[At-Large] Public Board Meeting - the Update for Prague

Bret Fausett bfausett at internet.law.pro
Fri May 4 05:23:16 UTC 2012

I am very troubled by the decision to remove the public meeting. As I see it, this presents several issues for the community:

1) The Board meeting typically closes a cycle of community discussion with a vote/resolution on some issue, and these end-of-meeting Board resolutions are important. The deadline of closing an issue at a public meeting also keeps the Board on track. Do they still intend to meet and close issues? This needs to happen. 

2) The public meetings became a bit of orchestrated theater over the years, but I still believe they served the purpose of showing the Board's professionalism in addressing and resolving difficult issues. Last June's meeting on New TLDs is the most recent example of this. Take a look at this picture from Singapore that ICANN features on its website: http://www.icann.org/en/about That's worth a thousand words. Note the people in the foreground using their camera phones to capture the moment. We're losing that. 

3) Closing the monthly meetings while leaving these end-of-session meetings open was something of a compromise reached between a prior Board and the ICANN community many years ago. I am concerned that the Board decided to change the status quo without any notice and comment.

4) As always, ICANN is under scrutiny with the IANA bid still to be resolved and issues of transparency at the forefront of some of those discussions. The way this was handled (was there a Board resolution? Chair's decision?) only makes the optics worse. I can't seem to find any background on how this decision was made, or why it was made.


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