ICANN: the Internet's answer to Stalin

What's wrong with a bit of history rewriting?

There is apparently no end to ICANN's God-like arrogance. Not content with turning the Internet into more and more of a gentlemen's club, it is now attempting to do the old dictator's trick of rewriting history to eliminate its enemies.

ICANN is planning to overwrite its own bylaws to give itself more power over who is elected to the board, pulling power directly away from the Internet community.

Anyone with an Internet connection could have voted for the recently elected "at-large" ICANN representatives, making it perhaps the only true form of democracy the world has ever seen. However, those sitting on ICANN's board have already restricted the influence of the "at-large" representatives. It was also an indication of the anger levelled at ICANN that those chosen as the "at-large" representatives were among the most ferocious critics of ICANN's past behaviour.

Now, however, ICANN - despite publicly stated pledges to the opposite - intends to reduce the number of directly elected representatives from nine to five and even remove the public from a right to vote in future elections.

We don't wish to get into ICANN's very legality here, but the disdain with which this secretive organisation has treated the rules produced during its inception is extremely worrying. The board has already changed the bylaws relating to its makeup - giving directors longer terms.

Currently, those elected by the Internet community stand for two years and are automatically replaced. Directors on the other hand stand for three and remain in the job until elections are called. The unelected directors have already extended their own terms three times.

The fear is that during an upcoming "clean-slate review", the board will vote to exclude publicly voted representatives in the future. It apparently has the right to do so. ®

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