[discuss] The public interest and ICANN

Nkem Nweke nkem_nwk at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 3 14:34:44 UTC 2014

Welldone Jordan.
     I agree with you. It is the communities place to determine what the public interest is

Nkemdilim Nweke
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-------- Original message --------
From: Jordan Carter <jordan at internetnz.net.nz> 
Date:03/09/2014  13:37  (GMT+01:00) 
To: discuss at 1net.org, ianaxfer at elists.isoc.org 
Subject: [discuss] The public interest and ICANN 

Hi all

Here's something to mull on. 

In a couple of situations recently - the panel that Vint chaired a few months ago and in the ICANN Town Hall meeting on Friday - there's been some use made of the concept of the public interest as a guiding principle for ICANN (including its stewardship of the DNS, and operation of the IANA functions).

I think we need to be careful about this idea, and here's why.

The public interest is secured by an open single Internet, and the technical coordination of the DNS and the other IANA functions contribute to that. All of those functions are done in the service of a wide array of other organisations - communities, if you will. 

ICANN serves the public interest by being the common platform where this coordination happens. It serves the public interest by serving its communities and its customers faithfully.

If there was a perceived gap in ICANN's mind between what the "public interest" is, and what the interests of ICANN's communities are, then there is a mistake being made somewhere.

To put it another way, I think we should be very firm that it is not ICANN's job to determine what the public interest IS in relation to its work. It is the job of the communities that work together in ICANN's multistakeholder framework to do that. ICANN provides the framework, not the answers.

There is no abstract public interest for ICANN to guard. It guards the public interest by faithfully serving the Internet Community.


Jordan Carter

Chief Executive 

04 495 2118 (office) | +64 21 442 649 (mob)
jordan at internetnz.net.nz 
Skype: jordancarter

To promote the Internet's benefits and uses, and protect its potential.

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