[At-Large] Auction Proceeds - where we are and what you can help

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Mon May 15 08:21:44 UTC 2017


Thanks for your frank description of the phenomenon that ICANN is, and
its new age governance model, which is basically a neoliberal capture.
it is a governance model run by big business, and openly so.

I think people here see it but dont do anything bec perhaps they think
that the potential of damage by ICANN isnt that much, and then Internet
debates are still framed by that gov/UN takeover threat, while the
context today is hugely if not entirely changed.

Read this piece in CirleID  
to see how ICANN by allocating crucial digital name-posts to vested
interests and big business (largely US based) can cause enormous damage
that we have not even begun to think about, lost that we remain in petty
issues that ICANN throws at us, and for which even it doesnt listen to us.

In the above you will read how by inappropriately allocating a key
sectoral gLTD to a small group of big business which is known to have
geo-economic interests at variance with much of the world, and whose
interests hit at crucial global health concerns, ICANN has made that
group a de facto sector regulator -- in an area as socially crucial as
health and pharmaceuticals!

And it is not that people havent raised concerns about such
possibilities. See this civil society statement
a few months back which raised exactly this prospect of .pharmacy's
ownership being used for de facto pharma sector regulation by US's big

This will also happen with automobile industry (.cars),  and every
.sector.... you name it!

Would then the section of global civil society that was supposed to be
protecting public interest wrt issues pertaining to ICANN not be called
upon to account for how it let all this happen? Does such a prospect
bother anyone here?


>     ----- Original Message -----
>     *From:* Evan Leibovitch <mailto:evan at telly.org>
>     *To:* Kan Kaili <mailto:kankaili at gmail.com>
>     *Cc:* ICANN At-Large list <mailto:at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
>     *Sent:* Monday, May 15, 2017 6:53 AM
>     *Subject:* Re: [At-Large] Auction Proceeds - where we are and what
>     you can help
>     On 14 May 2017 at 16:55, Kan Kaili <kankaili at gmail.com
>     <mailto:kankaili at gmail.com>>wrote:
>         I fully agree with you that certain sections of ICANN,
>         primarily from the registry/registrar side, may resist
>         discouraging domain parking out of their own financial
>         interests.  However, ICANN, according to its mandate as
>         defined by the Bylaws, is to protect the "public interest". 
>         As I understand it, this means foremost to protect the
>         end-users' interest.
>     ​Your perception is a minority view. While ICANN may be considered
>     to be acting in the public service as an organization, the role
>     and voice of the end-user is expressly stated (and limited) in the
>     ICANN bylaws. ​Only a single member of the entire ICANN Board is
>     chosen by representatives of the end-user viewpoint; even a Board
>     review that recommended two Board spots was cut back down.
>     Furthermore, ICANN stands back while the vested interests
>     constantly assail the legitimacy of ALAC. The At-Large Review is a
>     perfect recent example, with the reviewers commenting at length on
>     perceptions by other communities (who want to silence us) at the
>     expense of the intrinsic value of having anyone speaking for the
>     end-user interests.
>     When I was NARALO chair we were trolled frequently by people from
>     the domain industry imploring "aren't I part of the public too?"
>     And any time you go to an ALAC session with the term "public
>     interest" in the title, no matter what the original intent the
>     meeting devolves into an hour-long talk-fest without outcome
>     agonizing about "what is the public interest?".
>     Welcome to ICANN, where the vested interests have an effective
>     game plan to keep any potential obstacles divisive and ineffective.
>         Otherwise, ICANN will become a DNS industry association and
>         advocator, no longer to be trusted by the public.
>     ​Some would argue that this has already happened, and that​
>     At-Large is a mainly cosmetic appendage that ICANN indulges to
>     give it an outward appearance of public input. It funds competent
>     and well-meaning staff for At-Large, and (within strict and
>     arbitrary limits) funds its outreach and capacity-building dreams.
>     But when it comes time for At-Large to actually affect ICANN's
>     grand direction the wins are minor.
>     ​At the first At-Large Summit in Mexico City, our final report
>     said that the gTLD expansion was "unacceptable" in its proposed
>     state at the time. Very little had changed when the program
>     finally rolled out, and I remind that the position has never
>     officially been rescinded. I highly doubt that the Summit report
>     was even read by the President and Board Chair to whom it was
>     presented.
>     There have been a number of changes at senior management, all in
>     turn publicly telling At-Large how important we are. Yet I invite
>     you to find concrete evidence of our actual big-picture influence.
>     ​Everyone should ask themselves: we may have tweaked some things
>     and have produced plenty of volume -- but *how has ICANN better,
>     in its management of domain names, because of At-Large*?​
>     ​At our best we have helped with course corrections which can be
>     seen more as damage control than forward-thinking. We ha​ve
>     produced white papers and policy statements that were
>     painstakingly developed yet received not a word of official reply
>     (let alone action!) beyond gratitude for the effort.
>     ​Yes, I'm cynical. I have some right to be, I've helped develop
>     some of the advice, endorsed by ALAC, which has been ignored. I've
>     witnessed a lot of the insults, dismissals and rejections
>     first-hand. I stay involved in the hope that my successors will
>     have better luck than I. But based on current activity, such as
>     the inevitable march towards new gTLD rounds despite the problems
>     with the last round, the challenges remain as much as ever.​ And
>     the At-Large Review, if all of it is implemented, will make the
>     situation even worse.
>     ​- Evan​
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