year, so wants to know if he still is a member.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: When you registered for At-Large membership last year it was for the sole purpose of selecting At-Large Directors and that's it; now you have an opportunity to contribute to the At-Large Study Committee.
[unknown]: Last year's At-Large members can specifically share their opinions with the At-Large Directors.
Ian Peters: Don't know any other organization that requires you to register every year or for every election; two models are common -- born with rights to vote/be a member, or a membership model that requires you to pay dues; the Air Traffic Control System is "governed" indirectly by users -- through their elected officials; a "User Supporting Organization" could provide user input and deal with "other" issues that are related but not strictly within ICANN's stated role.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: ICANN is a corporation, not a society or association; ISOC and others are doing a great job addressing social and other issues; ICANN should restrict itself to its technical coordination role; every Director has a fiduciary responsibility to the corporation not to a specific constituency.
[unknown]: At-Large members should only be able to vote; if you organize At-Large and create new functions for them, then you throw ICANN and its other Supporting Organizations out of balance.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: DNSO is exhibiting some of the problems that an At-Large structure might have; ALSC should look at At-Large issues in the context of ICANN as a corporation and consider the DNSO review and Board composition; ALSC may want to give input on changes to Supporting Organizations.
Pierre Dandjinou: Thinks most At-Large registrants were members in ICANN's existing Supporting Organizations and thinks it's worth examining why they registered -- did they feel that they did not have an avenue to make their views known within the existing organizations?
Ching-Yi Liu: Asked for explanation on why there is an effort to organize a "local At-Large" in Korea.
Myung Kang: Felt that a local organization was needed to provide input into (provide access to) the international At-Large structure/Directors.
Izumi Aizu: There is a view that the Supporting Organizations are dominated by the West and At-Large would provide access/input by others.
Oscar Robles: We also need to know what At-Large members should be concerned with?
Ian Peters: Internet is not about geographic location and it should not matter where someone is from or where I am located; going to local chapters would pull us back into a geographical basis when the Internet is rightly getting us away from this old location-based model; need to find ways to move away from a geographical basis.
[unknown]: People think At-Large membership is a place where they can go to address the issues of the day (e.g. If someone wants to know how they can get an expired domain name that they have been denied -- there currently is no place for them to go -- no entity with whom to share their view).
Izumi Aizu: How do we coordinate complex technical issues; At-Large would not be able to do this; implementation needs to be addressed.
Adam Peake: The General Assembly is the appropriate venue to raise these type of issues; if you put these issues within the At-Large structure things would get confusing.
Hans Kraaijenbrink: There is difficulty in dealing with individual consumer issues; At-Large study brings to light issues that aren't ICANN's job; IETF and others need to build the appropriate structures upon which ICANN needs to function.
[unknown]: General Assemblies are not working; voices haven't been heard and people have lost confidence; for example non-commercial domain name holders have been ignored within DNSO; international domain issues are not simply technical; Chinese stakeholders should have an opportunity to discuss Chinese domain names, etc.
Alan Davidson: NAIS is developing a template or list of issues that can be addressed by countries around the world; ALSC should propose a common set of questions and figure out how to synthesize the answers; ALSC also should help publicize other studies, and disseminate as much information as possible.
Masanobu Katoh: Outreach is critical; have one ALSC Member go to regional events to get the word out and ensure broad representation; ICANN has a lot of opportunity to maximize the potential of At-Large and understand the views of users throughout the world on critical issues such as international domains.
Greg Crew: This meeting illustrates that when you have an outreach meeting you see that there's a wide variety of views, but you need to reach pragmatic, workable recommendations; the ALSC needs to quickly provide several workable structures to encourage discussion and other practicable, workable structures; then you can do a lot of work on-line; on-line forum is useful in getting comments on potential structures.
[unknown]: Is very skeptical about outreach efforts because there have been many others in the past (Working Group E, and ICANN's Membership Implementation Task Force, etc.) that have not resulted in any action.
[unknown]: Perhaps outreach can be a gathering of views in various regions; two categories of outreach -- one could be one ALSC Member hearing views, and another could be an ALSC hearing with 3 or more ALSC Members discussing issues; both are important.
Andy Mueller Maguhn: At-Large was part of a process to legitimize ICANN; there was a lot of Germans/German press involved in last year's At-Large election because many are unhappy with the issues -- not the process and procedures; they want well-balanced Internet regulation/coordination; use the press to raise issues that are of interest to people and use that to involve people in the ALSC.
[unknown]: Concerned about how is the ALSC going to remain independent of ICANN or any interest group?
Alan Davidson: Urged the ALSC to not let their announced (November) schedule slip; thinks the ICANN by-laws require the ALSC to report in June, rather than November; key point is the Board should be able to act on this in November.
Ian Peter: ALSC should go back to original question of why is an At-Large membership needed and what was original impetus for creating At-Large; if it was to provide "consumer" input into the ICANN "corporation" then that should be a focus.
Pierre Dandjinou: Emphasized the importance of participation and encouraged all interested individuals to use email to share their views (ALSC will be using email); clarification is needed on the terms that are being used in the At-Large discussion; we need to say exactly what the At-Large membership will do; also need to address how At-Large Directors are held accountable; it is important to understand the difference between a corporation and an association; and need to think about ICANN's role and what issues fall within its purview and which don't.
Ching-Yi Liu: Will re-think what At-Large membership means, what it would do, how to prevent capture, and how to address diversity; encouraged input through emails and meetings.