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

Roberto Gaetano mail.roberto.gaetano at gmail.com
Thu Nov 21 11:28:17 UTC 2019

*** resending because of email failure of yesterday's message ***

Hi all.
I have a few comments to add to this thread, in particular about my recollection of some details about the early days, but have no time at the moment to elaborate.
I will, however, quickly react to this exchange between Alejandro and Karl. I will probably repeat things that I have been saying to both over decades, but here they are again.
I believe that there is a fundamental difference between the “what” and the “how”, and while there is wide agreement about the “what”, there is a substantial disagreement about the “how”.
What I mean with that is that we all agree that the current situation of the management of the domain name market - and in general about Internet governance - is tilted in favour of some interest groups, and that the voice of the “public interest” is at obvious disadvantage. So I assume that we all agree on the fact that something has to be done to empower the voice of the public interest in order to achieve a real Global Equal Multi-Stakeholder system - to borrow Fadi’s expression {I mean the “previous Fadi, not the one that is behind the PIR acquisition).
Where our opinions differ widely is on the “how” to achieve that.
Karl knows that I am against the global election - this not because the idea is not valid in an abstract world, but because it has to be instantiated in our reality. And here, again, we witness that not all stakeholders are “equal”. We can talk about global elections only when the (global) electorate has equal access to the information related to the vote. This was clearly not the case in 2000, and is not yet the case today. Question is open about whether it will ever be the case.
Just to repeat my favourite example: the 2000 election was an internal affair among Germans for the simple reason that only one magazine - der Spiegel - had covered the issue, and that has triggered a word of mouth action in a few candidates. this has led to a mild coverage by media, resulting in a (very) mild interest in the electorate. Compared to the substantial lack of interest by other European media, this has produced the result. If we go to a global scale, it should be obvious to everybody that the access to information related to ICANN is not uniform across the billions of users that globally constitute the “public interest”. In Italy, and I assume in most countries, there are strict rules to govern elections about access to the information, including rules for the media, exactly because information about the election and the candidates is a condition sine qua non, failing which we cannot speak about fair elections.
This is why I personally consider more useful to try to find another mechanism to give power to the public interest.

Since I mentioned Fadi, I would like to make a separate comment on how things change. Yesterday's champion of the Global Equal Multi-Stakeholder approach, who acknowledged the disparity of power that played against the public interest, is today the mastermind of the stripping of the Public Interest Registry away from who had, at least on paper, the public interest as leading value (ISOC) and make it a fully commercial business. This is the intermediate step to the building of a vertically integrated (PIR + Donuts) power player that could not care less about the public interest.
My personal opinion is that we might better concentrate on that rather than beating again the dead horse of the 2000 elections.

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