[ALAC] ALS Criteria and Expectations

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Sun Jun 26 22:29:32 UTC 2016

I have always, and still do, object vigorously to most of what is listed
under "ALS objectives". I think they (most notably the obligation to
feature ICANN on ALS websites and to report on their activities to ICANN)
are uncalled-for demands of the time of volunteers already stretched.

Let us remind ourselves ALWAYS that purpose of the ALS is to help and give
input to ICANN on policy (through RALOs and then ALAC). It is NOT the job
of ICANN to be aware of what the ALS is doing in any area that does not
directly affect ICANN (unless ICANN is interested in offering resources for
such activity).

At-Large is also not a pyramid scheme. Having ALSs spread the word to other
like-minded organizations is a nice-to-have but should never  be mandatory.
If there is a desire for ALSs to recruit others, great.... engage and
excite them enough that they would spread the word on their own. Mandating
this through rules simply demonstrates failure to sufficiently energize
existing ALSs.

And there must ALWAYS be provision for the scenario that an ALS could be
dormant -- for months, maybe years -- until an issue of importance to them
is raised. Remember that At-Large is intended to represent the views and
interests of those in the community who may generally not interested in
general ICANN governance, but have an interest in its policy outputs. Much
as it likes to think otherwise, ICANN is involved with only a tiny corner
of the Internet governance world(*), so its activity will not be of primary
interest to many. It is reasonable that such limited-interest ALSs not be
resourced to travel to events unless their issues are being addressed.
However there is NO VALID REASON EVER for ALAC to bother or harass -- let
alone disenfranchise -- an ALS for not caring about ICANN issues that are
irrelevant to them.

That someone would even ask the question "is being a Watcher sufficient"
indicates a grotesque misunderstanding of why At-Large exists!

Frankly, most of this whole exercise is utter BS. The only issue of value
in the document Alan passed (besides housekeeping) was "double dipping" --
that is, when an organization already in another constituency wants to be
in At-Large. Personally, I would disallow this, because At-Large is
designed to give a voice to those who otherwise would not have a place to
be heard in ICANN. If they already have that other place, the At-Large
ought not to be exploited as a channel of second resort or redundant point
of entry.

Other than that, the creation and consideration of this document is the
kind of abuse of volunteer time and resources that leads to the very
non-participation it seeks to address. How about understanding the causes
of non-participation rather than fixing perceived symptoms by regulation?
Many it is just a reality that many ALSs will only wake up when something
that interests them comes up. *There is nothing wrong with that*.

Those are my comments. I will not be in Helsinki, and because of other
engagements I will not be able to participate remotely in the 10:45 meeting.

- Evan

(*) - Internet names and numbers are indeed only a tiny part of Internet
governance, but it's the only one that whose decisions can single-handedly
enrich an entire industry. It's where the money hangs out.
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