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A new option for At Large representation

(Inglese, contributo allo At-Large Study Committee di ICANN, 7 Agosto 2001)

From: Vittorio Bertola
Subject: [ALSC-Forum] Option K
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 03:24:31 -0700

 

OPTION K

- Rationale behind Option K

This option is based on Karl Auerbach's "one man one vote" principle, and on
the fact that ICANN, first of all, has to be representative of the worldwide
Internet community to be legitimate to manage the only DNS root. The problem
of bringing skills and representation of specific private interests to the
Board is solved through Advisory Committees.


1) Definition of Terms

An At Large member (ALM) is any individual with a working (not permanently
bouncing) e-mail address and a verifiable postal address.

An At Large Community (ALC) is any set of At Large members that choose to
form a named group. The choice should happen online, on the At Large site,
by choosing from the list of existing ALCs, and could be changed at any
time. Any ALM has the option of founding a new ALC if no existing one
satisfies him - simply click on "add an entry to the list". Any ALM can only
be part of one ALC. Any ALC can self-organize as it likes - it only has to
provide ICANN an ALCR (ALC representative) that can act on behalf of the
ALC.

An Advisory Committee (AC) is a set of member entities that hold a specific
skill or interest relevant to the domain name system. So it is made by
entities, not by individuals.

There are no SOs in this model.

2) Participation Structure Overview

The basic principle is "one man, one vote". ALMs elect the Board, that
reflects the opinions of the worldwide Internet community, and thus is
legitimated to manage a worldwide public resource.

The technical skills are provided by the ACs, and are used at a consulting
level to avoid that the Board takes unapplicable decisions, and at a
verification level: ACs can veto specific decisions once and send them back
to the Board for reconsideration.

Anyway, as in other proposals, there is sort of "parties" - the ALCs. This
is however a more general concept, as it is not clear whether people will
effectively like to form groups by social interests, by specific charters,
by country, or by whatever else. It is even likely that this could vary
among different parts of the world. So ICANN should limit itself and just
provide a light infrastructure to let users aggregate the way they want.

3) Supporting Organizations

There are no SOs. De facto, the SOs are substituted by ACs. ICANN defines
which ACs are useful and which entities should be part of them; then, those
entities can self-organize as they want. It is likely that big ACs (i.e. a
TLD AC, which would have all TLD registries as members) will organize
themselves in a council plus a GA, to make decisions easier.

4) SO Councils

There are no SOs. Any AC should organize itself as desired.

5) SO General Assemblies

There are no SOs. Any AC should organize itself as desired.

6) Funding / Staffing

ICANN gets funds via the TLDs (either a fixed yearly fee or a percentage of
any registration) and supplies adequate staff and logistics to the system,
also funding the costs of the At Large membership. Anyway, ALCs and ACs
should fund themselves for any activity outside ICANN's official meetings:
ICANN should only provide funds and means for participating to meetings and
keeping contact with members.

7) ASO

Would become the AAC (Address Advisory Committee), representing the same
interests as now.

8) PSO

Would become the PAC (Protocol Advisory Committee), representing the same
interests as now.

9) DNSO and At-Large Membership

TLD registries would form the TAC (TLD Advisory Committee) (in fact, it
could be explored the option of having different ACs for ccTLDs, sTLDs and
uTLDs). Registrars of all the world (including registrars of specific TLDs)
would form the RAC (Registrar Advisory Committee). The rest would go in the
At Large as individuals.

10) GAC

No change - would be another AC representing the Governments of the world.

11) Other entities

IRP is fine.

In this model, ALCs would only act as opinion and candidate makers,
facilitating the aggregation of consensus, but would not get direct
representation inside ICANN (just some space for meeting at the meetings).
They are free to self-organize as they like; technically, ICANN should
provide them with an online identity/affiliation verification system (so
that they can build websites with forums and voting booths on their own,
using ICANN's password and PIN).

If an ALC is cheating and exploiting its own members, they will simply vote
with their feet and go to another ALC, so there is an intrinsic warranty
against "membership hijacking". There is no requirement that an ALC is
internally democratical, but people that like democracy won't join a
dictatorial ALC, would they?

12) Representation structure overview

19 Directors. 18 elected by the ALMs, 1 CEO. Each AC would have an
additional non-voting member in the Board. Incidentally, 18 is a much more
reasonable number than 9 or 5 if you want to get a decent representation of
the world.

13) Election/Selection of Directors

10 Directors elected in Regional elections, so to ensure geographical
difference. 8 Directors elected in global worldwide elections. Elections
should happen on lists of candidates, not on single names, to reduce
dispersion of the votes. Then, each list would get a proportional number of
the available seats, which would go to the most voted candidates in the
list.

14) Nominations

ALCs that have at least X members (with X reasonably high, i.e. 5-10% of the
members in the voting district) could present a list (via their ALCR)
without any further requirement. (It is reasonable to think that such big
ALCs will have primary elections on their website, but this does not regard
ICANN.) Other ALCs, or individuals who could not enter their own ALC's list,
can present a list of candidates by collecting at least X/2 endorsements by
ALMs who are not part of ALCs who presented a list, in a list endorsement
phase. ALCs should be allowed to "add up" their members to present shared
lists.

15) Voting/Policy Process

As noted before, all Board decisions should be submit to the ACs for formal
verification. An AC can veto a decision and send it back to the Board once,
with adequate motivations; the Board can then confirm it finally, or amend
it following the suggestions of the AC. So the Board has the final word, but
the ACs have a strong power to make its life difficult.

The Board should be allowed to meet and decide online if necessary.

Important changes (such as Bylaws amendments) should be subject to a general
confirmation vote of all the ALMs.

16) Communications with members

ALCs should get the list of their members. If an ALC starts spamming their
own members, I doubt it'll live long. Before elections, lists of candidates
should be allowed to send e-mails to voters. On the At Large site, other
opt-in lists should be proposed (with freedom to anyone to be included in
that list).

17) Notes

At Large Membership must be free to ensure that anyone can get a voice
independently from his conditions and direct interests. As ALC will try to
attract new members to gain importance, they will be a powerful sort of
"MLM" tool for increasing the membership :-)
--
.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo vb.
Vittorio Bertola <vb@vitaminic.net> Ph. +39 011 23381220
Vitaminic [The Music Evolution] - Vice President for Technology

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