[At-Large] [BMSPC-2020] Board seat 15 selection

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Tue Nov 19 16:13:25 UTC 2019

I like your story.

I have been involved with ICANN since before it was formed.

In that swirling of events around the formation of ICANN there was a 
bright belief and requirement that ICANN be structured, after a short 
initial interim organizational period, so that it would be controlled by 
the community of internet users.

But as we look on the ICANN today only a small splinter remains of that 
obligation.  And that small relic was regained only through long and 
hard work and over much opposition.

Much of this is reflected in our 2009 report at 
Take a look at my "concurrence" that begins on page 33.

Today's ICANN is an epitome of a regulatory body captured by those who 
it purports to regulate.

In the 20+ years since ICANN was formed not even one new organization 
has chosen to model itself upon ICANN.

This thread of e-mails mentions the year 2000 elections.  I am certain 
that there will arise at least one voice that tries to besmirch that event.

One should not forget that ICANN has a long held allergy to elections, 
and even to the word "election" itself.  ICANN, or rather the law firm 
that created ICANN, fears what are some reasonable obligations that are 
triggered by organizational elections.  The list of those obligations, 
as well as ICANN's dance of evasion, is visible in ICANN's own 1999 

The year 2000 elections were an initial attempt to organize an election, 
or to use ICANN's word, a "selection".

For an first-time effort that election went reasonably well.

There are those who will focus on the difficulties or problems of that 
election - not unlike a new parent who obsesses on the disruption, mess, 
and noise of a new baby yet fails to remember that that child represents 
a new human, and new person, a new potential, coming into the world.

It is easy to forget some of the events of that election:

An electorate formed quickly without ICANN support or funding - 
ultimately there were, if I remember correctly, well more than 200,000 
voters who tried to register to participate (many could not consummate 
their registrations because ICANN's registration system was an abysmal 
failure of design, implementation, and operation.)

There was a robust campaign and debate in the North American region 
(less so in other regions.)  My own campaign platform is still online at 
https://www.cavebear.com/archive/icann-board/platform.htm  (I still hew 
to most of that platform with the exception of my mistaken view of Louis 
Touton, a man who I came to know as one of the bright lights of ICANN.)

The entire process was disrupted by at least one ICANN-related person.  
And there was general institutional hostility (by ICANN) against the 
process once the ballot was opened to allow candidates not chosen by 
ICANN's "nominating" committee.

There were some problems with those elections.  But in general they were 
a success.

The problems that did occur could have been addressed on the next round 
that would have occurred two or three years later.  But that opportunity 
was lost and destroyed.

If ICANN is to survive as anything more than a regulatory relic it needs 
to return to its root conception as a body that is unambiguously 
controlled by the public for whose benefit it purports to exist.


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