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

Lance Hinds brainstreetceo at gmail.com
Mon Jul 1 17:05:52 UTC 2019

"When I think of my personal role in ALAC I am not defending the interests
of myself, but rather of my family members, friends and colleagues who can
barely boot up their laptops and for whom I'm usually tech support -- how
does ICANN's work affect them? At my peak of ALAC involvement I had a
challenge keeping up with all the moving parts, most of which has been made
overly complex so to deter the amateurs. Little has changed. We talk a good
game about outreach but it takes a special kind of masochism for someone to
be sufficiently capable in ICANN processes who does not have a financial
interest in its decisions. Its also expensive, even for those who are



On Mon, Jul 1, 2019 at 12:42 PM Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> wrote:

> On Sun, 30 Jun 2019 at 04:20, Roberto Gaetano <roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Given the entrenchment of social darwinism -- well-expressed by Karl --
>> deep inside ICANN's culture, I have serious concerns about its willingness
>> -- let alone ability -- to yield to even the middle ground you suggest. If
>> that is the case, is even seeking a middle ground worth the effort?
>> And the alternative is?
> I don't know. There seems little more that we can do from the side of
> moderation to convince the status quo to yield anything. That's one of the
> reasons I have withdrawn from deep participation in ICANN, after a a long
> time trying I have concluded that the task looks futile. To me it appears
> that the Internet will do what it does best, rerouting around obstacles,
> including the obstacle called ICANN. A a result, there is an increasing
> trend to go beyond "memorable" domain names. (As Jonathan knows, I wanted
> that issue to be front-and-centre in CCT investigations.) One could even
> make a reasonable case that Google and Facebook would not be so dominant in
> the Internet now had domain names had been usefully deployed. But it's too
> late to reboot that.
> In fact, IMO things have become worse not better. The IANA transition
> eliminated ICANN's last shred of external accountability, leaving control
> in an "empowered" (100%-pure Doublespeak) community that makes the Board
> only really accountable to those inside the bubble. It's no surprise that
> voices against ALAC have risen as the level of industry entitlement grows,
> seemingly without limit. See threads elsewhere about a new gTLD expansion
> round coming, clearly desired by nobody but the domain industry, but coming
> nonetheless.  IMO, ALAC is utterly powerless to affect change, especially
> given its lack of focus. This is why I concentrate my current participation
> here on focusing ALAC to understand and advance end-user needs exclusively;
> it's our best shot at remaining relevant.
> In the end, only some kind of external stimulus will prod ICANN to change
> course. Unprotected by treaty, I believe that eventually ICANN will
> encounter ever-more hostility at the ITU, by individual states or blocs of
> states. Or perhaps there will be some event or action, a scandal that
> publicly exposes the culture of corruption and/or lack of
> public-mindedness. Eventually ICANN's arrogance will push even neutral
> players to determine that a change is in order, that even the feared
> multilateralism can't be worse than what exists now. What I don't know is
> whether ICANN's "Entitled Community" (which is the proper name for it) will
> see the threat in time enough to change, or whether it will remain
> oblivious and/or defiant right until catastrophic change. I have a genuine
> concern about the potential damage to the technical components of ICANN
> which generally work well, that would come with an overhaul of the
> trade/political components.
> This may be an unsatisfying answer, but it's the best that I can conclude.
> - Evan
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Lance Hinds
Chief Technology Officer
BrainStreet Group
287 'C' Albert St.
Georgetown Guyana

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