[At-Large] [ALAC] Fwd: Re: [Chapter-delegates] New version of ICANN At-Large Review - ISOC Chapters role and future

Satish Babu sb at inapp.com
Mon Feb 6 02:51:31 UTC 2017

My response, also from the thread that Olivier had referred to earlier.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Satish Babu <sb at inapp.com>
Date: Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 9:12 AM
Subject: Re: [Chapter-delegates] New version of ICANN At-Large Review -
ISOC Chapters role and future
To: Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com>
Cc: Alejandro Pisanty <apisanty at gmail.com>, Richard Hill <rhill at hill-a.ch>,
ISOC Chapter Delegates <chapter-delegates at elists.isoc.org>

The concerns expressed here are, in my opinion, quite valid. In addition to
the conceptual issues mentioned in the proposed model, there are also
pragmatic problems  (what follows are my personal opinions).

While the existing At-Large Structure (ALS) model may not be perfect, it
does strike a reasonable balance between managing end-user interfaces on
the one hand, and evolving and expressing end-user interests in the ICANN
policy development on the other. A hybrid model which admits end-users as
well as organizations into membership, raises several new issues:

1. Given the large number of end-users (several billion) and their
geographic spread, who gets to eventually become members is unclear. The
end-result of all individuals being treated as one group may be that
minority communities and smaller countries are drowned out by the more
dominant groups.

2. Given the multitude of opinions and diverse interests of individual
members, it is unclear how coherence of opinion will emerge (without
drastically reductionist approaches).

3. Given the significant linguistic diversity of individuals, coupled with
the differences in Internet access infrastructure, some individuals are
likely to be left out.

4. Finally, organizations usually have significantly better capacities than
individuals for analysis, response & information dissemination, given that
they are collectives of individuals. By opening doors for individual
members even while there are local ALSes, the result will be to weaken
ALSes and remove incentives to forming new ALSes.

The At-Large Community (of which ISOC Chapters constitute a significant
proportion) should examine how it can use this opportunity to improve
themselves. However, imposing the proposed model without taking into
account the concerns expressed so far is unlikely to serve anything beyond
weakening of the existing At-Large structures.

Best regards,


Satish Babu
Founding Chair, ISOC-TRV

On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 3:09 AM, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com>

> Dear all,
> FYI -- a response from me, to a thread that came up on the ISOC Chapter
> leaders mailing list.
> The topic is specifically the downgrading of At-Large Structures by
> equalling them to individual membership. With many chapters as At-Large
> Structures, the Internet Society Chapters would be affected.
> BTW -- as part of the At-Large Review working group, I submitted over 100
> comments on the original document that was presented by the consultants to
> the Review working group. It appears that most of my comments were ignored.
> I plan to comment further - when I find the time to do so - and would be
> happy to contribute to an ALAC comment.
> Kindest regards,
> Olivier
> ps. I admit that I am one of the "big-mouthed" people. :-)
> -------- Forwarded Message --------
> Subject: Re: [Chapter-delegates] New version of ICANN At-Large Review -
> ISOC Chapters role and future
> Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2017 01:37:05 +0100
> From: Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com> <ocl at gih.com>
> To: Alejandro Pisanty <apisanty at gmail.com> <apisanty at gmail.com>, Richard
> Hill <rhill at hill-a.ch> <rhill at hill-a.ch>
> CC: ISOC Chapter Delegates <chapter-delegates at elists.isoc.org>
> <chapter-delegates at elists.isoc.org>
> On 04/02/2017 21:01, Alejandro Pisanty wrote:
> > Problems like capture by a few individuals will not be solved and in
> > fact most likely will be aggravated by the "enhanced membership model."
> The Review carries anonymous quotes from people who dislike the fact
> that At-Large and the ALAC are standing in their way to turn ICANN into
> a domain name business association. Bringing the input of Internet end
> users to ICANN's technically and legally super-complex processes is a
> very hard task indeed. I know - I chaired that process for 4 years and
> to say that it was challenging is an understatement. But the current
> structure of At-Large which has several tiers for hierarchy of "control"
> but an entirely open bottom-up model where everybody is allowed to
> attend any meeting or call and to participate and to voice their
> opinion, actually provides for a stable environment with stable
> processes which can actually help in reaching consensus and getting the
> ALAC to act. That is exactly the thing that bothers other parts of
> ICANN: that the ALAC is slowly but surely, over time, surmounting the
> largest hurdle to a multi-stakeholder system which is to get the input
> of the real end users out there - and that it is doing so with renewed
> harmony and proven bottom-up processes.
> Instead, as Alejandro mentions, the Review asks for a return to an
> unstable, free for all, system based only on individual members speaking
> for themselves only, a system that was shown to fail miserably as it
> generates conflict with no safeguards whatsoever and favours those with
> a bigger mouth than anyone else. The ICANN version 1 experiment failed
> noticeably in the early 2000s, with ballot stuffing in wide practice and
> mailing lists that were filled with flame wars fuelled by socio-paths. I
> remember that so well: having been subscribed to the early DNSO (Domain
> Name Support Association) mailing list, I quickly got sick of the daily
> dose of venom from psychos that should have been interned, un-subscribed
> myself and, after the failed At-Large elections which I predicted were
> going to fail, removed myself completely from having anything to do with
> ICANN until it had a meeting in Paris in 2008.
> The Review is deeply flawed in that it is not an analysis of At-Large
> and the ALAC. On the contrary, it is a collection of opinions, many of
> them deeply flawed or factually wrong, and recommendations derived from
> these flawed opinions. Good opinions of At-Large were ditched and only
> criticism was kept, whether warranted or unwarranted. It is a lynching
> of reality and I give it as much truth as the flawed populist campaigns
> the world has recently seen, thus predicting an equally gruesome future
> for At-Large.
> By following the mantra "Let's make At-Large great again", the reviewers
> are actually proposing to kill it.
> Kindest regards,
> Olivier
> (own opinions)
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