January 27, 2004

ALAC a bust in North America

Has anyone noticed that the only groups that have decided to apply to become ICANN /ALAC "structures" are small groups outside of North America? (See http://alac.icann.org/applications/)

Why is this the case?

My guess is that most people in North America reject the ICANN/ALAC demand that we abandon a fundamental principle of democracy - the right to discuss matters and form coalitions without having to obtain permission from the government (in this case ICANN/ALAC.)

Here in the United States we can form groups without telling the government our purpose and goals nor are we obligated to disclose and explain our finances, membership, and political stratagies on the internet. But ICANN/ALAC demands this. Here in the United States we can form political groups without having to be "certified" by the government. But ICANN/ALAC requires it.

It is bad that ICANN imposes these dreadful conditions on individuals who wish to engage in internet governance via ICANN. But what might otherwise be merely bad is made repugnant by the fact that ICANN imposes these conditions on individuals but not on ICANN's other "stakeholder" bodies.

It is no wonder that ICANN's ALAC has been a dud since it was first announced nearly two years ago. It is no wonder that those who are interested in public participation and public accountability in matters of internet governance have begun to ignore ICANN and are working more and more through their governments and civil society groups.

Posted by karl at January 27, 2004 5:24 PM