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n/aCreating a Consumer Agenda at ICANNCOMMENTGarth Bruen TBCTBCTBCTBCn/aTBC


The final version to be submitted, if the draft is ratified, will be placed here by upon completion of the vote. 


The final draft version to be voted upon by the ALAC will be placed here before the vote is to begin.




Many of you were in the room when I discussed the issue of an ICANN end-user/consumer agenda with the board and CEO. For those who do not remember or were not present, Steve Crocker essentially stated that it was the responsibility of At-Large to draft a consumer agenda and put it forward for ICANN to implement.

Challenge accepted. 

I suppose this would fit easily under Bylaw section 2.3 "To the extent feasible and appropriate, delegating coordination functions to or recognizing the policy role of other responsible entities that reflect the interests of affected parties." Since we and our constituents are the affected parties here, let us create this specific agenda which has so far been missing. 

I have a number of recommendations and I of course want more and comments on what I propose.


1. Setting a basic standard for all ICANN work 

I discussed the concept of a "Preamble Principle" in meetings, but let me re-state it here. At-Large is often puzzled by the actions of ICANN because they only seem to benefit contracted parties or some other narrow slice of the community. The failure to properly execute an organization's mission is related to incremental intent. If each piece of work is not conducted with the mission in mind, the output will not meet expectations. 

So when we look at an outcome and say "this is bad for Internet users" or "this has nothing to do with Internet users" it it likely because the intent of project did not start with the mission.

The ICANN mission statement states in part: "(3) This Corporation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person...The Corporation is organized, and will be operated, exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes ... pursue the charitable and public purposes of lessening the burdens of government and promoting the global public interest...etc AND (4) The Corporation shall operate for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole"

We all know this, but do we begin work this way?

What I propose is that all ICANN work (including our own) start with the question: "How will this impact/benefit Internet users?" In some cases, this can be answered with a simple statement of "Improving DNS Security will improve overall security for the Internet user" OR "Increasing access to ICANN documents will improve transparency to the Internet user". In some projects, this may require a cost-benefit analysis with the global Internet user in mind. So, in general no work should be done and no money should be spent until this question is answered. If the question cannot be answered, or some party refuses to address the issue, ICANN should not undertake the effort.

This is a philosophical change intended to keep the outcomes in line with the mission. My next proposal is a structural change which would bring more of the community into the way it deal with end-users and consumers.


2. Restructuring of ICANN Compliance

In a separate meeting between ALAC and IPC the group came a general consensus that the compliance department be restructured. Users, brand-owners, business and contracted parties are all equally frustrated by the function of compliance. There is an open question about whom the office protects, the Internet, the community or just the organization? Of all functions the compliance appears to touch the Internet user directly when most other functions only do so indirectly. Some of the options to consider are A) Making compliance report directly to the Board, B) Separating legal contract execution from technical compliance investigation, C) Creating a cross-constituency review committee for compliance decisions, D) Completely outsourcing compliance, or some combination of changes.

I put this forward as a item that already has some support from another constituency.


3. Direct Messaging to the Consumer

Look at the ICANN website and you will carefully drafted guides for Lawyers and The Media, but not one for consumers. The "beginners guides" deal with joining At-Large, this is specific about the way ICANN deals with us, not the end-user. We should work directly with staff to create a guide for consumers.

There are other areas, of course, but I wanted to get this started.

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