January 28, 2005

Wow, I Must Be Scary

I notice how much energy the US Government is expending in order to endorse and support relatively open and public elections in Iraq despite the potential that people who oppose the status quo government might be elected.

By comparison I note how little energy the US Government (via the US Department of Commerce and its sub-agency NTIA) have expended to endorse and support the restoration of relatively open and public elections in NTIA's foster child, ICANN.

There are a lot of really scary people - people who might have more than a passing relationship with the kind of nasty folks who shoot guns, fire RPG's, and launch mortar rounds into their opponents or innocents - who could win in Iraq.  Yet the US and Iraq are moving forward.  (We all might want to pause for a moment this weekend and launch into the luminiferous ether a thought of peace and good will with a hope for a stable outcome to the election.)

ICANN, with the backing of the US Government, dropped public elections.  The unstated reason was that they were afraid that more people like myself or Andy Mueller-Maguhn might be elected.  (There is little doubt in my mind that I would have been re-elected had ICANN permitted an election.)

I guess that in the world of ICANN and the US Department of Commerce, the chance that Andy Mueller-Maguhn or I might be re-elected to ICANN is more to be feared than the chance that some unsavory folks might be elected in Iraq.

It is pretty obvious that ICANN's "reformed" board selection process has resulted in exactly what it was intended to do: fill the Board of Directors with quiet timid creatures who are afraid to ask questions, afraid to demand accountability, afraid to focus ICANN, afraid to impose onto ICANN a clear job description, and afraid hold ICANN to that description.  The individual directors of ICANN have made themselves so insignificant that it is hard to remember who they are.

ICANN is in at least as much need of publicly elected board members as Iraq is in need of a publicly elected government.

Posted by karl at January 28, 2005 3:27 PM