April 3, 2005

ICANN Versus the College of Cardinals - Which Is More Opaque and Closed?

A few years ago I suggested that we know more about how the college of cardinals selects a new pope than we know about how ICANN makes its decisions.  (My suggestion was picked up and repeated by Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts.)

It is sad when anyone passes.  And the loss of a major world figure, particularly one with a strong sense of ethics and morality (even if we individually may differ on certain specific issues) is not a matter to be taken lightly.

Nevertheless, such things do happen.  We now have an opportunity to put my claim to the test.

ICANN is meeting in Argentina this week.  If anything ICANN has become even more opaque and closed than it was back in year 2000 when I first made the comparison between the selection of a new pope and ICANN's opaque and closed processes.

Perhaps ICANN can demonstrate that it can leap over the exceedingly low hurdle of being more open and transparent than the college of cardinals.

But the outlook is poor.

There is already reason to believe that ICANN won't be successful in that effort.  Already it has been reported that a major amount of time was spent, or rather wasted, trying to seal a meeting that is supposed to be open to public inspection, if not to public participation.

The internet is not governed by a Pope and ICANN is not a College of Cardinals.  We the community of internet users deserve better than the secrecy and unaccountability that ICANN has been feeding us ever since it was formed.

Posted by karl at April 3, 2005 10:04 PM