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

Dr. Alejandro Pisanty Baruch apisan at unam.mx
Fri Sep 16 16:52:52 UTC 2016


the most basic principle of an election is that you have an electorate, assume most of it votes, and what you want is to classify, count and order their preferences.

"Bring your own voters" is the extreme form of gerrymandering, already proven to be flawed and deeply antidemocratic, whether it be bringing in truckloads of peasants to the polling stations or any electronic/online equivalent.

You have captured this well in your arguments yet it is necessary to state concisely this basic point.

Alejandro Pisanty

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Desde: at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org [at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] en nombre de Roberto Gaetano [roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com]
Enviado el: viernes, 16 de septiembre de 2016 11:37
Hasta: Karl Auerbach
CC: at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org
Asunto: Re: [At-Large] On a "consumer" agenda for ICANN

I also like the idea, in principle.
What worries me is, as usual, the implementation.
The human beings affected by the Internet (or lack thereof) are a few billions.
How can we reach them all with a ballot of some sort?
How many ballots do we expect to be able to distribute to people who are verified? My answer isjust a few millions, even supposing that all countries will cooperate.
Of those, how many would actually vote? My take is in the order of magnitude of the hundreds of thousands at the most, and only if the vote is very well prepared.
Am I the only one who has doubts about the representativity of this vote about the will of the majority?
The matter is even more complicated because the 1 out of 10K that actually asts the vote has not been chosen via a carefully defined statistical sample, but will be most probably biased, geopolitically, by wealth, by instruction, by culture, and more.
I don't want to argue that the current system is perfect: quite the contrary. It is complicated, not adequately representative, is biased towards the "usual suspects", and more. However, to my personal opinion, a general worldwide election will not be any better. Actually,for the reasons above, it will be more costly and give poorer results.
But, again, itis just my personal opinion, and if somebody has good answers to the questions I raise about the implementation problems and bias, I will be glad to hear them.

Inviato da iPad

Il giorno 16.09.2016, alle ore 10:11, Karl Auerbach <karl at cavebear.com<mailto:karl at cavebear.com>> ha scritto:

On 9/15/16 8:09 PM, bzs at theworld.com<mailto: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

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 "stakeholders".


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