Thursday, 30 October 2003

Public comments (not) to the ICANN annual meeting

As I mentioned last week , the ICANN Board of Directors is holding its annual meeting this week in Carthage, Tunisia.

As with the last two ICANN board meetings, by the time the issue of new top-level Internet domain names (TLD's), including new Internet domain names for travel , was added to the agenda, it was too late for me to attend in person, even if I could have afforded to do so.

I submitted comments by e-mail for the public forums at the previous two meetings, in Rio de Janeiro in March 2003 and in Montréal in June 2003 . I was prepared to do likewise for the public forum today in Carthage, although really I would only have reminded the ICANN board, and anyone watching or exercising oversight, that the same problems I called to their attention months ago in Rio and Montréal continue unabated.

According to the ICANN Web site , the open microphone (and, in the past, open e-mail) portion of the public forum was scheduled as its last segment, from 17:30-18:00 Carthage time (UTC/GMT +1) today, or 8:30-9:00 a.m. San Francisco time. But when I went to bed last night an e-mail address for public comments still hadn't been posted on the ICANN Web site.

Overnight, an address for public comments, carthage@icann.org , was added to the ICANN Web page for the forum. As I addressed the e-mail message with my comments, I tuned in the live Webcast of the meeting -- and at 8:17 a.m. San Francisco time (17:17 Carthage time), just before I could send my e-mail comments and well before the open mike session was scheduled to begin , heard the public forum abruptly gavelled to adjournment!

Thus closes the last remaining avenue open to the public through which to bring their concerns before the de facto governing body of the Internet.

I'd like to hope that the minutes of the ICANN annual meeting will reflect the adjournment in advance of the scheduled open microphone period, to the exclusion of potential remote participation. But I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a retroactive re-write of the schedule in the minutes and on ICANN's Web site, to hide the fact that this last vestige of openness was eliminated.

More at ICANN Watch

Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 30 October 2003, 08:37 ( 8:37 AM) | TrackBack (0)
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