[At-Large] [CPWG] [GTLD-WG] [registration-issues-wg] Next steps in the evolving MS model

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Tue Jun 18 20:58:03 UTC 2019

(Apologies for the cross-posting, but this issue is far more than just the

Hi Kris,

On Tue, 18 Jun 2019 at 04:49, Kris Seeburn <seeburn.k at gmail.com> wrote:

> For some time I’ve been wondering the impact of our efforts.  I am
> thinking e need to re-assess look at effectiveness just don’t do repeat
> because we think it is working.We need things to work. My little piece of
> mind.

You've nailed the #1 issue facing At-Large, Kris. Nothing else really
matters right now.

Through a combination of design, inertia, conflicts of interest and the
fear of being unloved. ALAC and the At-Large mechanism behind it have
become a black hole for resources -- volunteers' time and ICANN's money --
with damn little to show for it over more than a dozen years of existence.
These ills have been actively glossed-over and diverted-from, using BS
metrics and outreach initiatives that have been little more than costly
indulgences in naval-gazing. What is the point of going crazy to ensure
representation for [add your favourite under-represented group here] if
NONE OF US are capable of affecting useful change?

The only really meaningful thing At-Large has done for end-users at ICANN
is eliminate domain tasting, that was a decade ago and mainly due to one
person's initiative. Everything since has been tweaking the edges of policy
without real substantive effect. Other initiatives have been "approved",
only to be constrained to the point of uselessness (such as gTLD Applicant
support, and even THAT was for the benefit of would-be registries and
registrants not end users!).

We play no useful role in curtailing ICANN's mission creep, its relentless
expansion of the namespace, the curtailing of abuse or the balance between
privacy and registrant accountability. If we have anything useful to say
it's likely being echoed somewhere else, there is no effort to create an
end-user perspective (let alone agenda) unique to ALAC.

ICANN and other constituencies pay lip service to At-Large because they
have to, and ICANN needs it as a matter of political cosmetics. *For now*.
Some of our well-meaning members think that if we say the right
conciliatory things we may gainpartners and collaborators. That too is BS
because the sad reality is that no other constituency has anything to gain
from partnering with us. The cost of coming to agreement with ALAC
outweighs ANY political benefit. Thus we run our course, begging for others
to love us so we can be heard, and in the process self-censor to the point
of saying nothing worth hearing.

Yeah, I may be sounding like a cranky old broken record. But someone needs
to keep saying this. ALAC has already sleepwalked its way into irrelevance
and its next step is oblivion. Other constituencies appear actively
interested in gutting At-Large or maybe even eliminating it, and the
counter-argument we offer gets weaker by the day. I really don't want this
to happen because ICANN desperately needs the voice ALAC was supposed to
offer. But that can't happen in its current state of self-important denial.

I only wish more people cared about effectiveness more than they cared
about making buddies in the domain industry or pretending we're the
freaklng UN Security Council three times a year.

What exists is unsustainable.

Tick tock.

- Evan
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