[At-Large] Say Whut!

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Tue Dec 11 08:06:50 UTC 2018

I am in a rather intense meeting and have not had the time to contribute to this thread, but will try a quick intervention here.

The discussion of individuals vs ALSes is crucial. As Olivier pointed out, the recent At-Large Review judged them to not be worth the effort, a conclusion that we largely supported with a different conclusion on how to proceed. The concept of an ALS was a source of interested At-Large workers focusing on ICANN issues. That to a very large degree, never happened. But that is largely because we have NEVER tried to really get the ALS members involved, being content to deal with those few people designated as ALS Reps.

Our current plan going forward is to use those ALSes as a conduit to their members. If it works, great. If it oesn't then it may well be the time to focus on phasing ALSes out. But I am optimistic.

Bottom line is that except in a few relatively rare cases, work is done by people - wee need to find those people willing and interested to work, regardless of whether they are unaffiliated or hear about us through their ALS.


At 10/12/2018 07:30 PM, Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond wrote:

Dear Evan,

please be so kind to find my comments inline below:

On 10/12/2018 13:28, Evan Leibovitch wrote:
Hi Christian,

Given my experiences and observations... While I have totally stayed away from the last At-Large review, I did one myself as a personal mental exercise.

The conclusion I came to is that the current structure underneath ALAC is overly politicized, appeals to superficial airs of importance, and is at its core designed to be utterly impotent in regard to serving its bylaw mandate.

You make several allegations. Please clarify:
- overtly politicized
- appears to superficial airs of importance
- designed to be utterly impotent in regard to service its bylaw mandate

I would disagree with the first two of your allegations and when it comes to the third point, I would say that you are missing the actual target: it is not the ALAC that is impotent in regard to service its bylaw mandate, it is the ICANN structure that puts the ALAC in a weak position as an advisory role that the ICANN Board can completely disregard and with no power whatsoever over policy processes, except taking part in discussions as individuals and coordinating the sending out of comments.

Were I to be engaged in a real exercise to enable ALAC to serve its bylaw mandate, I would wish to eliminate ALSs and move to fully individual membership in RALOs. I would reduce travel and invest more in vitual meeting technologies.

Have you read the At-Large review? I see from your point above that you have not. I am sorry but you are just repeating the very words of the At-Large review. And these were rejected by the community, an alternative wording was proposed and this was accepted by the Board and now going into implementation.
Second, I am utterly flabbergasted to read the point you make about reducing travel and investing more into virtual meeting technologies. You are the first person to know how terrible and expensive Internet connectivity is in many developing countries and your point is basically to promote the voice of developed countries at the expense of the rest of the world.

I would also concentrate ALAC activity in ONLY three areas:

- Creation and distribution of plain language public education on the DNS and how it affects public use of the internet (written independently of ICANN itself)

- surveys and R&D into public needs and opinions about domain names and the DNS

- analysis of the result of such research, and development of ICANN input based on that (both in original policy initiatives and response to existing activity)

Again, exact wordings given in the At-Large review, basically transforming the ALAC into a free, volunteer marketing agency for ICANN. Evan, have your expectations of the multistakeholder system in ICANN fallen so low that you are giving up bringing the input of end users into the ICANN processes? This is the primary role of At-Large!
A reminder of the ICANN bylaws:
(i) The At-Large Advisory Committee ("At-Large Advisory Committee" or "ALAC") is the primary organizational home within ICANN for individual Internet users. The role of the ALAC shall be to consider and provide advice on the activities of ICANN, insofar as they relate to the interests of individual Internet users. This includes policies created through ICANN's Supporting Organizations, as well as the many other issues for which community input and advice is appropriate. The ALAC, which plays an important role in ICANN's accountability mechanisms, also coordinates some of ICANN's outreach to individual Internet users.

Now if you are looking at having a group that is there to correct fake news about ICANN, end users and the multistakeholder model, then why not join the At-Large Social Media working group? https://community.icann.org/display/atlarge/At-Large+Social+Media+Working+Group
I see you are listed, but have not confirmed your membership.

Kindest regards,

At-Large mailing list
At-Large at atlarge-lists.icann.org

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