Cyber-Federalist No. 4 -- Analysis of the ICANN-Named At Large Nominees
Candidate, At Large Director for Europe
6 September 2000
The reader might get the impression that my background has no end-user
I have always worked in a non-commercial environment. As the manager
One aspect I missed from your analysis - and one I found rather disturbing - is ICANN's choice of candidates from European monopoly telcos.
I can only talk about my home country here, but Deutsche Telekom was - and to some extent still is - infamous for their anti consumer stance and arrogance towards the 'simple' customer, who, not long ago had no choice but to subscribe to them and was treated accordingly.
Historically, Deutsche Telekom has been the main enemy of the traditional online and BBS scene, and network research here was forced to manoever around them and their ridiculous laws (they forced, for example, the German part of the internet to run on top of X.25 long into the nineties).
Still today Deutsche Telekom, by shamelessly exploiting their local loop monopoly, is the main reason for Germany's high and mostly metered Internet access prices, and is fighting tooth and nail any attempt to get competition into that area.
I have few doubts that France Telecom is comparably well regarded by French netizens. So it is a complete mystery to me how ICANN could imagine two faceless bureaucrats from these organizations would be suitable candidates to represent the average netizen, while a large number of available well known and respected netizens all over the place apperently were never asked.
A number of these now come up via self nominations, but the process seems to be specifically designed to prevent their success.
At 12:10 AM 8/9/00 -0400, Vint Cerf wrote:
just one question about the analysis, you sort of put me in the "supplier" pigeon hole. I just wondered whether my involvement with ISOC/ISTF, Gallaudet University (board member), Wiley (Networking Council series) and other assorted educational and research activities (e.g. Internet2, IPNRG) counted for anything in your calculus.
At 10:47 PM 8/10/00 +0200, Hans Klein wrote:
Sorry to not be responsive to your message. I hadn't checked my ISTF mail folder until today.
First, let me say it was an editorial oversight that I used only
your last name in the article. I apologize and want to assure you
that absolutely no disrepect was intended. Sorry to Alejandro, too!
I also misspelled Ms Cattaui's name. (I posted a correction on the comments
OK, now on to the question of categorization.
Many people do many things; you, Vint, do more than most. I truly respect that.
The reason I categorized you as representing the perspective of the
supply industry is in part because of the simple fact of your employment
relationship with MCIWorldcom. But probably more significant than
that is your leadership role as a founder of the Global Internet Project
(GIP). ( See: http://www.gip.org/pressadv.htm )
From my perspective, GIP certainly looks like the supply industry.
For a visual support for that, I recommend to anyone to go to the GIP member
GIP is also a who's who of ICANN Board members (+) and At Large nominees
So when I read your press announcement on behalf of GIP's work with ICANN, I see that as a defining institutional association. I believe that your perspective on ICANN is related to the GIP role -- more than it is related to the Gallaudet University role, for example.
I note that GIP's mission statement ( http://www.gip.org/about/) includes the following:
"Members come from leading Internet-centric companies REPRESENTING the telecommunications, software, financial services, and content sectors."
"GIP participants believe that to ensure continued growth and innovation, the Internet MUST be kept free of unnecessary international regulations and national laws that impede or inhibit its growth."
"The GIP CALLS UPON GOVERNMENTS to encourage private sector solutions to Internet policy challenges."
(I added the caps.)
This seems like an organization that (actively) represents the supply industry. You do seem to play an important role in it.
I have *no* *problem* with the GIP. I have *no* *problem* with a leadership role.
But I think such institutional affiliations help an outsider understand the perspective a Board member brings to ICANN.
No disrespect is meant in all this, and I apologize if the Cyber-Federalist came across in any way as disrespectul.
I do value your feedback, and I am very grateful for your willingness to engage these issues.
At 07:03 PM 8/10/00 -0400, Vint Cerf wrote:
your remarks in the Cyber-Federalist were not disrespectful, at least I never felt them to be. What I was concerned about and continue to have concerns about is the apparent assumption that my various professional affiliations somehow dictate (or, worse, limit) my perspectives to those affiliations.
In the IETF, it is generally felt that when we work in that arena, we set aside our institutional or industrial or organizational affiliations and we work on what seems to be the best for the Internet's technology. I am not so naive as to assume that everyone's actions are completely free of some institutional bias, but by and large, I think participants in IETF try to rise above that.
I honestly feel that the same may be said for the members of the ICANN board. At the same time, I'm fully aware that anyone participating in something like the ICANN board brings to it the sum of his or her experience and that experience itself may be stronger in some areas than others. In the GIP, I do try to represent an industry perspective - that was the intention in forming GIP. However at ICANN, I try very hard NOT to represent industry alone or the protocol/technical community, alone, or any other group alone. I see the job of ICANN director as much broader than that and that ICANN, and those who depend on its choices, are not well served by narrowly viewed perspectives.
Really, it was my feeling that the board members had been "pigeon-holed" that prompted me to ask about the method you chose to "categorize" the board members. In fairness to your readers and to the board members of ICANN, I would ask that your next issue reflect this somewhat different formulation of Board perspective. I understand that you and many others may not agree with me or may argue that the members of the board won't be able to rise above their daily responsibilities or their principal experiences, but I'd like to have the opportunity to express this alternative perspective of what I think is incumbent on all board members: to take the broadest view possible in trying to help guide the ICANN staff in matters of policy.
8 August 2000
I read your analysis. Overall, quite good. However, I know several of the folks on the list and your comments about Rob Blokzijl [one of today's directors] struck me as way off base. RIPE, the organization he heads, may look like a "research network" organization, but the reality of networking in Europe is that "normal" users went under the "research" guise in order to get connections. Rob really battled on behalf of normal users for well over a decade. Among other things, he was personally responsible for making that groups like EUnet and NLnet (some of the first ISP's available to users not from government and research) were able to operate. He also worked very hard to help many of the East European networks get up and running.
I'm sure he'd be happy to talk to you. He's quite responsive and reachable by email at . I think you'd find your assessment of his ability to represent people might be a bit off.
8 August 2000
I consistently misspelled the name of Maria Livanos Cattaui. This
has been corrected in the web version. I apologize for this mistake.
David P. Reed
Peter Drucker is famous for a variety of things, but one that sticks
Virginia Postrel characterized this as the "stasist" vs. "dynamist"
I raise this issue because one dimension that will be crucial as ICANN
It is all too typical for an organization to organize its constituency
Why is it crucial for ICANN's board to include "potential" uses in its
I have written about two very likely categories of new applications
Thus, I think it is crucial for ICANN to include user representatives
Other than Lessig, whose perspective is well known through his writings
Created before October 2004