NTIA publishes ICANN meeting agenda

I’ve just noticed that the US government has posted the agenda for its meeting on Wednesday where its contract with [tag]ICANN[/tag] – and hence the top level of [tag]Internet[/tag] governance – will be discussed. I was planning to go to Washington but I’ve too much on my plate, so I’m hoping the webcast will work.

The [tag]NTIA[/tag] hasn’t released a summary document of all the comments it received, so here is a link to the summary outline of all the 632 comments that I knocked up last week.

It looks interesting. The USG’s main man for ICANN and the Net, John [tag]Kneuer[/tag] is opening events at 1.30pm, giving a quick introduction and then chairing the first discussion, called “Are the MOU principles relevant and the tasks completed?

Then the audience gets 15 minutes of questions.

Then Meredith [tag]Attwell[/tag] – who is the USG’s person that knows everything about the subject – chairs a second discussion called “Measuring Success: Do stakeholders believe ICANN is fully sustainable?

Then questions. Then ICANN CEO Paul [tag]Twomey[/tag] (spelt Twoomey on the NTIA site) gets 10 minutes for remarks, but – note – no public questions afterwards. And then Kneuer finishes off with another 10-minute “concluding remarks” to end the whole thing at 5pm.

It is, of course, carefully designed to ensure that the NTIA has the ability to control the discussion by having its main people as moderators and by giving both Twomey and Kneuer the closing speeches without questions.

So expect a carefully choreographed performance which will do everything in its power to avoid the very strong consensus that the NTIA should hand over its role to an international body.

And expect Paul Twomey to make out that his plans are in fact what everyone is asking for, when the reality is somewhat different. I predict he will also refuse to agree to any changes that will enhance ICANN’s accountability, or spell out its slipshod appeals process, or hand more negotiating power to Internet users. Which are what everyone asked for in the comments sent to the NTIA.

Nonetheless, it could still be interesting. It all depends on the feeling in the room.

  1. Pity about the absence of any method of input – even if this was a ‘normal’ US-gov event about some mundane fact of domestic policy (for the sake of argument, labelling requirements for fried alligatorburgers), it is a little silly to go to the trouble of organising a webcast (facilitating some measure of one-way access that disregards geography) without having some sort of return path. Even a simple solution like a question form would be useful. If I was trying to run an inclusive process, it would be one of the easiest things to do to establish at least nominal effort towards widening a process. Oh well.

Comments are closed.