[dns-operations] What is the most pressing need for DNS these days?

Rodney Joffe rjoffe at centergate.com
Thu Jul 13 21:33:25 UTC 2006

Hi John,

On Jul 13, 2006, at 1:22 PM, John S. Quarterman wrote:

> I might.  That partly depends on who else will, since there's
> not much point in having just one new member who thinks differently.

But as you pointed out, recent votes might have swung based on a  
couple of people, so ...

>> Remember that the process includes more than just the ICANN Board.
>> There are a number of Supporting Organization positions being filled
>> at the same time, and SO's have an enormous amount of influence on
>> the outcome of Board decisions. Specifically:
>> The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council
>> The Interim At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)
>> The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) Council
> Thus far I haven't seen anything that convinces me that those  
> organizations
> have real influence on actual decisions.

However each of them has a voting board member selected directly by  
those constituencies directly, in addition to the board members  
selected by the NOM-COMM from within those constituencies, so they  
do, indeed, have significant influence. ;-)

>> PS: As a second term member of the NOM-COMM I take exception (and get
>> pretty pissed) when I see statements like "this process is so totally
>> rigged" with no facts to back them up. I take those attacks
>> personally. Of course I can only speak for the 2005 and 2006  
>> Committees.
> I wasn't going to respond to this, but actually I think it's one of
> the main points.  People involved with ICANN should expect to get  
> criticism,
> some of it quite pointed, along with occasional praise.  An  
> organization
> that legally blocked one of its own board members from examining  
> its books
> until a judge laughed it out of court is not one that is going to be
> be given the benefit of the doubt on transparency and accountability.
> Even if we ignore that sort of history, simply because ICANN is  
> involved
> in an arena of high-profile politics (e.g., perceived U.S. control  
> over
> the international Internet), transparency and accountability would be
> most useful.  Personal offense is not going to make people believe
> that ICANN is now doing things correctly.  Ongoing actual transparency
> and accountability, such as posting working documents and board  
> minutes
> in a timely manner (does ICANN now do this?), having board members
> answer questions, etc. might eventually convince people of that.

Let me be more specific then:


ICANN exerts zero influence over the NOM-COMM. It is unique in that  
way. The ICANN board has absolutely no influence or input into who  
sits on the NOM-COMM, except for appointing the non-voting Committee  
chair. In addition, I believe the phrase "Nominating Committee" is a  
poorly chosen one in the ICANN context. The Committee doesn't  
nominate candidates that get "voted" on by the community, or  
"approved" by ICANN staff, or the board. The committee actually  
selects "selectees" from the candidates who "apply", and except in  
the case of something "earth-shattering" that may come to light  
before the official induction date and time, those selectees are it.  
Neither the ICANN board nor the ICANN staff has any mechanism to  
veto, interfere, meddle, etc. in the process. And they have no  
visibility in to the process either.

The committee is also made up of representatives of each of the  
constituencies of ICANN as well, so no one constituency has the  
ability to overwhelm or control the process or positions either. In a  
very tangible way, those supporting organizations really do have  
influence. Just not in ways that seemed obvious perhaps.

So I do take exception to attacks against the NOM-COMM  when they are  
based on flawed assumptions and the generalization of "anything  
associated with ICANN, and ICANN are the same". While I may be one of  
the "People involved with ICANN", I'm certainly not taking marching  
orders in *any* way from *anyone*. And from what I have seen, first  
hand, that is true for the rest of my 2005, and now 2006, fellow NOM- 
COMM members. They all walk the talk.

Sorry for keeping the rathole fueled. ;-)

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