[At-Large] On a "consumer" agenda for ICANN

Aida Noblia aidanoblia at gmail.com
Fri Sep 2 13:33:43 UTC 2016

Dear Mr. Evan Leibovitch

I agree that dissemination of information is needed to end users. In that
sense we made an event in our community, I  share the link AGESIC site.
(Agency for the Development of Electronic Government and Information
Society and Knowledge)


But in my humble opinion it is also a good idea to clarify the meaning of
the words consumer and user. It is true that we have a definition
"consumer"  to be used in the context of ICANN. But if our job is to
represent the interests of Internet users, if the system is bottom-up, I
understand that should take into account the general sense of the words in
the world outside of ICANN.

 The word "consumer" came up with the consumer market in which a person
buys something and consume. As a result of the abuses of many producers in
many countries they were creating special laws to protect the person as a

The Internet user is the person using the Internet. And the feature of this
application is that it is free. It should be free because it is part of the
essential human right is the right to communicate freely.


2016-09-02 6:27 GMT-03:00 Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org>:

> Hi all.
> On yesterday's briefing on the topic of ALAC's setting a "consumer" agenda
> I made a number of points which I felt were either not well received or
> well-understood. Having the opportunity to reflect I would like to try to
> express them here in a way I hope may be better accepted.
>    - The issue of whether to call this a "consumer" effort or not appears
>    contentious. My own view is that the term "consumer" is already used within
>    ICANN and has a meaning understood as registrants and end-users. As
>    At-Large has a bylaw mandate to address the interests of end-users, I
>    personally believe that we will have our hands full just advancing
>    end-users; there are other constituencies within ICANN expressly to
>    represent the interests of registrants.
>    - We are significantly constrained in what we can do in the area of
>    compliance because there are so little end-user relevant facets upon which
>    ICANN can act. The RAA limits what ICANN can enforce, and we already know
>    that the main end-user-relevant component of the RAA -- Public Interest
>    Commitments -- are weak and in many cases optional. There is some useful
>    work to be done here -- notably in WHOIS accuracy -- but it is a fraction
>    of all the possible end-user complaints end-users may have.
>    - In the absence of broadly useful enforcement, we have the role of
>    education; and it is here where the most can be done and most needs to be
>    done. My main point is that ICANN's voluminous communications are
>    focused on readers who are at least moderately sophisticated in the
>    technical, economic and/or political components of the organization. ICANN
>    does NOTHING of value for what I would call the unsophisticated audience --
>    people who don't know that (and why) ICANN has nothing to do with
>    two-letter top-level domains. In the absence of such general-public-facing
>    information, ICANN leaves itself unable to counter untruths and conspiracy
>    theories that may be fact-free but are presented in a way anyone can
>    understand,
>    As an example of the level I am talking about, there is no
>    dead-simple, fourth-grade language that explains
>       - That ICANN does not control "the Internet", just its directory
>       - That ICANN can't do ANYTHING help people with problems with
>       two-letter TLDs (and won't easily help people figure that out)
>       - What action to take -- and the limits of what ICANN can do -- if
>       you are getting abuse from a domain
>       - Who runs ICANN (hint: it's not the United Natiions)
> To write simply or do infographics about ICANN -- and I almost
> mean children's book levels, in a dozen or more languages -- takes a
> specific skill, one which volunteers should not be called upon to provide.
> If there is to be an advancement of a "consumer agenda" it must begin with
> an informed public. So far ICANN has spent all its communications resources
> speaking to those interested (and skilled) enough to want to buy, sell or
> regulate domains. But it has done little to inform the BILLIONS who likely
> will never in their lives have or need a domain of their own. In
> the absence of such straightforward information, demagogues and
> agenda-based media are able to create their own narratives without credible
> rebuttal. And the growth of such narratives -- without accessible answers
> -- is hurtful to our advocacy efforts and generally to the organization a s
> a whole.
> ​Cheers,​
> --
> Evan Leibovitch
> Geneva, CH
> Em: evan at telly dot org
> Sk: evanleibovitch
> Tw: el56
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Aida Noblia
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