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

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Fri Sep 16 08:11:02 UTC 2016

On 9/15/16 8:09 PM, bzs at theworld.com wrote:
> In essence one sends anyone qualified (e.g., properly registered) to
> vote one zero-value bitcoin (doesn't have to be bitcoin, but
> analogous) which they must return ("spend") with their vote
> submission.
I do like that basic idea.  (I have also done thought experiments with 
blockchain technology to do things like represent ownership of a thing - 
whether that thing be real property or a bicycle or a domain name.  The 
singularity property is so very useful for things beyond its use as a 
form of money.)

I still see some difficulty in making sure that each voter gets exactly 
one voting token.

But as for the question of who should be voters in matters of internet 
governance - to me the answer is utterly simple: Every natural/human 
person who is affected by the internet ought to have a vote.

That does not mean that I don't accept representative systems.  We don't 
need nor do we want a plebiscite on every little decision. But it does 
mean that the community of internet users ought to have the power and 
authority, even if only on a periodic basic, to change its 
representatives and, even to change (perhaps with supermajorities or 
go-slow procedures) the nature or existence of the body of governance.

I think it was Even who mentioned in this or a recent thread that over 
the years ICANN has not been subject to meaningful mandatory direction 
by those for whose benefit ICANN exists: the community of people 
affected by the internet.  I would strongly agree with such a point of view.

One can not argue with a straight face that the community of internet 
users' interest is too tenuous or diffuse.  For a start there is the 
massive cash flow taken from internet users (via ICANN-declared fiat 
registry fees) amounting to more than a $Billion per year, every year.  
And that's just the start of how ICANN has shaped internet privacy, the 
internet domain name marketplace, and imposed ICANN's private law of 
strong, superseding trademarks, all without any real step in which the 
internet community has had a mandatory power to say yea or nay.

I refuse to accept the Orwellian notion implicit in "stakeholder" based 
systems that "[a]ll animals are equal but some animals are more equal 
than others".

When we introduce the concept of "stakeholder" into internet governance 
we open the door wide to Gerrymandering, electorate-shaping, and 
outright exclusion so that those (usually corporate entities) with 
distinct (or large) financial interests are awarded "stakeholder" crowns 
while every-day human users of the net are relegated to observer 
status.  That is neither right nor just.

It is equally wrong and unjust to create a mere toy system in which the 
public voice, even if aggregated with laser focus, can amount to no more 
than a breeze to contest against the hurricane force power of industrial 


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