IP Justice Comments on ICANN Accountability & Transparency Concerns: Lack of Accountability to Non-Commercial Users Remains Problematic for ICANN’s Promise to Protect the Public Interest

By |July 14th, 2010|

IP Justice is deeply concerned that ICANN is insufficiently accountable to relevant non-commercial interests. Certain interests, such as business interests (in particular the trademark and domain name industries) are over-represented at ICANN both in structure and in practice. On the other hand, non-commercial interests and individual Internet users are not given the appropriate representation, although some improvements have been made in recent years. There is a real worry that ICANN is an "industry organization" and works predominantly for trademark interests and the domain name industry. Too often non-commercial concerns are ignored by ICANN; without any real "muscle" behind non-commercial interests, ICANN has little incentive to protect those interests in its policy development process...

Statement of the Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) and the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) on Transparency and ICANN Staff Documents

By |May 20th, 2010|

ICANN's transparency commitment demands the adoption of a principle of default openness for all Board communications except in those specific instances where it is over-ridden, in writing, by the principle of personal privacy or an explicit requirement of confidentiality. It is especially critical that policy matters and the contributions of supporting organizations and advisory committees be presented to the Board accurately and completely. While we appreciate the need for staff to summarize matters that are often complex, we must stress the importance of ensuring that these summaries accurately report the relevant facts and positions. Openness and public review will minimize inaccuracies, facilitating the role of staff while enhancing public confidence in the Board's decision-making process....

IP Justice Statement to ICANN on Need to Respect Decision of Independent Review Panel on .XXX Domain

By |May 10th, 2010|

IP Justice supports the swift adoption of the decision of the Independent Review Panel (IRP) by ICANN and the inclusion of the applied for .xxx domain name into the root. This IRP decision should not be, and cannot be, a referendum on pornography as some comments urge. This decision is only about ICANN's accountability mechanism - its means of correcting its past mistakes, and in particular its mishandling of the .xxx domain name application...

ICANN Accountability Post-JPA: No Meaningful Change Expected

By |September 30th, 2009|

While many are dancing in the streets over today's decision by the US Government to loosen some of its ties to ICANN as its a single governmental authority, I'm not convinced this decision will change much on a practical level. The Affirmation of Commitments was signed today by ICANN and the US Government to replace the Joint Project Agreement, and expand oversight to a more international community. Unfortunately ICANN still lacks any framework for meaningful accountability to the public. And recent efforts seem to indicate noncommercial interests are being systematically squeezed out of ICANN, which is dominated by lobbyists from big business and special interests. Adding more governments to ICANN's accountability framework is good on many levels since it recognizes the important global resource that we all share and depend upon and have a right to shape the policy of. ...

ICANN Staff Up To Same Old “Divide & Conquer” of Civil Society Strategy

By |September 22nd, 2009|

I had a conversation recently with a person who had been actively engaged at ICANN in its early days but became disillusioned and disengaged after a few years because his participation lead him to the conclusion that ICANN staff manage the organization's board of directors and the "community" via the GNSO and the At-Large Advisory Committee. He said the staff intentionally worked to stir up divisiveness between community participants in order to justify adopting the staff's own agenda. Before I even had the opportunity to say my first word about my own experience with participating at ICANN, this person who hadn't even been at ICANN in nearly 10 years spoke my thoughts and described my own experience about participating at ICANN for the last 5 years as I have. ...

Public Interest Groups in ICANN Appeal to New President For Fairer Treatment For Civil Society

By |September 3rd, 2009|

The organization that represents Non-Commercial Internet Users in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) issued an open letter to the Board this week, expressing concern about the possible failure of ICANN's attempt to balance the representation of commercial and noncommercial interests.

ICANN GNSO Chair Joins the Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) to Support Civil Society at ICANN

By |August 24th, 2009|

GNSO Chair Avri Doria joined ICANN's Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) to support civil society at ICANN in its struggle for a stakeholder group charter that is drafted in a bottom-up fashion and considers the needs of noncommercial users of the Internet. Although not a card-carrying member of NCUC before now, Doria had been a long time supporter of civil society at ICANN with strong ties to noncommercial users and individual Internet users. Doria had been appointed to serve three terms on the GNSO Council from ICANN's Nominating Committee (first was a partial term) and she was elected to Chair the GNSO Council thrice..."

“Top Ten Myths About Civil Society Participation in ICANN” From the Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC)

By |August 21st, 2009|

ICANN Staff and the commercial constituencies at ICANN have been busy spreading mis-information about civil society participation at ICANN - largely to keep civil society and noncommercial interests marginalized. For example, ICANN is not allowing the noncommercial users to elect their representatives on the GNSO Policy Council and will instead "appoint" representatives, unlike all the other constituencies at ICANN. Here are a few of the top myths spread about civil society at ICANN and the truth about these myths.

Letter from Non-Commercial Users to ICANN Board of Directors and CEO on Stakeholder Group Charter Issue

By |August 18th, 2009|

This letter comes from nearly 150 individual and organizational members of ICANN’s Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC). It is also endorsed by public interest groups outside of NCUC. We are all deeply concerned about the July 30, 2009 ICANN Board decisions regarding the restructuring of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). We believe that the Noncommercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) chartering process has been seriously flawed on both procedural and substantive grounds. We appeal to you to address these problems before permanent damage is done to ICANN’s reputation, to the GNSO reform process, and to the interests of noncommercial users of the Internet....

Will ICANN Listen to Civil Society and Respect Noncommercial Users?

By |July 26th, 2009|

Public comments on stakeholder group charters are in - again. Comments submitted to ICANN were overwhelmingly in favor of reinstating the consensus charter submitted by noncommercial users. The Internet Governance Project asks "Is ICANN Listening?" to civil society yet.