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Re: [ga] Maintenance and Management of the GA

  • To: GA the DNSO <ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [ga] Maintenance and Management of the GA
  • From: Avri Doria <avri@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 09:58:43 -0400


Until the recent change in the Bylaws, it was my belief that the existence of the list was mandated by the Bylaws. While Denise Michel has recently explained to the GNSO council that we were supposed to have transformed this into a constituent's list, this was not an interpretation I had ever heard before or came up with myself. Since become chair of the GNSO council, I have read every message that came out on this list with concern of what, if anything the council was empowered to actually do, other then maintain the list. When a group of list members came to the council asking to create a set of rules and a charter for usage of the list, the council agreed to the list's attempt at self governance. I was personally hopeful at the time, and am disappointed that the effort fell apart.

But as I said, I never thought it was within the GNSO Council purview to close down the list or change its character in any top down way. Once the list established its own rule set, I thought it was fine to let it self administer, and until that broke down recently, I thought I saw improvement in the dynamics of the list.

Now with the newly approved Bylaws that leave out any mention of the GA list, or of GNSO Council responsibility for the list, I believe that the GNSO council may no longer have any responsibilities with regard to the list - but I have inquired of legal counsel and the VP of Policy to make sure.

Personally speaking, and in general, I think having a list that is open to all, whether they are constituents/registrants or not, is a good idea. Yes, I also believe the list should be managed according to rules for proper usage, and I think that the rules that had been developed by the list itself in a bottom-up manner last year were a good start. I hope the list can be helped back to the point where those rules again become operative.

And of course I support Chuck's call for more of the participants on this list to engage in the working groups and other efforts being created within the restructured GNSO.

So do answer your question, no, I do not think this list should be shut down. I think it should be helped back to a state of usefulness. I must accept blame for my inability to do so within my tenure as chair of the GNSO council, but I repeat, I really did think the list had made a start of it, until just recently.

One note on elections of a new chair: It could be, and has been, argued that the inability of the past chair of the list (per its self defined charter) to hold elections as he was required to do at the end of his tenure was in part responsible for the breakdown. I understand his request, although extremely belated, of help from ICANN in holding these elections, and I understand the reasons why ICANN felt it could not oblige. However, there are several ways to hold elections and insisting that it was either ICANN based election mechanisms or nothing makes no sense to me. I belong to several groups that have elections and have found there is often someone who is wiling to help.

In sort, it may be quixotic of me to believe this, but I do believe in the principle of this list and do believe it could be made useful again.


On 25 Sep 2009, at 09:10, Thomas Narten wrote:

I do not understand what purpose this list serves and why the GNSO
does not just turn it off. The mere existance of the list would imply
that ICANN somehow supports it, and the naive individual might think
this list is a place to learn things of importance or to participate

The GA no longer exists within ICANN and hasn't for more years than I
have been participating in ICANN...

I would welcome a forum where general discussion of matters of
importance to ICANN could be discussed in a thoughtful manner. But
this list clearly does achieve such a goal, by almost any metric one
could imagine. (My favorite metric is that Jeff Williams dominates
this list in terms of number of postings, which pretty much says it


Does anyone else besides me think that the GNSO should simply
acknowledge the uselessness of this list and shut the list down?

And if so, how do we make it so?


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