ICANN Eliminates Friday Public Board Meeting At Future Conferences

According to a new announcement starting with the June ICANN meeting ICANN is eliminating the Board meeting typically held on the last day of the conference, Friday which includes committee reports and the public Board meeting.

In some past conference the Friday Board meeting have been kind of exciting with voting on .XXX and the new gTLD program hanging in the air.

But at the last ICANN conference in San Jose the Friday Board meeting was completely uneventful.

I guess this means is that the ICANN conference will now close on Thursday rather than Friday

Here is the announcement:

“In our ongoing efforts to improve the ICANNMeeting experience for all participants, we are implementing some changes for the June meeting in Prague.The Friday morning program, which in the past has comprised AC/SO committee reports, Board committee reports, and the public Board meeting, has been removed.

AC/SO committee reports and Board committee reports will now be published for review on the ICANN website.

The public Board meeting has been replaced with a one-hour session following the Public Forum on Thursday afternoon. In this session the Board will outline what they have heard during the week from their meetings with AC/SOs and their constituent parts and will identify those matters they expect to be dealing with between the Prague and Toronto Meetings.

The close of this session (expected to be around 18:00) will mark the official end of the ICANN meeting and will be immediately followed by a two-hour farewell reception for all ICANN Meeting participants.

It is intended that at the beginning of the Toronto meeting there will be a Board community session where the Board will report to the community on what they have dealt with since Prague.

We believe that the removal of the Friday public Board meeting and its replacement with two Board community sessions will improve the effectiveness of both the Board and the staff and increase the time that the Board has to interact with the community.

We hope you find these changes also make more effective use of your time and enhance the overall ICANN Meeting experience. The Public Participation Committee will hold a public session in Toronto to discuss and review them.”

Comments

  1. Philip Corwin says

    The Friday Board meetings provided three opportunities per year where meeting attendees could actually watch the Board members interact and vote on key issues. While the San Jose session may have been uneventful, there have been many meetings in the past where the decisions to be made were controversial and it was quite useful and instructive for the community to have the opportunity to see Board members explain their decisions and cast their votes. For excample, In San Francisco last year the Board voted to approve .xxx, and in Singapore it voted to launch the new gTLD program. It served ICANN well to have those discussions and votes conducted in full public view.

    This announcement now means that all Board decisions will be made on conference calls or at Board retreats that are not open to the public. How this is in keeping with transparency and accountability is beyond me.

  2. says

    What a disgrace. This just confirms the belief of many people, that ICANN has not only deviated from its original charter, but has failed the public.

    We need to see some tough action by the US and other countries to either bring it into line or under the UN.

  3. says

    ICANN did not exist prior to 1998 – Life was BETTER

    Life was simple – Any ISP, web designer, attorney, etc could deal DIRECT with the .COM Registry – Thick whois was used

    ICANN was created to **reduce** the direct wholesale access in favor of a Retail Registrar model which inserted ICANN into the cash flow.

    The .COM Registry derives their market position from the U.S. Government just like .EDU and .US

    ICANN then cut a deal to be **THE** sanctioning body for those with retail access (aka Registrars) to the .COM Registry

    The .COM Registry is now being migrated back to the Thick Whois model.

    The U.S. Government (or judicial system) should be able to order the .COM Registry to allow Equal Access to more companies than ICANN+Registrars.

    That would restore the situation as it was prior to 1998 – before ICANN

    People are mislead that ICANN gives the .COM Registry their stature.
    It is almost the opposite. The .COM Registry could deal with several volume vendors. ICANN would be one of many (i.e. nothing special).

  4. says

    ICANN then cut a deal to be **THE** sanctioning body for those with retail access (aka Registrars) to the .COM Registry
    ====
    ICANN then cut a deal to be **THE** sanctioning body for those with WHOLESALE access (aka Registrars) to the .COM Registry

    ICANN put themselves in the “vetting” business.

    Who “vetted” ICANN ? They did that themselves. They approved themselves, like self-ordained ministers.

  5. 3d is my life says

    May as well jump in. So, when is this ICANN cash grab reopening? Are they waiting to get the word that all their friends have moved their available slots?

  6. Philip Corwin says

    Here’s a modest conterproposal — every ICANN Board meeting should be webcast to the world in real time.

    It’s past time for the public body that manages the global DNS to start using the tools of Web 2.0 to achieve complete transparency of process and decision-making. The global Internet community that ICANN serves should expect nothing less.

  7. says

    @Philip and Simon – I agree with you that this is alarming. Some cc TLDs are very secretive and have been reducing or removing the ability of stakeholders to have any real influence over the years. Perhaps ICANN has seen this and wants some of the same.

    This should not be allowed to happen. Surely it is in breach of the undertakings given to the US government regarding openness and transparency. Let’s see whether the “multi stakeholder” model is real or not!

  8. says

    So much for transparency. Pathetic.

    The more the new gTLD and ICANN move ahead, the more everything start to stink.

    ICANN’s motives are clear. They are about self interest, not public interest.

    I thought when NTIA said ICANN did not meet the requirements for IANA and rejected their proposal it might have been a wake up call. I guess not.

    Brad

  9. abcdef says

    some cctld’s are remarkably secretive and protective.

    that should raise red flags. people should take notice.

    this is public information, folks.

    these are domain names, labels for ip addresses, like physical addresses or telephone numbers. it’s like being listed in the phone book. and these registries want to pretend it’s all secret information.

    why? because they are protecting a monopoly.

    wasn’t the registrar model created because one company, network solutions, had a monopoly on both 1. registration services (collecting fees for domain names) and 2. running the registry (maintaining the database of registrants and running the dns servers)?

    the result is we now have heaps of registrars and competition to address 1.

    but we still have this strange pseudo monopoly with respect to 2. case in point, cctld’s being protective about their zone files, or icann running this ridiculous new gtld scam.

    re: 1., it seems reasonable to have some organisation overseeing registrars. but icann has done a really poor job. choosing a registrar feels a bit like buying a used car from a used car lot. actually much worse, just can’t think of a better analogy. unless you really know your way around, there are serious caveat emptor vibes when one is selecting a registrar. it’s a dodgy business. not to mention the sorry state of “whois”.

    as for the registry services, 2., by viewing this as a monopoly (where we pay icann nonsensical slush fund fees for the “right” to run a registry under their auspices- which are of course laughable, e.g. witness .xxx), we more or less ensure that prices will continue to rise and service will either stay the same or decline. no incentives for registries to do otherwise.

    apple recently has come under the microscope for their channeling of revenue through ireland, the netherlands and the carribean to avoid taxes. imagine if icann, afilias and the registry racket came under the same scrutiny. the difference is apple is company serving the interests of its employees and shareholders while icann is supposed to be a company formed for the benefit of the public.

    how complex is it to serve the public a copy of the web’s equivalent of the phone book? not very.

  10. says

    “every ICANN Board meeting should be webcast to the world in real time.”

    ICANN is a Private Club

    ICANN does not want the public electing their Board members – despite promises that would be the case

    ICANN also promised they would never operate a Registry – They are now trying to build their own flavor of COM(tm) at $25,000 per year per name

    ICANN certainly does not want people knowing what is going on in staff meetings and Board meetings – [Insiders point out that NOT MUCH happens at ICANN - the heavy-lifting is out-sourced]

    ICANN now has many war chests of (your) .CASH to buy more insiders to support their agendas

    Their agendas are not your agendas and never will be

    If Capitalists want to protect their assets they have to organize to do that.
    The Socialists and Communists that populate .ORG and ccTLDs have other plans.
    They will give a cab driver in Kenya a new gTLD and deny you the same rights.
    They really believe that is more “fair”.

  11. Kristina Rosette says

    I completely agree with Phil Corwin.

    Having the ability to hear George Sadowsky’s dissent on .xxx and Mike Silber’s abstention on new gTLDs is an important demonstration of transparency, IMHO. I find it hard to believe that we’ll see such dissents in the minutes.

    I fully support shortening the meetings, but cutting the Board meeting was not the way to do it.

  12. Philip Corwin says

    @Kristina R — Any time we “completely agree” the stars and planets must be in unusual alignment. Ready to discuss UDRP reform? :-)

    Seriouly, thanks for weighing in. Nobody benefits from less ICANN Board transparency.

  13. John Berryhill says

    “The Friday Board meetings provided three opportunities per year where meeting attendees could actually watch the Board members interact and vote on key issues.”

    Whether they are fully informed and ready to vote or not. Thomas Roessler’s comments appeared to indicate that having the meeting at the Friday session created an artificial pressure to vote on those issues right then and there. Given the whirlwind of lobbying they face in the days leading up to those meetings, perhaps they are looking for some breathing room to actually reflect on all the drama.

  14. says

    I’ve got mixed feelings about it.

    A lot will depend on how the board handles the supposed “wrap up” session that’s now scheduled for Thursday

    I’d agree with both Kristina and Phil about being able to hear board members’ thoughts on particular decisions. For example, George Sadowsky’s intervention on the new TLD vote was worth hearing and I know I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t been sitting there when he spoke. Even if it was available in some kind of formal document to read “after the fact” a lot of us don’t have time to read every single document that is produced by ICANN and its supporting organisations.

    Having said that. A lot of what goes on during the traditional Friday meeting is housekeeping. Whether it’s of any great benefit to the “community” to sit through it all or not is debatable.

    Freeing up the Friday morning won’t make a big difference for a lot of people, as there is a mass exodus between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning anyway. Only a “hardcore” of attendees stick around for the Friday (or at least that’s been my impression).

    I guess we’ll know more about how this works out after Prague. Change isn’t always a bad thing :)

    Michele

  15. Philip Corwin says

    Yes, we’ll have to see how the wrap-up session goes, but it will be sandwiched in between a Public Forum that usually runs for several hours, and late, and a social event –

    “The public Board meeting has been replaced with a one-hour session following the Public Forum on Thursday afternoon. In this session the Board will outline what they have heard during the week from their meetings with AC/SOs and their constituent parts and will identify those matters they expect to be dealing with between the Prague and Toronto Meetings.
    The close of this session (expected to be around 18:00) will mark the official end of the ICANN meeting and will be immediately followed by a two-hour farewell reception for all ICANN Meeting participants.”

    –Having the Board tell us what it expects to be dealing with in between public ICANN meetings is not the same as having access to the discussions that precede their votes on key issues. If the rationale is a need for “breathing room” then a commitment to electronic access and archived recordings and transcripts would provide it while furthering the goal of transparency.

  16. says

    the emperor has no clothes… we knew that……………

    now the emperor thinks it can dance also.

    there once was a group called ICANN
    open and transparent was it
    tld wealth with 120 million
    so it decided to treat user like sh%$

  17. says

    ICANN is MORPHING to ICANN 2.0

    ICANN should be dissolving at this point in time. The need for ICANN is over.

    The I* Insiders are re-designing ICANN 2.0 (in secret) and you are starting to see some of the changes

    ICANN 2.0 plans to be an integral part of law enforcement and government agencies. When was the last time you attended an Interpol, FBI, NSA or CIA meeting ?

    ICANN has Applicant’s money and extensive intelligence files on each actor. ICANN 2.0 will now become everyone’s worst nightmare. Watch your backs.

Join the Discussion