And here's who will be running the Internet for the next three years
ICANN's loaded nomination game rolls snake eyes. Nineteen times
ICANN has announced who will act as its Board Directors for the next three years. Meeting all expectations, its independent Nominating Committee has chosen people already well known and connected within the ICANN community amid several executives from multi-national corporations that help fund ICANN.
However, critics' accusations that the whole process has been undemocratic and reiterates the charge that the body running the Internet is a self-serving elite, fall short.
Although the Nominating Committee contains a clear majority of people intricately tied with the existing clique running ICANN, and despite the facts that all meetings were carried out behind closed doors to procedures that will not be divulged, ICANN has stuck to the word of its democratic founding creed.
Over-seeing the delayed transition to a full voted-for board was NomCom chair Linda Wilson. Ms Wilson has bravely stayed on the Board since ICANN's inception, despite monthly calls to retire. She has braved criticism for remaining on the Board after she promised to step down after one year. She has also dismissed accusations of abuse when an emergency measure was introduced to give herself and fellow Board members a further two years in charge. She has also faced anger when she again extended her term another two years (something that the ICANN bylaws had to be rewritten to accommodate). And finally, she dealt with malcontents when she and others gave themselves another four years in a ruling position. No one then was better able to preside over who should join the ICANN Board.
Although the Board positions that the Internet community itself directly elects (as written into the founding rules of ICANN) had to be scrapped in order to make way for people who better understood ICANN's aims and motives, the democratic spirit lives on. Five representatives chosen by the At Large Advisory Committee were allowed to vote in NomCom meetings against 12 other representatives from ICANN bodies.
Not only that but members of the public were permitted to put their name forward to be considered by the NomCom. In the end, 110 people offered their services and the Committee wisely chose those names that it was already familiar with and could be certain would do the right job - as defined by ICANN bylaws. The new Net folk heros will be introduced at ICANN's Montreal meeting next week.
So with justice done although not seen to be done, let's review those shining beacons of Internet democracy, as chosen by those that know best. (We have to confess though, the concept of choosing at the same time different groups of differently numbered people to serve entirely different terms follows a logic that can only have come from ICANN.)
Short-term Board members (26 June 2003 - Annual meeting 2003)
- Masanobu Katoh: Already an ICANN director. Fujitsu lawyer. Specialises in intellectual property
- Veni Markovski: ICANN insider. Chair of Internet Society, Bulgaria. [Also gets voted in again automatically until 2006 - see below]
- Hualin Qian: Helped introduce Chinese Internet system. [Also gets voted in again automatically until 2006 - see below]
Medium-term Board members (26 June 2003 - Annual meeting 2004)
- Ivan Moura Campos: Already an ICANN director. Heads the board for Brazil's domain
- Vinton Cerf: Already an ICANN director. In fact ICANN chairman
- Tricia Drakes: Chair of ISOC England. Banker
Long-term Board members (26 June 2003 - Annual meeting 2005)
- Thomas Niles: ICANN insider. US diplomat
- Njeri Rionge: Kenyan businesswoman from marketing background
Real long-term Board members (Annual meeting 2003 - Annual meeting 2006)
- Hagen Hultzsch: Ex-Deutsche Telekom top shot
- Veni Markovski: ICANN insider. Chair of Internet Society, Bulgaria
- Hualin Qian: Helped introduce Chinese Internet system
GNSO Council members
- Amadeu Abril i Abril (until 2004): ICANN insider. There from the very beginning
- Demi Getschko (until 2005): ICANN well-known. Works closely with ICANN director and fellow nominee Ivan Moura Campos
- Alick Wilson (until 2005): New Zealand IT consultant. On NZ IT Association board
Interim At Large Advisory Committee
- Roberto Gaetano (until 2004): ICANN insider. Ex-IBM
- Kenneth Hamma (until 2004): Museum curator. Proposed dismissed .museum TLD
- Sunday Folayan (until 2005): Nigerian businessman. Mainstay of Nigerian Internet Group.
- Tommi Matsumoto (until 2005): Japanese and Asia-Pacific Net representative
- Tadao Takahashi (until 2005): ICANN insider. Chair of Internet Society, Brazil