15 November, 2010

ICANN staff repudiates community consensus

Writing to the ALAC list, NARALO Chair Evan Leibovitch states:

"In the latest version of the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook, ICANN staff has essentially screwed its community.

Despite broad agreement reached across members of the GAC, GNSO and At-Large on issues related to Morality and Public Order -- and a report that was unanimously endorsed by ALAC -- ICANN staff have explicitly rejected all of our basic requests. Literally, only the most cosmetic -- changing the name from "Morality and Public Order" to "Limited Public Interest" -- approach was taken.

The sub-contracted Dispute Resolution Service Provider -- now renamed the
Dispute Resolution Administrartor -- still exists, and many, many other
changes have been rejected. Not ignored, but explicitly rejected by staff.

This is awful on so many levels. It asserts staff supremacy over the bottom
up process. It repudiates everything that ICANN claims to want in its
improvements of Accountability and Transparency. It asserts that on any
disagreement between staff and community, that staff should prevail.

I am REALLY REALLY upset over this. This is an instance in which the GAC and ALAC were united in opposition to this completely odious piece of policy,
and staff have literally shrugged it off in the name is "risk management".
The only risk I see is the risk to ICANN policy staff making a mockery of
every principle ICANN *claims* to want to uphold.

I am angry enough to want ALAC to go beyond merely announcing its
displeasure to the Board. I encourage everyone to read Milton Mueller's blog
contemplating what action to take.

If we don't stand up for this, what is there to stand up for? ICANN created
At-Large to provide input on some of its most important policy and -- now
that we have provided it, in concert with other ICANN stakeholders -- its
staff have laughed it off.

How strongly is At-Large going to fight this disgrace? What are the
candidates for Director going to propose? Where would the ATRT stand on a
process by which stakeholders can be stopped in their tracks by staff, which
has threatened to drag out the process longer should we complain and make us the scapegoats of all the TLD applicants waiting for their chance?

This is truly disgusting."

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