[NA-Discuss] Foreign Policy and the Internet

Eric Brunner-Williams ebw at abenaki.wabanaki.net
Mon Aug 13 02:04:47 UTC 2012


The continuation of the note I sent the na-discuss list earlier was
truncated* -- this is the conclusion of that note.

The first fragment ended with this para:

"This then, whether or not to attempt to form advice which may be not
a mere echo or paraphrase of the government's current position, is a
"choice of theory of ICANN" question."

A restatement of this, also from the Froomkin-Simms series of articles
in the Lewis and Clark Technology Law Review, is whether one views the
contractor as exercising government agency, or not. In my view, the
contractor exercises government agency.  A widely held view is that
ICANN is already, by some unidentified process, been made independent
of the USG, and so exercises no government agency.  As I mentioned in
the prior fragment, this view is difficult to reconcile with the first
competitive tender of the IANA Function contract since the initial,
non-competitive award to USC/ISI decades ago, as well as the
relatively brief period -- 36 months -- of the award to the incumbent

As a candidate running for the North American RALO ALAC Rep, my plain
view on the "choice of theory of ICANN" question is that ICANN
"exercises government agency."

I think the corporation has a duty to advise the DoC/NTIA on what
issues raised by third party governments present no technical or
administrative challenges to the current operational practice.

I think the ALAC has a consequent duty to advise the Board on the
issues. As I noted before, advice may be inconsistent with the
Board's, and the government's current positions of record on the issues.

In sum, thus far, my first note addressed the question of whether
there is an issue relevant to the choice of candidates, and this, my
second note, in two accidental parts, addressed the question of
whether the ALAC has a duty to advise on the issues. In my next note
(and I do hope I can wrap this up in just one more "two cup note")
I'll briefly point out what advice I think the Board, and the
government, require from the By Laws entity tasked to provide advice
reflecting the public interest unrestricted by territorial concerns.

Eric Brunner-Williams
Candidate, NARALO ALAC Rep. election 2012

* I was in Wawa (Ojib for "goose") Ontario.  Downstream bandwidth was
adequate for POP, upstream bandwidth was apparently not, and of
course, sitting around for a sequence of HTTP POSTs to complete was
out of the realm of endurable wastes of time.

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