[CPWG] [GTLD-WG] [registration-issues-wg] Towards a comment on evolving the multistakeholder model at ICANN

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Tue May 21 22:50:25 UTC 2019

Hi Alan, Marita, and the WG.

Evan, as much as some people (and I count myself among them) feel that the
> overall ICANN model needs to be changed to address the types of issues you
> list in your bullet points below, that is not what this exercise is about.

This sentiment infuriates me. "We all know that we really need A but
they're telling us they want B so we must comply".


What prevents ALAC from actually expressing your accurate instinct, that *all
this tweaking and searching for inefficiencies is a diversion* from what
really matters? If you and others agree that the ICANN model needs to be
changed, who has stolen your voice to say that? Exactly what objectives of
our mandate do we serve through such self-censorship?

Playing the game of the status quo maintainers simply validates their power
and confirms they can screw over the public interest with impunity, not
even a quiet reprimand. Heaven knows accountability elsewhere is in short

I remind, once again, that ALAC is empowered by the ICANN bylaws to advise
the board about *any issue at any time* intended to benefit end-users. We
are indeed less constrained than the GNSO in scope. There is *nothing ever*
binding us to react to the initiatives of the those working against the
public interest, except our own timidity. Perhaps one day it will occur to
ALAC that we are not, and never were, obligated to follow an agenda that
repeatedly and consistently harms our cause. We've tried so far and have
regressed as a result. Even the little victories such as domain tasting are
a distant memory.

*WHAT ARE WE SCARED OF*? Why not at least try -- even as an experiment --
to establish the priorities of end user interests and assert them? *That's
why ALAC exists*. ICANN staff and the domain compact can't possibly ignore
us more than they do now (beyond diplomatic patronizing), and we might just
gain some respect for having discovered a backbone and the voice we were
elected and funded to provide.

*Everyone reading this email involved in At-Large, please ask yourself: Is
this what ALAC exists to do -- identify inefficiencies and tweak ICANN
around the edges, because that's what staff and the domain compact want us
to do? Is this what the massive cost to ICANN, the substantial
infrastructure, and most importantly the cost of your own time and money to
participate, is for?*

We're better than this, and we need to show it.

Maybe, just maybe, the next time ICANN's bell rings instead of salivating
we should consider growling. If we can't speak truth to power, who within
ICANN will?

- Evan
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