News, views and what I choose to dos

So what’s happened to the ICANN Board papers?

Category : Internet governance · by Oct 9th, 2010

Nearly two months ago, I reviewed the ICANN Board and staff’s efforts at releasing the information that goes into the Board’s decision-making.

I was pretty scathing – and for good reason. It was a poorly managed, poorly handled, largely pointless exercise that saw huge chunks of information blacked-out for no discernible reason, and provided without notice, on a webpage four pages deep into the ICANN website, in two large PDF documents.

For some reason it reminded me of Douglas Adams’ classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where Arthur outlines exactly how he managed to get his hands on the council’s plans to demolish his house [see below].

So, what has been ICANN’s reaction? Well, it appears to have got upset at not being paraded through the streets for providing the bare minimum of information about decisions that it makes on the community behalf, and so has decided not to bother at all anymore.

It is now 8 October and there are no materials at all for the 5 August meeting, or the 24-25 September meeting of the Board. Which contrasts somewhat with the next-day publication of the September meeting resolutions which the Board wanted published.

It’s really more Kafka than Adams.


“But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

“Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.”

“But the plans were on display …”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a flashlight.”

“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”


(4) comments

Kevin Murphy
11 years ago ·

I believe yesterday was the 30-day deadline for ICANN to respond to Diane Duke’s DIDP request. Have they? Don’t know. The DIDP documents page has been 404ing since Thursday.

avri doria
11 years ago ·

Got to agree with you on this. The ICANN Culture of Secrecy gets more opaque al the time. And to think the AOC was supposed to usher in a new Culture of Transparency.

Are you serious, ICANN staff is backing out of promises because the first redacted experiment was a such a ridiclous bust?


Kieren McCarthy
11 years ago ·

To Avri,

What promises?

The general counsel said at one meeting that the Board would produce materials, subject to review for confidentiality.

Nothing was formally approved. Nothing is in the bylaws. No one was put in charge. There is no mechanism to ensure it ever happens. Or someone is held to account if it isn’t.

Just one more short-term promise aimed at defusing a short-term problem. Focus will be lost, attention move on to new things, new Board members won’t know. And on it goes…

11 years ago ·

First, you ask what promises. then you speak of a promise.
What I understood wasa promise to follow the first experiment with further releases.

Since ICANN staff operatons is a black box, I have no way of knowing if anyone was assigned to do it or not. So all I know is that what I perceived as a promise is not being kept.

But I live in perpetual hope.
And that hope is enough to fuel perpetual persistence.

And it is my persistence, and your persistence and the persistence of others that may in the end prevail.

I hope.


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