[NA-Discuss] RESENDING: letter to board on chair of nomcom/conflict of interest

Michele Neylon :: Blacknight michele at blacknight.ie
Mon Mar 12 19:27:26 UTC 2012

And this one from Nigel http://nigel.je/2012/03/poachers-and-gamekeepers/

On 12 Mar 2012, at 13:17, Alan Greenberg wrote:

> Beau, this one did get through.
> In relation to this issue, everyone might want to look at 
> http://domainincite.com/beckstrom-slams-his-own-board-over-conflicts/.
> Despite the title, it is also in relation to the NomCom.
> Alan
> At 12/03/2012 01:58 PM, Beau Brendler wrote:
>> Hello...
>> Several people have told me that the messages I sent out to 
>> NA-DISCUSS yesterday were blank. I don't know why that is, and it 
>> doesn't appear to have affected the messages I sent to the RAA list. 
>> So I hope this one gets through.
>> Thanks
>> Beau
>> -------------------
>> Greetings, NA.
>> As discussed in previous NA meetings, here is a draft of a 
>> communique I believe the region should send to the ICANN board 
>> regards conflict of interest concerns about Rob Hall serving as 
>> nomcom chair-elect (and, of course, chair). Please make suggestions 
>> as soon as you are able, I would like to discuss this at the Monday 
>> NA meeting and make it public while a number of us are here in Costa 
>> Rica. Maybe we can get a little press out of it.
>> -------------------
>> Dear Members of the ICANN Board:
>> The North American Regional At-Large Organization writes to you with 
>> concern on the matter of Rob Hall's forthcoming appointment to 
>> chair-elect of ICANN's nominating committee.(1) It is the opinion of 
>> the North American region this appointment is not in the best public 
>> interest, and runs counter to the spirit of ICANN's Affirmation of 
>> Commitments, specifically point 3 and section 9.3. (2)
>> Mr. Hall is founder and CEO of Momentous, one of the Internet's 
>> largest registrars, with $30 million in annual revenues. (3) When 
>> Hall begins his term, he will join other industry executives such as 
>> Bruce Tonkin, vice president of the ICANN board, chair of the board 
>> governance committee and senior executive of Melbourne IT, a 
>> registrar, and Ram Mohan, board governance committee member and 
>> senior executive at Afilias, a registry that grew from a competition 
>> initiative among registrars, in the ICANN stratosphere of most 
>> powerful positions. (4, 5, 6)
>> Chairmanship of the nominating committee is one of the least 
>> accountable yet most influential positions in the ICANN leadership 
>> structure. We believe public credibility will be further strained by 
>> the appointment of yet another industry executive -- especially one 
>> who has spent millions of dollars creating a "front group" and 
>> purporting to sue Verisign in the public interest in 2005 (5) -- to 
>> a position of unchecked power. ICANN can ill afford another 
>> conflict-of-interest embarrassment so soon after the departure of 
>> ICANN board chair Peter Dengate-Thrush, who lobbied hard for 
>> launching gTLDs in a public-interest role, then left for an 
>> executive post at new gTLD consultant and registrar Minds + Machines 
>> faster than a revolving door can make a full turn.
>> The NA-RALO has raised concerns about Mr. Hall's conflict of 
>> interest in public arenas before, to be told he has made assurances 
>> he won't seek to unduly influence the process. (To our knowledge, 
>> such assurances have not been made public.) Frankly, they offer 
>> little comfort, given Mr. Hall's record of activism in the community 
>> when it promotes the interest of his company. On more than one 
>> occasion Mr. Hall has even browbeaten members of the at-large 
>> community who didn't agree with his opinions (one such incident was 
>> recorded on video here at glennmcknight.net).
>> We urge the ICANN board to acknowledge the current 
>> conflict-of-interest situation and respectfully ask Mr. Hall to 
>> resign his position from the chairmanship of the nominating committee.
>> Beau Brendler, chairman, NA-RALO
>> 1. http://icannwiki.com/index.php/Rob_Hall
>> 2. 
>> http://www.icann.org/en/about/agreements/aoc/affirmation-of-commitments-30sep09-en.htm
>> 3. op. cit. Hall profile.
>> 4. http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/tonkin.htm
>> 5. http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/mohan.htm
>> 6. http://info.info/index.php?q=information/history-of-info
>> 7. http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/06/05/07-16151.pdf
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Mr Michele Neylon
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