[At-Large] The Case for Regulatory Capture at ICANN | Review Signal Blog

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Fri Jun 28 11:49:03 UTC 2019

On Thu, 27 Jun 2019 at 13:28, Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com> wrote:

> Dear Evan,
> thanks for your response to my prior email. I think that we are aligned in
> wishing that the ALAC represents the interests of Internet Users and not
> solely Registrants.

Yes we are. But I think that ALAC stretches itself into fighting battles
which mean a great deal to reguistrants and not much at all to the public

Geo names, for instance. Why should an internet user care about dot-france
or dot-australia being privately owned?
Or vertical integration?
Or, for that matter, Appliacnt Support (which I admit got be sucked in too)

ALAC gets involved in far too many things which have negligible impact on
end-users, fighting the fight of registrants. And I can think of two
clear-cut instances in which would-be registry owners tried to use their
involvement in At-Large to boost their changes of acceptance.

> ICANN has always operated on the BS premise, propagated by the
> domain-selling industry,  that every person and entity on earth is a
> potential registrant who simply hasn't yet been convinced to buy one.
> Besides being simply wrong, this approach has infiltrated ALAC culture to
> the point where we're defending the interests of registrants rather than
> end-users.  And in price caps we have an absolutely classic example.

> That is incorrect. The fact that the ALAC primarily defends the interests
> of end users that are not registrants, is a major point of disagreement
> that the ALAC has with NCUC who defends the interests of Registrants.

I agree with you on the divergence, which as a fomer ALAC liaison to NCSG I
saw first hand on numerous occasions. Indeed there are a few signicficant
issues in which we differ. But that does not deter from my point that ALAC
spends far too much time engaged in their battles that have no impact on
end users.

> I heard it again this week that one of the rules for joining NCSG is to
> have registered a domain name. It is a tick box that is included in the
> NCSG individual application form (
> https://members.ncsg.is/individual_application ) and in the NCSG
> organisation application (
> https://members.ncsg.is/organization_application)
> Reading the ALAC Statement relating to price caps, I have to repeat it
> again: the Statement concludes that "So, we are essentially grappling with
> competing considerations and uncertainties. After balancing the same, we do
> not find support for a particular position regarding the removal of price
> caps."
> How does this equate to "the ALAC is defending the interests of
> registrants rather than end users"?

I had hoped that ALAC would support their removal as a partial path to
reduce speculation and the resulting artificial scarcity which does
indirectly affect end-users. But I agree that's a better stance than
knee-jerk opposition -- THAT would be completely in support of registrants
to the (indirect) detriment of end-users.

- Evan
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