[bc-gnso] ICANN hearings

Smith, Bill bill.smith at paypal-inc.com
Thu Dec 8 18:41:40 UTC 2011

See IETF, W3C, or any other of a number of organizations that operate by consensus.

Their rules don't mean that everyone in the entire organization are part of the consensus. Rather, what MIT means is their is consensus on those participating in and working towards some goal or objective.

Agreements reached by voting can rarely be described as consensus-based and as best I can tell, nearly everything in ICANN is decided by, except hotel accommodations and those decisions remain mysterious.

On Dec 8, 2011, at 1:32 PM, "Mike Rodenbaugh" <mike at rodenbaugh.com> wrote:

> Consensus is very difficult to define, especially in ICANNland.  But
> consensus cannot realistically be defined as you suggest -- "closer to
> unanimity, or lack of sustained, substantial objection by more than an
> insignificant minority, we don't have a consensus decision."  If that were
> the case, then any insignificant minority could forever delay a process
> until their demands are met.
> Mike Rodenbaugh
> tel/fax: +1.415.738.8087
> http://rodenbaugh.com 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Smith, Bill [mailto:bill.smith at paypal-inc.com] 
> Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2011 5:58 AM
> To: mike at rodenbaugh.com
> Cc: Mike Roberts; bc - GNSO list
> Subject: Re: [bc-gnso] ICANN hearings
> I've always maintained that it is easy to tell when you have consensus, for
> any reasonable definition of consensus. Given the continued disagreement,
> discussion, and debate regarding new gTLDs, it doesn't appear that we have
> consensus. If we did, I believe we'd see more head nodding and much less
> talking. Even here in the BC, we have discussed and submitted suggestions
> for "improvement" to the new system.
> That's not a consensus agreement but something more like what was described
> in an earlier message that went something like this; if new gTLDs are a fait
> a complit, it's better that we help eliminate the worst aspects and improve
> it as best we can. That's fatalism, not consensus.
> While ICANN claims to be a bottoms-up, consensus-based, multi-stakeholder
> organization, it has yet to navigate the difficult waters of actually become
> the organization it professes to be. In terms of consensus, as far as I know
> a simple majority in each of ICANN's constituencies would be sufficient to
> declare consensus, by a strict definition, on any issue at the GNSO Council.
> The vote would be unanimous.
> So if our definition of consensus is a simple majority of those voting,
> ICANN is consensus-based. But if our definition is closer to unanimity, or
> lack of sustained, substantial objection by more than an insignificant
> minority, we don't have a consensus decision.
> I'd be hard-pressed to sit before Congress and declare that we have reached
> consensus.
> On Dec 7, 2011, at 11:37 PM, "icann at rodenbaugh.com" <icann at rodenbaugh.com>
> wrote:
>> I disagree with your assessment of community support for the program.  
>> There was a supermajority vote which approved the new TLD principles, 
>> including support of the BC and IPC, because we believe that business 
>> users of the DNS would be better off with more domain name choices, 
>> more registration service providers, and IDN TLDs, .  The ICANN Board 
>> was nearly unanimous in approving the current implementation plan.  
>> The BC is still in favor of new TLDs, even if we have some 
>> reservations about some of the implementation details.  There is broad 
>> community support for them, even if there also remains some broad 
>> opposition from some business/IP groups who are noisily repeating some 
>> of the arguments that have been made by the BC and others repeatedly for
> years.
>> So, I am not clear about what you would like the BC to say publicly at 
>> this point, perhaps you could circulate a draft?
>> Thanks,
>> Mike
>> Mike Rodenbaugh
>> tel/fax: +1.415.738.8087
>> http://rodenbaugh.com
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org [mailto:owner-bc-gnso at icann.org] On 
>> Behalf Of Mike Roberts
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 2:38 PM
>> To: bc - GNSO list
>> Subject: [bc-gnso] ICANN hearings
>> Reading over today's testimony, one can't help but have the feeling 
>> that ICANN is digging itself deeper and deeper into a bunker position 
>> from which it may not recover.
>> I'm reminded of the gigantic underground cistern located near the Blue
>> Mosque in Istanbul.   Worth a trip if you haven't seen it.
>> After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Goths and so on came down the
>> peninsula and ravaged the city.  So walls were built.   Then sieges were
> put
>> in place and folks ran out of water.  So at great expense the cistern was
>> dug and covered over.   Then longer sieges, etc.  The invaders prevailed.
>> The moral being that some ideas are so flawed that no amount of 
>> building walls thicker and cisterns deeper will carry the day.
>> The Kurt Pritz testimony goes on for more than 15 pages trying to cover
>> every possible contingency of bad behavior connected to new TLDs.   And
>> doesn't succeed.
>> Even though the BC membership includes members with multiple 
>> relationships to ICANN, some of which are linked to proposed new TLDs, 
>> the core rationale for our constituency is to represent business users of
> the Domain Name
>> System.   Setting aside IDNs, which have their own rationale, I haven't
> seen
>> any enthusiasm for new TLDs among users, and most of us have been 
>> opposed but willing to work on the details with ICANN because that seemed
> better
>> than letting it happen without any input from us.   What we have gotten
> for
>> our trouble is Kurt claiming in his testimony that there is broad 
>> community support for new TLDs.  That has never been the case.
>> The ever greater accretion of protective bureaucracy to the program 
>> has produced a balance of costs and benefits - in the broad sense,
> including
>> more than dollars and cents - that is seriously out of whack.   It's time
>> for us to acknowledge this, and say so publicly.
>> - Mike

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