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

Alberto Soto asoto at ibero-americano.org
Thu Sep 15 11:52:18 UTC 2016

In any country it chooses whom government. In any case no candidate reaches 100% of the votes. That is, even in election processes or decision maker generates policy was chosen by all but their actions affect everyone.

We have millions of users who do not even know that they have rights, we do know that have them.

Kind regards




De: at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org [mailto:at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] En nombre de Evan Leibovitch
Enviado el: jueves, 15 de septiembre de 2016 05:46 a.m.
Para: Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com>
CC: John R. Levine <johnl at iecc.com>; ICANN At-Large list <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Asunto: Re: [At-Large] On a "consumer" agenda for ICANN


On 15 September 2016 at 08:21, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com <mailto:ocl at gih.com> > wrote:


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 much.)​


​The definitive answer, is within the ICANN bylaws. Article XI <https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/governance/bylaws-en#XI> , Section 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 to have.


​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 within ICANN.


(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 digress....)


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.


​- Evan​


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