[NA-Discuss] Inclusion of Individual Internet Users within the City-TLD Multistakeholder Governance Environment

Thomas Lowenhaupt toml at communisphere.com
Thu May 12 19:26:26 UTC 2016


Comments in-line.

On 5/12/2016 1:09 AM, Alan Greenberg wrote:
> Your question presumes we are all left out of decision making 
> processes. I do not agree.

Depends on who "we" is. Typically it those with the time an resources to 
participate that steer the decision-making process. And that seems to 
hold here.

> ICANN holds many public consultations where anyone may provide input 
> and be considered. Some people have claimed there are too many such 
> consultations. In addition to any individual or organization's ability 
> to submit comments, the ALAC often does on behalf of the At-Large 
> Community.

It's a bit of a paradox - for the insider there are too many meetings. 
For those outside that process there aren't enough, or at lease enough 
accessible meetings (in terms of awareness and time). It's been my 
experience that you've got to take this on as a full time job to be 
effective. For example, in a PDP-like process reviewing the new TLD 
experience I submitted the first comment to the group recommending that 
cities applying for TLDs in the future be required to demonstrate 
"informed consent." And I commented on this to the ICANN board of 
directors at a public meeting (perhaps in Buenos Aires). By the end of 
that process I couldn't find mention of my contribution in the official 
record (someone said it was in the appendix, but I couldn't find it). I 
see there's a new PDP starting on the process that will likely lead to 
additional TLDs being issued to cities. How do I get the ALAC to take up 
this task on behalf of IIUs in cities globally?

> The ALAC is empowered to provide advice on any subject at any time. 
> And when an issue arises that the ALAC feels deserves such treatment 
> we do so. And in many and probably most cases, there is an opportunity 
> for our entire community to participate in the development of the advice.

But that didn't happen in these instances. 4 changes were made to the 
registry agreement without (to my knowledge) a single ALS or IIU 
(Individual Internet Users) in New York City aware of the impending 
changes or their possible impact and consequences.

> In other decisions, there is an established policy that guides how 
> that decision is made. The RSEP process is one such example. The 
> multistakeholder (MS) community was the source of that policy, and 
> once adopted (and until it is changed by a MS process), it is 
> followed. That policy allows for community input in some cases, and in 
> others it was decided (by the community) that input on individual 
> application of the policy was not needed. The RSEP policy could be 
> altered if there was a general perception that it is broken or was no 
> longer appropriate.

The RSEP process was set in 2004 when there was minimal input from ALAC 
and zero input from the 8,000,000 residents that comprise the New York 
City community. And now that process allows changes to the registry 
without any public engagement of the city's IIUs (or businesses, or 
schools, or or or). I can see the history of this and it is all quite 
normal. But saying that the ALAC can intervene and giving reasons why it 
hasn't is hardly reassuring.

> As another example of this, the 2010 round of New gTLD Applications 
> was governed by an immense set of policies and procedures as described 
> in the Applicant Guide Book. An applicant, by making an application 
> agreed to abide by the rules, and ICANN, in accepting the fee, also 
> agreed to such rules. Among them was that once a complex set of 
> criteria was met, ICANN would sign a Registry Agreement with the 
> applicant. There was a lot of public involvement at many stages, but 
> the actual signing of a contract did not (according to the rules 
> establish with the overall community) did not require public input.
> Some decisions are controlled by contracts and in those cases, 
> whatever is in the contract dictates how things happen.
> The release of two character strings at the 2nd level in new gTLDs was 
> the subject of significant public comment, but was also subject to the 
> agreement of the country or territory that has that string as a 
> ccTLD-type string.

I've been having a conversation with my city council member about using 
these to benefit the various immigrant communities. Had Connecting.nyc 
Inc. been aware of change request, perhaps some additional action might 
have been taken.

> It is within the realm of possibility that ICANN could adopt a policy 
> by which every single contract and contract amendment. I am pretty 
> sure there would not be a lot of support for such a proposition, and 
> there would be a high cost of implementing it. But it could happen if 
> there were a general will to make it so.

A simple notice about the proposed changes to the agreement and 
providing an opportunity to comment should not cripple ICANN's budget. 
How do we make this happen?

Thanks for your thoughts on this matter.

Tom Lowenhaupt

> Alan
> At 12/05/2016 12:09 AM, Thomas Lowenhaupt wrote:
>> The point I'm trying to make is: If we've all accepted the 
>> multistakeholder model, how is it that the local ALSes and individual 
>> Internet users (residents and organizations as well) are left out of 
>> the decision making process?
>> Tom
>> On 5/11/2016 11:14 AM, Joly MacFie wrote:
>>> On Wed, May 11, 2016 at 10:38 AM, Alan Greenberg 
>>> <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca <mailto:alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca> > wrote:
>>>     there  is nothing in the current policies that could compel
>>>     .nyc, as a delegated TLD, to adopt such a policy other than
>>>     voluntarily.
>>> ​Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed response, Alan.
>>> Tom, it does seem that your efforts might be better directed at 
>>> stirring things up at a local​ level, but I think there has to be 
>>> perceptible pain to get any movement.The tradeoffs between privacy, 
>>> WHOIS and the nexus requirement might be a source of such pain. 
>>> Currently, since proxy addresses are forbidden under the nexus 
>>> policy, no private citizen in NYC can register a .nyc domain with 
>>> revealing their personal address via WHOIS. The allocation and 
>>> oversight of neighborhood reserved names, as per your recent meetup, 
>>> is another.
>>> j
>>> -- 
>>> ---------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Joly MacFie 218 565 9365 <tel:218%20565%209365> Skype:punkcast
>>> --------------------------------------------------------------
>>> -

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