[AfrICANN-discuss] ICANN's "Unelected" Crisis

Dr Yassin Mshana ymshana2003 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 6 02:05:16 SAST 2011

It is true and frightening! Let us watch out and be firm and fair on this.

Do I see some kind of poll tax established for the use of the Internet
because cash cow Telephony is drying out?

Yes there is a need to raise revenue but the style should be different
....fair enough?

Thank you Michael for looking after this phenomenon.

Kind regards


2011/9/5 Anne-Rachel Inné <annerachel at gmail.com>

> Mike Roberts was the 1st President and CEO of ICANN.
> ICANN's "Unelected" Crisis<http://www.circleid.com/posts/20110905_icanns_unelected_crisis/>
>   <http://www.circleid.com/posts/print/20110905_icanns_unelected_crisis/>
> <http://www.circleid.com/posts/20110905_icanns_unelected_crisis/#add_comment>
> By *Michael Roberts* <http://www.circleid.com/members/1787/>
>  [image: Michael Roberts]
> The leaked release of the European Commission's working papers on the
> future of Top Level Domains highlights the impending collision between
> adherents of the present "multistakeholder" ICANN governance model, and an
> ever longer list of national governments who challenge that model.
> At the core of the controversy is the question of how ICANN can claim
> legitimacy in the DNS world when none of its Directors or Officers are
> elected. Even worse, its only answer, when challenged legally, is that it is
> responsive to its contract with an agency of the U.S. Government, which
> agency claims authority from the elected Congress of the United States
> through the agency's organic act, which nowhere mentions the Internet,
> ICANN, or the Domain Name System.
> Historically, the Internet has been all about getting the networking job
> done. The motto of the Internet Engineering Task Force is "rough consensus
> and working code." The attitude of the industry has been that governments,
> the proverbial "lagging indicator," are the last people to be guiding,
> directing or governing the Internet. There is loads of empirical evidence
> that we would not have a global Internet today if everyone had waited around
> for legislation.
> But things have changed. The Internet today is not about packets and their
> technology, it is about content, with all its social, political, religious,
> and economic implications. There are daily illustrations of its power to
> curb tyranny — the Arab "Spring" — and to empower pathology and lawlessness
> — the London riots.
> A decade ago, the balance of political sentiment was articulated in "hands
> off the Internet." Today, content wars are pushing the pendulum the other
> way, and the question is how far towards control by elected bodies will
> ICANN and other Internet governance functions move.
> In addition to the "unelected" problem, ICANN faces criticism of its
> multistakeholder model. In many eyes, multistakeholder is a ruse to cover
> effective control of ICANN by equally unelected special interests. Scrutiny
> of the inner workings of ICANN shows domination by long time insiders whose
> own economic welfare is bound up in ICANN decisions. Representative
> democracy this is not.
> Because of the tens of millions of dollars at stake, many ICANN decision
> processes today — new TLDs being the latest example — suffer from the smells
> attendant on political sausage making so familiar in Washington and other
> capitals. Whatever level of idealism existed when the ICANN experiment was
> begun, most of it has dissipated.
> If ICANN is to maintain its quasi-independence, a hard boiled,
> Kissinger-like brand of pragmatic statesmanship will be necessary. The time
> for platitudes about sheltering the Internet from muddling by ignorant
> government bureaucrats is over. The time for pretending that lobbyists for
> domain name companies are "multistakeholders" is over. ICANN still has the
> power to act like the enlightened regulator it should be, but hasn't been.
> If it cannot step up to this challenge, then a government dominated future
> is certain.
> *By Michael Roberts <http://www.circleid.com/members/1787/>*
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