[discuss] [bestbits] [governance] FW: New Blogpost: Is There a Global Internet Community

Louis Pouzin (well) pouzin at well.com
Wed Apr 1 10:54:36 UTC 2015

Community without a qualifier, is just buzzword.
Here are Merriam-Webster definitions:


: a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or

: a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

: a group of nations

It could be a few, or zillions, of anything. Let's compare with ...


: a group of criminals

: a group of young people who do illegal things together and who often
fight against other gangs

: a group of people who are friends and who do things together

Those definitions are at least much more meaningful.

Anyway, fuzzy expressions are worthless in legal documents.
- - -

On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 11:52 AM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net>

> On Wednesday 01 April 2015 03:23 AM, Michael Gurstein wrote:
>  Some may find this of interest...
> https://gurstein.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/is-there-a-global-internet-community/
> To contextualise Michael's what was much needed exposition to a very
> specific issue, one of the hottest IG issues, pl see the update document on
> IANA stewardship transition
> https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/iana-stewardship-discussion-31mar15-en.pdf
> The term 'community' is freely bandied around as if everyone knows what it
> means, and mind it, this is an authoritative discussion about a new
> institutional mechanism where one needs to know what a term means. Btw,
> they have recruited legal advisers (one need not even check to know that
> they must be US firms but not to digress...) to ensure that whatever they
> come up with is is legally sound, which includes having a clear legal
> meaning. So friends, who are involved in, or are otherwise close, to IANA
> transition process, what does the term 'community' mean in this document -
> is it the larger public affected by the Internet or is it the set of people
> who have traditionally been engaging with ICANN and its associated
> organisations, and are part of its committees, outreach systems and so on.
> Accordingly, I will like to know whether it is the larger public
> accountability of ICANN that is being addressed by the concerned group, or
> its accountability to a narrowly defined group, which too please do define
> for me.
> For instance, one cannot make sense of such important and fundamental
> propositions like the below, without knowing what or who is the 'community'
> .
> (quote from the cited doc begins)
> The group discussed  new mechanisms to empower the community  in  ICANN's
> decision-making processes. In particular, there was general convergence on
> the need to enable the community to :
> # Recall (or "spill") ICANN's Board of Directors
> # Approve or prevent changes to ICANN's Bylaws, Mission and Core Values
> # Reject Board decisions on ICANN's Strategic Plan and budget (where the
> Board has failed to appropriately consider community input)
> ## It was recognized that, while it was clearly important that the ICANN
> Board be accountable to the community, it was also essential for the
> community itself to meet high standards of accountability.
> (ends)
> Community is spoken of as something which can be ascribed clear agency,
> and thus must be clearly definable. Please do define it for us to enable us
> to make any sense of what this group is proposing on an issue which is so
> important for the global public.
> In a doc referenced in the above doc, which is titled "Accountability
> mechanism" and can be found here
> https://community.icann.org/download/attachments/52888740/IRP%20Accountability%20Mechanism%20Template%20.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1426866536000&api=v2
> and I quote from it (this is about possible ways to compose the
> Independent Review Board)
> (begins)
> Members to be nominated by the Board in consultation with the appointment
> by CEO, approved [how?] by community; [possible alternatives whom?
> involving a reversal of the above (i.e. community nomination and Board
> approval)] [Also consider external vetting or rating schemes for
> nominees, i.e., third party organization such as ICDR could
> appoint/nominate subject to confirmation.]
>   (ends)
> We can make no sense of all this without clearly knowing what or who is
> the 'community' here. Please help.
> Thanks, parminder
> *M*
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