[discuss] Current drive

Sivasubramanian M isolatedn at gmail.com
Thu Apr 3 21:12:23 UTC 2014

This part of what Wolfgang wrote is very well said:

> ICANN has recognized that it does not live isolated but is part of a
> broader Internet Governance Ecosystem. If ICANN want
> ​s​
> to continue to manage its core business correctly, it has also to invest
> into an environment which allows to do this.

​If this is agreed, then we also need to agree that such an effort requires
resources, though I wouldn't brand the flow of revenues as "taxes" or
"rent". If ICANN acknowledges its broader role and starts "investing" in
​broader causes of Global Public interest of importance to the Internet,
then Michael Gurstein's "other points" are automatically answered.

I would consider the multi-stakeholder model of ICANN as a model barely 15
years old, so in its crawling stage of infancy (Compare it with Democracy
which is over 2000 years old :) ) For a model of Governance that is barely
15 years old, ICANN has done exceedingly well. If we could acknowledge it
this way, then it becomes easier to contribute to make the ICANN governance
better in areas where improvements are needed.

Sivasubramanian M

On Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 1:30 AM, John Curran <jcurran at istaff.org> wrote:

> On Apr 3, 2014, at 2:33 PM, michael gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com> wrote:
> But a couple of other points:
> 1.       ICANN’s privileged position in the Internet gives it the
> opportunity to obtain significant revenues from the Internet—some have
> described this as “rent” others as a “tax” on the Internet and/or Internet
> users.
> 2.       Given the nature of ICANN’s role and history these funds I would
> argue are in a sense funds collected on behalf of the entire Internet
> community which I, at least, would define as everyone since everyone in the
> world is now in one way or another impacted by the Internet, with
> increasing numbers more directly involved in contributing either directly
> or indirectly to the content and operation of the Internet. (If these funds
> are not collected on behalf of the global internet community who in fact
> are they being collected for and by what authority?)
> ...
> Michael -
>    If ICANN is collecting more than is necessary for fulfilling its
> mission regarding
>    coordination and stability of Internet identifier system (including
> appropriate and
>    conservative reserve development given such its very important
> mission), then
>    that should be fixed; it represents a simple governance challenge with
> respect
>    to those paying for the services and the overall cost of delivery.
>    Repainting the funds as a "tax" in the public trust, and then
> establishing a regime
>    for management of them would change the nature of ICANN, effectively
> creating
>    "taxation" powers that  would normally be reserved for governments, and
> completely
>    without need, purely resulting from the avoidance of addressing what
> should be
>    a simple issue.
>    There are associations which coordinate systems such as credit card
> numbers and
>    bar codes, and charge the organizations who use those systems, with the
> resulting
>    imputed costs passed along as a nominal component of what is seen by
> the public.
>    I'd prefer that none of these organizations starting pretending to be
> governmental
>    taxation authorities by collecting more than they need for their narrow
> mission; the
>    same logic applies to ICANN in its mission of coordination of the
> Internet identifier
>    spaces.
> Thanks!
> /John
> Disclaimer:  My views alone.
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Sivasubramanian Muthusamy
India +91 99524 03099
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