Thursday, December 01, 2005

ICANN - as a newbie

So - I have been appointed to the ICANN ALAC (At Large Advisory Council). I'm now at my first ever ICANN meeting. It seems almost to be a WSIS Alumni Meeting - I'seeing so many familar faces from WSIS Prepcoms, from the WGIG and the WGIG Open Consultations. Even Markus Kummer is here - the wonderful Co-ordinator of the WGIG and one of the main reasons that the WGIG managed to do as much as it did. If you take a look at the final WGIG Report and compare it to the Tunis Agenda - see the similarities?

Seeing ICANN from the inside is very different. It is such a complex structure - it will take me ages to figure it out - how all the different consituencies and councils interact and who's responsible for what and reports to whom and represents whom.

Politics are present again. Is there any place where politics aren't involved?

The hot button issues now are:

The ICANN/Verisign Agreement - ICANN has been defending itself in lawsuits from Verisign for a while now. This has been distracting ICANN from getting on with business, so that the Board pursued a settlement in order to get these lawsuits off their backs. BUT - there are a lot of problems apparently with the agreement as it exists. I will go more into that in another post, but in the meantime, see the proposed agreement and post comments on the ICANN website.

ICANN Structure - ICANN after the WSIS process needs to undergo some more reform. How do we manage to get a true multistakeholder process going in ICANN? So far it's a private company with a Board of Directors - should Government representatives (especially) and Civil Society representatives be allowed voting positions on the Board?

ALAC Structure - there has been a lot of discussion on the At Large Structure - right now, it's organised as: organisations join as At Large Strutures, then they form Regional At Large Organistions, which send representatives to the At Large Advisory Council, which then has a liaison with the Board. This seems too removed for some ALAC members. BUT I think that we need to adopt the idea of "don't wash dirty linen in public!" If we continue to badtalk our own organisation to other groups, we weaken our position. This is BAD.

That's what I've got to so far.

More later

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