[ALAC] Fwd: ALAC Response to recent letters regarding At-LargeReview

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Tue May 29 19:32:01 UTC 2018

It is both ironic and unsurprising that some of the problem at hand has
been rendered ombudsman-proof thanks to ICANN's tolerance of registrant

If I knew what a handbasket was I'd swear that ICANN was going to hell in

Evan Leibovitch, Toronto

On May 29, 2018 2:05 PM, "John Laprise" <jlaprise at gmail.com> wrote:

FYI: Omsbud is aware and in fact apparently been doing a lot of
firefighting. I'll be talking with him in Panama at his request.

On Mon, May 28, 2018, 11:05 PM John Laprise <jlaprise at gmail.com> wrote:

> I just sent Herb at Ombuds a heads up msg. I'm growing concerned by the
> level of vitriol.
> John
> On Mon, May 28, 2018, 10:40 PM Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> wrote:
>> From what is now a convenient and safe distance I want to express my
>> appreciation, sympathy and solidarity to Alan and the others who have been
>> dealing with the review.
>> The whole review process -- I was involved in previous iterations but not
>> at all this one -- is by its nature self-defeating. Rather than encourage
>> self-reflection and improvements from within from the people who know most
>> intimately what works and what doesn't, it blesses ignorance while inviting
>> everyone with a grudge to take a swing. And obviously some have.
>> In the case of the CPH, At-Large -- despite our struggles to be accounted
>> for in ICANN high-level objectives -- has been one of the sole voices
>> within ICANN challenging the capture of ICANN by the compact of domain
>> buyers and sellers. We have uniquely doubted the bedrock of ICANN
>> expansionism that everyone on earth is just a registrant that hasn't made
>> up their mind "which TLD?". Long before it became a catchphrase, we were on
>> the ground floor to witness the consumer-hostile excesses of
>> "permissionless innovation". And we tried to push back, warning ICANN that
>> industry abuse of the DNS would just hasten the rise of the search engine.
>> Our often having opposing views to industry fed a belief common to many
>> (based on conversations and observation too numerous to count)  that the
>> industry is subsidising ALAC to oppose them -- in our first-class champagne
>> junkets to ICANN meetings masquerading as policy work. To them At-Large
>> comprises ICANN's welfare recipients, and no indignity or cost-cutting is
>> too extreme. How DARE we oppose their march to put a domain in every corner
>> regardless of need, or express concern at adding more gTLDs while old ones
>> are failing, or worry at bad rules enforcement leading to real harm.
>> The NCSG shares the travel jealousy but its core animus has a different
>> source. ICANN is uniquely a realm of international governance in which what
>> is broadly known as "civil society" does not have monopoly claim on the
>> public interest. Here it has to contend with ALAC and the GAC (which from
>> what I recall the NCSG hates even worse than us). Again, we run into "how
>> dare you" scenarios when we sometimes agree with governments, or actually
>> stop to ponder a balance between privacy and accountability for misuse.
>> (For instance, what is the contribution of ICANN policy to the global
>> phenomenon of 'fake news'?)
>> In both cases there is a broad sense of "who the hell are *THEY* to
>> fulfil ICANN's so-called public interest mandate?" Neither NCSG nor the CPH
>> wants us here at all; they'd be happy with the diminished opposition and
>> the travel slots re-allotted to those for whom governance is a career. The
>> damn bylaws don't allow ICANN to eliminate us, so the next best thing is to
>> render us even less effective and waste more volunteer time on process.
>> So this is their shot, couched in ICANN-speak. At very least, waste our
>> precious human resources and distract us. Burn out people just a little
>> faster.
>> I'm not sure I have an answer but there's no doubt where the question
>> comes from. Maybe my experience is dated and things aren't the same since
>> I've pulled back. but nothing I have seen or heard on the mailing lists or
>> elsewhere has indicated any change. The very existence of -- and process
>> taken by -- these two interventions suggests that it's still the same old
>> 💩.
>> I'd be far more concerned about all this if I wasn't convinced that
>> ICANN's decline is well underway, the only questions left are 'how fast'
>> and 'what will replace it'. No change in At-Large will make its "we tried
>> to tell you" message any more palatable.
>> --
>> Evan Leibovitch, Toronto Canada
>> @evanleibovitch or @el56
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