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

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Tue May 21 23:43:54 UTC 2019

Evan that is not at all what I said.

We are under no obligation to comply and in fact we should not if there is a general feeling that this is a useless exercise.

I personally think that it is useful. As much as I believe that we need some structural change, I do not believe that will happen in the short term and this work may well help, and as I said, may reverse other things that could make matters worse. That is purely my opinion.

You are right that we can say whatever we wish whenever we wish. I personally think that advice we give should be useful and implementable, but perhaps that is just me. But doing that does not preclude also working on shorter term measures.

You know how well your white paper was received. But it is a very different ICANN and specifically ICANN Board now.  That means parts of the organization might be more receptive now. But let's not pretend that if we come charging in on our (proverbial) white horse, the rest of the organization will all quickly support it - that is a far more difficult challenge than just writing a paper.


At 21/05/2019 06:50 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:
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 supply.

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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