[NA-Discuss] Recognition of New GNSO Constituencies: Public Comment Extension

Danny Younger dannyyounger at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 19 03:17:25 UTC 2011

In light of the two comments submitted to the Public Forum regarding the process to govern the recognition of new GNSO constituencies, the ICANN Board has decided to extend the public comment period (arguing that the community would benefit from additional time to review, discuss and comment on the proposed new process).

I authored one of those comments; Alan Greenberg on behalf of the ALAC drafted the other comment.  Neither of us had any love for the SIC's proposed new process... and now, the reality is such that unless we offer a reasonable counter-proposal, we will surely have the crippling SIC/Staff proposal foisted upon us.

Within the NARALO and the broader at-large community there are members that have had a long history of involvement with new constituency formation efforts.  Some of us recall the noble effort of the IDNO to launch a constituency on behalf of the registrant community -- in spite of having over a hundred members, an active mailing list, spirited debates and an on-line voting system, their petition was twice rejected by the ICANN Board.

We also recall the recent effort to launch a Consumer Constituency.

Why is this important to members of the NARALO?  The GNSO is where the heavy lifting gets done.  It is where one can find serious working groups attending to major problems that require policy-based solutions... and it remains a private club.

Resellers are not represented, the academic community is not represented, law enforcement is not represented, consumers and registrants are not adequately represented, indigenous communities are not represented, nor are special interest groups represented (be it family associations or pornographers).  

We have a duty to open up this door.

Those that want to get the work done, that seek to represent their communities and that currently have no home within the GNSO need to be provided with a gateway to opportunity.

The process leading to recognition of new GNSO constituencies should be simple and timely.  

I disagree with the position taken by the ALAC that the Stakeholder Group should be given the prime responsibility for reviewing and approving new Constituencies.  In my experience, I have noted nothing but brutally vicious attacks whenenever a new constituency attempts to enter the GNSO fold.  The latest group to attempt to enter the realm of the NCSG was met with a barrage of bitter vitriol and it is a truism that those in power are always reluctant to share the reins.

I think that it would be appropriate to begin the discussion with an examination of the question as to whether it is appropriate for the GNSO Stakeholder Group to function in any capacity as a gatekeeper charged with the evaluation of new constituency proposals.

Just as I believe that it is inappropriate for one government to meddle in the internal affairs of another government, so too do I believe that it is inappropriate for a Stakeholder Group Executive Committee to have the power to reject a constituency application.  That should not be their prerogative - such a decision should remain solely in the hands of the ICANN Board.


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