[At-Large] On a "consumer" agenda for ICANN
evan at telly.org
Thu Sep 15 08:45:31 UTC 2016
On 15 September 2016 at 08:21, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com>
> I do not think we "represent" end users, as none of the people on the ALAC
> have been elected by end users worldwide,
IMO the context of this particular corner of the debate -- and why we keep
having to revisit it -- comes from the domain industry's speed at
responding any time we assert an opinion contrary to their interests, with
a loud and hearty "*who the hell are you?*". (Of course when we agree with
the industry we're a critical and valued stakeholder whose opinion matters
The definitive answer, is within the ICANN bylaws. Article XI
2.4a, which states unambiguously:
*The At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) is the primary organizational home
> within ICANN for individual Internet users.*
That means our role is to represent the interests of, and ensure the
informed consent of, "the billions" whether or not they have bought domains.
Do we -- that is, the 15 ALAC members, the RALO leadership and the ALSs and
individuals that comprise the community -- actually represent the billions?
Consider that a full one-third of ALAC is not elected by anyone end-users,
but picked by the ICANN Nominating Committee over who *they think* we ought
The individial->ALS->RALO->ALAC model is one imposed by ICANN:
- ALAC defined in XI.2.4b,c,d
- RALOs defined in XI.2.4g,h
- ALSs defined in XI.2.4i
Now, it can easily be argued that this whole infrastructure is
ineffective (by design and/or leadership) at being the "home for end
users"; indeed, that issue comprises (IMO) much of the scope of the
At-Large Review currently underway (hi Tim!). But the fact remains that
this is the structure under which we have had to work from the beginnings
of At-Large as a defined community within ICANN. Those who have been
involved have tried to represent end users as best we can under the
circumstances. And there is no question that -- outside of governments --
At-Large provides ICANN with its most diverse stakeholder group.
Of **course** we're not elected by the billions; a tiny fraction of them
know ICANN exists, and an even tinier fraction knows that At-Large exists
(Often, when ICANN *is* brought to public attention, whether by Ted Cruz or
the Russian government or other sources, it is not painted in a public
light and the presence of an end-user community as a source of guidance is
routinely ignored. Perhaps the fact that At-Large advice is so often
ignored is a justifiable cause of our seeming irrelevance -- but I
I like the way Alan coined it sometime back and Olivier has repeated, that
ALAC can't possibly say that we speak for the billions, but we can very
accurately say that we do our best, given the structural constraints, to
represent the *interests* of end users. This is why I like Garth's
description of At-Large leadership as "stewards" of the global public
interest if not its broadly-elected representatives.
It is not an untruth that At-Large represents the billions within ICANN;
that is what its bylaws say we are here to do -- and that is indeed the
proper answer to "who the hell are you". That we are a geeky elite from the
less than 1% of the world's population that knows what ICANN happens to be,
is a reality that is unlikely to change unless WE do something about it.
And that is why I am working on a re-envisioning of ALAC's stewardship that
is more outward focused than inward, spending less time reacting to every
stupid ICANN public comment and more on creating an informed public.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the At-Large