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RE: [ga] ICANN and censorship (and ombudsman ineffectiveness)

  • To: "'GNSO GA Mailing List'" <ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, debbie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: RE: [ga] ICANN and censorship (and ombudsman ineffectiveness)
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 08:30:28 -0700 (PDT)

Hi Debbie,

--- On Fri, 9/25/09, Debbie Garside <debbie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Perhaps, as an exercise in transparency, the Ombudsman
> could publish details
> of the complaints.  Or is this already the case?

Complainants should have the option to waive "confidentiality" if they want 
their complaint on the public record. I'm sure many would agree to do that.

As an example, in the Ombudsman's annual report:


He boasts on page 3 about how most correspondence is responded to
within "24 hours, or 48 hours if I was traveling." Yet, read Ombudsman File 
09-29, which was filed by the Internet Commerce Association:


The complaint was filed on April 21, 2009. Yet the ombudsman waited until 
*after* the IRT completed its work to issue a report! As the ICA said:

"It is inexcusably late."

The ombudsman likes to think he has a lot of happily served customers. Yet, on 
page 6 of the IRT complaint PDF he dismisses issues of process and tardiness as 
simply "malicious and fallacious" and considered his work a "prompt and timely 

Normally when ICANN makes announcements, like they did at:


they open a public comment period. Why don't they do it in this instance? Have 
the ombudsman be compelled to send out an announcement to anyone who has 
submitted a complaint in the past, or had to respond to one in the past that 
they have an opportunity to comment on the annual report.

Then, instead of the propaganda that appears on page 15 of the annual report 
like "well done" and "I was very pleasantly surprised", the public and the 
ICANN community might actually see what "customers" of the Ombudsman think of 
his work.

One can see Karl's comments at:


for example:

"The core of your document is not respect but self emasculation:"


"I agree with John Levine that ICANN's org chart needs a good pruning and
that the ombudsman is a good place to make the first small cut."


"The current office of the ombudsman has done little to fill the gap that
was created when ICANN erased elected directors, positions that are far
better equipped and more solidly legally empowered to redress ICANN
errors than any ombudsman.

Over the last few years the number of ICANN errors that have been
redressed through board member intervention has vastly outnumbered the
instances of the ombudsman doing anything at all. Witness, for example
the RegisterFly disaster.

What I am getting at is this - we, the community of internet users, paid
dearly when elected board seats were lost. We received scant
compensating value in the emasculated office of the ombudsman."

or that of John Levine:


"ICANN's Ombudsman, who has never had more than a trickle of complaints to 
justify his position, now will be Hall Monitor, or perhaps Head Censor, which 
will allow him to invent cases at will.

It's been clear for years that the Ombudsman experiment is a failure, 
adding neither clarity nor fairness to ICANN's process.  It's long past 
time to delete Article V from the ICANN bylaws and bring the experiment to 
an end.  If ICANN wants to be credible and transparent, it needs fewer, 
simpler processes."

So, in conclusion, a comment period should be opened up, in order to eventually 
lead to an independent review, audit and assessment of the performance of the 
the Ombudsman.


George Kirikos

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