July 2000


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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Aram Falsafi <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 26 Jul 2000 20:29:17 -0600
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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Do you know folks in Africa or Latin America with an internet address?
If so, please pass this on to them immediately. (I imagine that memebers
of APC, like nicarao in Nicaragua and laneta in Mexico already have
received this, since it's an APC alert.)


>>From: "APIC" <[log in to unmask]>
>>Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 11:29:24 -0500
>>Africa: Democracy on Internet
>>Date distributed (ymd): 000726
>>Document reposted by APIC
>>+++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++
>>Region: Continent-Wide
>>Issue Areas: +political/rights+ +economy/development+ Summary Contents:
>>This posting contains an action alert from the Association for
>>Progressive Communications and additional background information on
>>the upcoming on-line elections for at-large members of the board of
>>the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
>>One at-large board member will be elected from each of five
>>regions: Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean,
>>and North America. Anyone with an e-mail address and web access can
>>register to vote as an at-large member, but the deadline for
>>registration is July 31, 2000.
>>By July 19 the total registered was 52,652 people; by July 25, the
>>number had more than doubled to 118,189. Only 659 had registered
>>from African countries.
>>+++++++++++++++++end profile++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>>Association for Progressive Communications
>>Who controls the Internet? ICANN wants to.
>>Register to vote in the ICANN elections by July 31 and ....
>>Promote Democracy in Cyberspace.
>>What is ICANN?
>>ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is
>>an NGO which was created after calls by the US government for a
>>body to be set up to administer policy for the Internet name and
>>address system (DNS).
>>Why Should I Care about ICANN?
>>Until now, ICANN has been dominated by commercial and technical
>>interests. Such a homogeneous body has every potential to become a
>>'World Trade Organization in cyberspace', defining policy and
>>legislating changes to the Internet which will affect us all, and
>>which favour big business over individuals. Already certain
>>decisions taken by ICANN have clearly demonstrated this bias.
>>Now, for the first time, ICANN is opening up and accepting five
>>non-technical, non-commercial Board directors; one from five of the
>>world's regions. These new directors will be elected by ICANN's 'at
>>large' members. Anyone can register to become an 'at large' member.
>>Register to vote, so together, we can get pro-social justice,
>>pro-development candidates from civil society elected to the ICANN
>>If You Are from Latin America or Africa..
>>You have very good chances of getting a civil society candidate
>>elected to the ICANN Board. In Africa and Latin America relatively
>>few people have registered yet, so registrations by
>>pro-development, pro-social justice voters improve chances of
>>getting at least one civil society member on the ICANN Board.
>>How Can I Promote Democracy in Cyberspace?
>>* Become an ICANN at-large member: Register to vote at
>> It will take you five
>>minutes. **Voting registration ends July 31.**
>>[APIC Note: Due to much higher registration than expected, response
>>time from the ICANN registration database has been slow. You may
>>experience delays. If these delays make it impossible for you to
>>register, please send a message to the contact person for ICANN
>>at-large membership, Pam Brewster ([log in to unmask]).
>>Ask for an extension of the time for registration. Send a copy of
>>your message to Andrew McLaughlin of ICANN ([log in to unmask]) and
>>to the Chair of the Membership Implementation Task Force for
>>Africa, Pierre Dandjinou ([log in to unmask]).]
>>* Vote pro-civil society/pro-development at the ICANN Board
>>elections: Candidates are being nominated currently. Voting takes
>>place in October 2000.
>>* After *you* register to vote, send this message to five friends
>>encouraging *them* to register.
>>* For more information write to [log in to unmask] and write "Open
>>up ICANN" in the subject line, or visit APC Internet Rights:
>>ICANN Press Release
>>ICANN Creates At Large Election and Nominating Committees
>>Marina del Rey, CA, USA, 9 May 2000 The Internet Corporation for
>>Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced the appointment
>>of Election and Nominating Committees that will play key roles in
>>the process by which five At Large Directors of ICANN will be
>>selected later this year through a global online election.
>>The At Large Members of ICANN are individuals who have indicated an
>>interest in participating in ICANN. They will vote to select five
>>Directors for the ICANN Board, one from each of five defined
>>geographic regions (Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America/
>>Caribbean, and North America). With nearly 15,000 applications so
>>far, ICANN's At Large Membership outreach effort has been greeted
>>with notable enthusiasm among the members of the global Internet
>>Today's announcement marks the beginning of the first phase of this
>>selection process. The Nominating Committee will nominate a set of
>>At Large candidates. At the same time, ICANN's Election Committee
>>will solicit and select an outside vendor for the online voting
>>system, and complete detailed recommendations for ICANN's campaign
>>and voting procedures, including independent oversight and
>>Following this first phase, there will be:
>>* a petition period, in which candidates who were not nominated by
>>the Nominating Committee can seek a place on the ballot by
>>attracting a minimum threshold of support from At Large Members in
>>her/his region via online petition;
>>* a campaign period; and
>>* the vote of the At Large Members.
>>About the Election Committee
>>The Election Committee will develop detailed recommendations on the
>>ICANN election procedures, subject to public review and comment
>>prior to ICANN's next meetings in July. The Election Committee will
>>propose the rules that will apply in this election for campaigning,
>>voting, measures to prevent vote fraud, and independent oversight
>>and monitoring. The Committee will solicit proposals from
>>third-party vendors of online voting systems, and will recommend a
>>vendor to the Board. To read more about the Election Committee, its
>>charter, and its members, please see
>>The Committee's membership includes experts in electronic voting,
>>Internet infrastructure and security and election oversight and
>>monitoring. The members of the Election Committee are:
>>Greg Crew-Chair (Australia)
>>Charles Costello (United States)
>>Lorrie Faith Cranor (United States)
>>Patrik Filtstrom (Sweden)
>>Ken Fockler (Canada)
>>Hans Kraaijenbrink (Netherlands)
>>Nguyen Huu Dong (Mexico)
>>About the Nominating Committee
>>The Nominating Committee will identify and nominate outstanding
>>candidates to stand for election to the ICANN Board. This Committee
>>will actively seek input (such as recommendations and expressions
>>of interest) from all members of the Internet community. Procedures
>>will be announced shortly. The Nominating Committee will complete
>>its work by the end of July, after which the election process will
>>proceed to the petition, campaign, and voting phases. For more
>>information on the Nominating Committee, please see
>>The members of the Nominating Committee are:
>>Linda Wilson - Chair (United States)
>>Jean-Francois Abramatic (France)
>>Dr. Mads Bryde Andersen (Denmark)
>>John Klensin (United States)
>>Jun Murai (Japan)
>>Charles Musisi (Uganda)
>>Alejandro Pisanty (Mexico)
>>The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is
>>a non-profit, international corporation formed in September 1998 to
>>oversee a select set of Internet technical management functions
>>currently managed by the U.S. Government, or by its contractors and
>>volunteers. Specifically, ICANN is assuming responsibility for
>>coordinating the management of the domain name system (DNS), the
>>allocation of IP address space, the assignment of protocol
>>parameters, and the management of the root server system.
>>Pam Brewster
>>  415-902-1158 - mobile or 415-923-1660 x119 - voice;
>>  [log in to unmask]
>>ICANN Membership Implementation Task Force
>>AFRICA Task Group
>>[log in to unmask]
>>Pierre Dandjinou (Benin) [Chair][log in to unmask]
>>Mohammad-Sani Abdulai Ghana) [log in to unmask]
>>Silvio Cabral Almada (Angola) [log in to unmask]
>>Zakaria Amar (Mauritania) [log in to unmask]
>>Clement Dzidonu (Ghana) [log in to unmask]
>>Philip Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie Fergusson (United Kingdom/Sierra
>>Leone/Nigeria) [log in to unmask]
>>Sondlo Leonard Mhlaba (United States / Zimbabwe)
>>[log in to unmask]
>>Andrew Muigai (Kenya) [log in to unmask]
>>George Nkusi (Rwanda) [log in to unmask]
>>Victor Nwankwo (Nigeria) [log in to unmask]
>>Alioune Traore, (Mali) [log in to unmask]
>>Internet Service Providers Associations (ISPA), South Africa
>>ICANN - A Primer
>>[Excerpts: full text available at
>>By: Tracy Cohen
>>ICANN proposes numerous organisational units and include a Board of
>>Directors, three supporting organisations (SO), multiple councils,
>>multiple constituencies, a Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)
>>and various others. This note is concerned with the Board and the
>>ICANN's Board of Directors is comprised of 19 volunteer members.
>>(There are nine At-Large Directors, nine selected by ICANN's three
>>supporting organisations, and the President/CEO (ex officio)). The
>>Board was chosen by ICANN's three supporting organisations - the
>>Domain Name, Address and Protocol Supporting Organisations which
>>collectively represent a broad cross-section of the global
>>Internet's business, technical, academic, and user communities. The
>>"At Large Membership" is a recent addition to the structure, which
>>will be responsible for choosing At-Large Directors to replace
>>those on the initial governing board. By November 2000, the first
>>round of At Large elections will choose five At Large Directors.
>>The "At Large Membership" is envisaged as a new way in which
>>Internet users from all over the world will participate directly in
>>the ICANN process and policy making structures. At Large Members
>>will receive regular news, updates, and announcements about ICANN
>>activities and policy initiatives. The At Large Members of ICANN
>>are any individuals who have indicated an interest in participating
>>in ICANN. They will vote to select five Directors for the ICANN
>>Board, one from each of five defined geographic regions (Africa,
>>Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, and North America).
>>Due to external funding, the initial launch of ICANN's At Large
>>Membership program does not require membership dues. Thus, there is
>>no cost to become an At Large member of ICANN. In order to ensure
>>that the At Large Membership is broadly representative of the
>>global diversity of the Internet, ICANN has created a Membership
>>Implementation Task Force to lead its worldwide outreach and
>>recruitment efforts. The ICANN board of Directors approved
>>resolutions establishing the principles of the initial At Large
>>Program. As anyone can join the At Large membership, its election
>>principles have become the focus of many debates over the last few
>>months. A recent coalition of civil society groups have started an
>>initiative to ensure that the election principles espouse values of
>>transparency and accountability, and take strong note of the
>>constituencies of developing countries.
>>Supporting Organisations
>>The ICANN Bylaws provide for three Supporting Organisations (SOs)
>>to assist, review and develop recommendations on Internet policy
>>and structure within three specialised areas. The SOs help to
>>promote the development of Internet policy and encourage diverse
>>and international participation in the technical management of the
>>The three supporting organisations are:
>>1. The Address Supporting Organisation (ASO) concerned with the
>>system of IP addresses, such as
>>2. The Domain Name Supporting Organisation (DNSO) concerned with
>>the domain name system (DNS), the system of names commonly used to
>>identify Internet locations and resources. By bringing together
>>parties participating in the operation and use of the DNS, the DNSO
>>seeks to formulate and recommend consensus-based policies
>>concerning the configuration and operation of the DNS. Under the
>>bylaws, the DNSO consists of:
>>A Names Council (NC) responsible for the management of the
>>consensus-building process of the DNSO. The NC consists of
>>representatives selected by each of seven constituencies. The
>>constituencies are self-organised and determine their own criteria
>>for participation.
>>The current constituencies are:
>>* CcTLD registries. This constituency consists of managers of
>>country-code (i.e. two-letter) top-level domains.
>>* Commercial and business entities. This constituency represents
>>the views and interests of those stakeholders who use the Internet
>>to conduct their business or part of it.
>>* gTLD registries. This constituency consists of present operators
>>of gTLD registries. Its only current member is Network Solutions,
>>* ISP and connectivity providers. The ISPCP constituency represents
>>entities that are in the business of operating DNS nameservers as
>>a service for third parties and that either operate an Internet
>>backbone network based on TCP/IP or provide transit either to
>>Internet users or to third parties' Internet content.
>>* Non-commercial domain name holders. The NCDNHC consists of
>>organisations (a) holding at least one domain name (b) that are
>>incorporated as a non-commercial entity or, if not incorporated,
>>that operate on a not-for-profit basis primarily for non-commercial
>>purposes and (c) that are engaged in activities that are primarily
>>non-commercial, including, e.g., political, educational, religious,
>>charitable, scientific and artistic.
>>* Registrars. This constituency is currently made up of members who
>>meet the requirements for being an ICANN-accredited registrar. ...
>>* Trademark, other intellectual property and anti-counterfeiting
>>interests. (IPC). ...
>>3. The Protocol Supporting Organisation (PSO) concerned with the
>>assignment of unique parameters for Internet protocols, (the
>>technical standards that let computers exchange information and
>>manage communications over the Internet.)
>>The bulk of the concerns around ICANN extend to two issues: that of
>>equity and legitimacy. There are also many concerns regarding
>>institutional design and the efficiency of such a complicated
>>organisation with so many people involved. One of the major tasks
>>of the Board will be to reorganise the Domain Name System. The DNS
>>is the very heart of the Internet, the point at which this vast
>>global network balances. Presence in (or absence from) the chain of
>>interlocking servers and databases constituting the DNS is crucial.
>>Because of the view that the Internet cannot be regulated, whoever
>>controls the DNS will be subject to immense pressure as the domain
>>name system is the one place where enforceable global Internet
>>policy can be promulgated without any of the messy enforcement and
>>jurisdictional problems that bedevil ordinary law-making exercises
>>on the Net. It is suggested that a more public interested argument
>>would be to advance a decentralised root. The centralised root is
>>what renders "technical coordination" on a level akin to
>>governance. ICANN has sole authority over the root, and everyone on
>>the Internet depends on ICANN for his or her domain name. With this
>>power, ICANN can set conditions for access.
>>As it stands, ICANN sets the use of Domain Names conditional on a
>>commitment to use the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
>>Usage is also conditional on a non-negotiable fee/tax. The concern,
>>as governments and many corporations become more concerned about
>>regulating the Internet, is that the conditions could grow. Future
>>domain name use could include regulations on privacy, content,
>>income-reporting etc.
>>It is a concern that businesses, which now realise the huge
>>economic stake they have in this medium, and governments, who are
>>seeking to ground their tax revenues and regulatory authority over
>>Internet transactions, can potentially view ICANN as the means to
>>impose their particular vision on Internet users worldwide. Thus
>>the concern emerges that the body will become a pawn for certain
>>commercial and/or governmental concerns. As such, concerns abound
>>regarding the accountability, checks and balances on ICANN's
>>exercise of its powers? Given the possible pressure ICANN may face,
>>the Internet community and public interest groups are concerned
>>about how ICANNs may exercise power.
>>Further, recent actions by ICANN (e.g., imposing a fee on all
>>domain name registrants, the adoption of the WIPO report for
>>trademark-related domain name disputes) suggests that ICANN has
>>already moved far beyond the realm of "technical management" of the
>>DNS. Internet users and public interest groups are raising
>>questions about whether this type of global Internet policy is
>>necessary and whether this is the way it should be structured.
>>Pertinent questions pertain to whether the bottom-up,
>>decentralized, consensus-based governance structures under which
>>the Internet grew and flourished are incompatible with its
>>continued growth and development? Further concerns emerge regarding
>>whether users worldwide have called for such a structure and what
>>opportunities are there for broad participation by users and
>>industry around the world? Unlike a formal governance body, ICANN's
>>deliberations are not subject to stringent requirements of
>>procedure as yet. This is leading to enormous dissatisfaction, as
>>civil society and Internet users struggle to analyse and comment on
>>complex documents in the very short time frames given by ICANN to
>>Despite the many controversies raging, ICANN is proceeding and is
>>likely to be solidly in place (and legitimated) with the buy in
>>anticipated at the At Large Elections towards the end of the year.
>>The main issue for ISPA is how we should join the At Large
>>membership and contribute to ICANN's structures and further, how
>>meaningfully, developing economies can really participate in
>>international standard setting agencies, given the constraints both
>>in infrastructure and costs.
>>Useful sites
>>This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the
>>Africa Policy Information Center (APIC). APIC provides
>>accessible information and analysis in order to promote U.S.
>>and international policies toward Africa that advance economic,
>>political and social justice and the full spectrum of human rights.
>>Auto-response addresses for more information (send any e-mail
>>message): [log in to unmask] (about the Africa Policy
>>Electronic Distribution List); [log in to unmask] (about APIC).
>>Documents previously distributed, as well as a wide range of
>>additional information, are also available on the Web at:
>>To be added to or dropped from the distribution list write to
>>[log in to unmask] For more information about reposted material,
>>please contact directly the source mentioned in the posting.
>>Africa Policy Information Center,
>>110 Maryland Ave. NE, #509, Washington, DC 20002.
>>Phone: 202-546-7961. Fax: 202-546-1545.
>>E-mail: [log in to unmask]
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>Technology Project
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