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.
It is disappointing to hear that nothing has changed in the last 10 years at ICANN. Notions of transparency, accountability, democracy, and justice are used heavily in rhetoric by ICANN but are expendable in practice.
Dr. Milton Mueller of the Internet Governance Project describes more of how today’s ICANN staff is busy deploying its own “divide and conquer” strategy for civil society at ICANN: “Consumer Fraud“.