ICANN Public Meeting Details 

Meeting Proceedings Archive 

Meeting held in Suntec City, Downtown Singapore
March 2, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Official Transcript  •  Audio/Video Archive  •  Contact Information 

Membership Advisory Committee

Open Meeting

At-Large Membership:
For the users of the Internet, while SOs for supply side of the internet

Committee membership: Twelve members chosen from eighty applicants. Six telephone meetings, three or four partial meetings in person.

Board to make decision in May 25 meeting in Berlin after period of public comment.

The MAC members (see http://www.icann.org/macbios.html for more details)

  1. Izumi Aizu: Secretary General of Asia Pacific Internet Association
  2. Tadao Takahashi: Chair of Brazilian chapter of the Internet Society.
  3. Diane Cabell: Lawyer from Boston
  4. Kanchana Kanchuanasut: Associate Professor of Computer Science at Asian Institute of Technology.
  5. Pavan Duggal: Founder of Cyberlaw Association, associated with UN Development Program.
  6. George Conrades: Venture capitalist in Boston.
  7. Greg Crew: ICANN Board, Australia.
  8. Oscar Robles: Vice President of Latin American & Caribbean Netowrks Forum.
  9. Siegfried Langenbach: Owner of a German ISP.
  10. Daniel Kaplan: Consultant in strategic marketing, France.
  11. Nii Quaynor: Computer scientist, President of Internet Society chapter in Ghana.
  12. Jonathan Zittrain: Executive Director of Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School.
  13. Present in the meeting

  14. Chuck Gomes, NSI
  15. Raoul Fuentes, CIGREF, France
  16. Bernard Randall, Singapore Computer Society, ISOC Chapter
  17. Peter Valrosa,
  18. Frank Fitzsimmons, Dun & Bradstreet, ICANN board
  19. David Lerdell, Stockholm Center for Organizational Research, Sweden
  20. Ole Jacobsen, Cisco, Internet Society
  21. Teddy Purwadi, APJII, Indonesia
  22. Masaya Toma, Embassy of Japan, Singapore
  23. Wolfgang Kleinwaechter, Germany
  24. Michael Sondow, Chairman of ICIIU
  25. Joop Teernstra, founder of Democratic Association of Domain Name Holders
  26. David Chou, Taipei Rep. Office
  27. Robert Hall, CAIP
  28. Van Roste, UUNET
  29. Rahmet M Samik-Ibrahim
  30. Hiro Hotta

Who can be an at-large member? What kinds of rights does at-large membership provide?

  1. MAC Consensus
    1. At-large membership should not be limited to IP address holders or domain name holders.
    2. Organizations should be allowed to become members, but no consensus on voting rights.
    3. Only organizations that are not members of SOs should be at-large members.
  2. Voting Rights
    1. No member should have more than one vote. But perhaps some members should have no votes (organizations).
    2. Do organizations have one or zero votes?
    3. If organizations are to be given votes, shall the representatives casting their ballots also get individual votes? Perhaps no individual allowed to represent more than one organization. Then no incentive to create false organizations, only false individuals.
    4. How to prevent capture by organizations?
    5. Options – could not reach consensus
      1. Only individuals vote. Corporations/organizations have an advisory role but no vote.
      2. Corporations/organizations get a vote. (7 to 4 majority on the MAC)
    6. Audience comments
      1. Please identify yourself with organizatoinal affiliation.
      2. Speak loudly into the microphone: if you can’t hear yourself through the loudspeakers, the remote participants can’t hear you!
      3. Can individuals who are members of SOs also be at-large members? Problem of double-voting. Perhaps fee will be sufficient to discourage double memberships.
      4. The primary point of at-large membership is ability to elect directors. Why should only SO members be able to propose policy? SOs aren’t reserved for professionals, but need to have a place for the user, to cast vote as "citizen"
        1. Recommend: individuals have the same vote as organizations and corporations. No suggestion in the bylaws that some members have no vote – all three should have equal voting rights.
        2. If no vote to organizations, they still have influence through their individual members.
      5. Why isn’t there a hierarchy in the voting system? Regulation of limited resource. It makes sense to give a larger say to those with expertise, experience in the area.
        1. Expect that debate to occur in and among SOs; most proposals from SOs ICANN board will listen to their recommendations.
        2. The SOs are separate organizations
        3. Simpler, perhaps, to say at-large is just for individuals. Organization members can vote for their organization’s interests.
      6. Driving force, to ensure balance of interests on the board. Motivation
        1. Trying to encourage other at-large members, beyond those active in SOs
      7. Considered classes of at-large members, but committee has rejected (for the moment). It is very difficult to classify organizations around the world. How do you define a class, and what rights it gets?
      8. If organizational members can’t vote, why are they members?
        1. Coming in a different window of the same church. Organization’s representatives can vote as individuals.

Membership Qualifications

  1. Proof of citizenship?
  2. Address of incorporation?
  3. Consensus that lack of criminal record should not be a qualification – for benefit of dissidents.
  4. Consensus that communal email address the minimal connectivity requirement, private email preferable.
  5. Audience comments (membership qualifications)
    • What would be the procedure to become a member? How to apply? Is there a right to be a member, or could applicants be rejected?
      • Quaynor: Applicants who satisfy the objective criteria can be members.
      • Duggal: Should be concerned about cyber-crime.
      • Kaplan: Qualifications are objective, so no need for a review committee beyond verification that the necessary documentation has been received.
      • Crew: Need a simple membership system – easy to understand and administer. Perhaps one member has one unique email address. Consider the difficulty of validating information sent in.
    • Gomes: Need to plan for changes of email address. Consider NSI’s problem – this would be similar.
      • Crew: Agreed – need a system to deal with this.
      • Quaynor: Requirements should be minimal so as to encourage membership.
    • How to lose membership? Does it last forever?
      • Cabell: As long as a member continues to pay the fee (if any), can remain indefinitely.
      • Kaplan: The fee might be recurring; committee didn’t discuss this specifically but it was understood that renewal would be necessary and that there would be an accompanying renewal charge.
    • Need to adjust fee according to ability to pay.
      • Conrades: Time to discuss fees.


  1. Reasons for fees
    • Recover costs of having a membership (or of running ICANN)
      • But hard to imagine collecting more than a minimal amount of ICANN’s budget this way.
    • Help reduce fraud
  2. Grace period – since want a large membership as soon as possible, perhaps waive fees initially
  3. How to accept payments – mail requires processing staff, perhaps some people can’t pay via credit card over the net (no browser or inadequate security, no credit card)
  4. Possible fee structures
    • $35 for members, scaled to $12 in developing countries. ISOC spends $10 to register and service each member.
    • Kanchuanasut: Individual members shouldn’t have to pay anything at all.
    • Aizu: Flexible fee scheme: pay what you think it’s worth, ie contributions.
      • Kaplan: Don’t want sponsorships to unduly influence ICANN.
    • Duggal: No fee at all – why should people have to pay at all for the privilege of joining, at least during an initial experimental period?
    • Perhaps ICANN could sell address space.
  5. Audience comments (fees)
    • Sondow: ICANN needs to be self-funding, else it will continue to take large amounts of corporate sponsorship. If ICANN to be a membership organization, it needs to be supported by its membership.
    • Teernstra: A good idea to start ICANN without a membership fee – will help ICANN gain a large membership. Perhaps can continue without a fee forever.
    • Fee should depend on economic prosperity of countries.
    • Some people are already paying their share of ICANN’s expenses through domain names – shouldn’t have to pay again through at-large membership.

Member Registration

  1. Random process of verification before or after the election
  2. Would like to use completely online registration system. But verification might require some real world correspondence.
  3. No election will be fraud-free. To what lengths and expense should ICANN go to minimize fraud?
    • A particular election might have little enough at stake (in proportion to the power exercised by the remainder of the board) that no one would go to such great length to steal it, or it wouldn’t devastate the organization if someone did.
    • Too much validation could paralyze the organization as it deals with challenges to authenticity of an election.


  1. Nomination
    • Article V section 9c
    • Options:
      • Self-nomination
      • Nomination by others
      • Nominations require accompanying petition of support
      • Nominating committee
  2. Criteria for selection of candidates
    • Proof of identify / adulthood
    • Proof of citizenship
    • Biography
    • Brief statement of position on issues
    • Disclose sources of income to avoid conflict of interest
    • Agree to spend sufficient time completing duties of the office
    • Bear own burden of translation
      • Kaplan: ICANN should, perhaps not immediately, provide translators as necessary
    • Must not be a government official
  3. Campaign activities to encourage
    • Perhaps require (or at least offer) participation in an online discussion forum
  4. Audience comments
    • Teernstra: Should require a minimum amount of support for nomination, perhaps five supporters.
      • But what about people who don’t know enough other interested people, or who are in geographic regions without many other ICANN members (potential nominators)?
        • Perhaps not so hard to find supporters by using Internet discussion space.

Regional representation

  • Required by article V, section 6. 3 of the Bylaws conditions for diversity
    • At least one citizen from each of 5 geog. regions on the board at all times
    • No more than ˝ of the total number of directors shall be from one geog region
    • No more than half of total at large directors nominated after choice of SOs shall be from one geog region.
  • Propose that the SOs also be required to meet regional representation requirements.
  • Bylaws: at-large membership required to have regional rep, while SOs are not.
  • Should members from a region be allowed only to vote for candidates from that region? Minority of a global vote might not produce a representative board.
  • Problem of maintaining geographic diversity while electing only three directors each year. Rotation system.
  • Questions from audience
    • Sondow: Concern that half of directors might be from a single geographic region. Should cap North America at less than a half, perhaps a third or a quarter.
    • Is the MAC proposing to the board that they change the bylaws?
      • Conrades: Yes.
    • Apparent inconsistency between "one vote per individual" and voting for multiple board members.
      • Perhaps instead think along the lines of "one ballot per individual"


    Producing something written to take forward

    (revise the preliminary document with the notes from today’s meeting and MAC consensus)

    At-large/SO crossover

      • We don’t know what the SOs are doing, so can’t premise MAC decision on their plans.
      • Shouldn’t discriminate among classes of individuals
      • Purpose of at-large is to have the users represented
        • Numbers problem if we say we don’t care about crossover. The SO members may be numerous, motivated.
        • For organizations, consensus that SO members could not be represented in at-large, whether or not they voted – voting in two different contexts,
        • But for individuals, not such an issue
        • Policing difficulties (organization can ask someone else to cast a vote for it), but ask for self-identification.
          • Guidelines
      • How many support the idea that any individual can be be an individual member of the at-large membership?
        • (in favor of permitting crossover for individuals)
        • 6 in favor.
          • Problem with treating individuals differently from companies
          • Constricting principle: anyone registering must declare that he is not a member of an SO
        • But an individual may have several different interests
        • The size of the at-large membership may determine how much effect double-counting has
        • At-large is reaching for a broad-based constituency
      • General principle: at-large as catch all for constituency not represented in SOs.
        • How specifically you need to draw rules against crossover will depend on the way SOs form
        • Other linked concerns: quorums, sunrise/sunset provisions.
          • Census: if the membership doesn’t look right after starting, leave room to change the structure
        • Go after large number of members

    Fishkin model – a way to think about capture

    Time Magazine’s "Person of the Century" contest: best leader, politician, artist.

    Internet voting

    Winner: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – in almost all categories

    One constituency managed to mobilize (though their individual votes were legitimate, everyone had a chance to vote)

    Or – representing not "just the activists" but what everyone would want if they all voted

    Is this a fair return for those who organized, or a capture of the process?

    Fishkin model: poll a randomly selected sample, after bringing them together to discuss, hear from all sides

    Sunrise and sunset provisions

    Critical to ensure that membership gets off to a strong start.

    Suggestion: do membership outreach, take preliminary registrations, analyze that data to see the demographic makeup. If that’s a broad-based membership, accept the registrants, if not, leave registration open longer and/or find another structure for membership

    Combine sunrise provision/fees: start with a zero-fee initial membership.

    Don’t leave it for the board to decide whether or not it likes the membership’s results

    Key to market the organization. include membership promotion in the role of registrars.

    Define what is broad enough base to be satisfactory, before starting registration.

    1. What happens if the DNSO has at-large members?
      • At-large individual membership – no provision to exclude individuals.
      • Conrades: no problem if individual at-large members are involved in SOs
      • Duggal: don’t give them a double benefit.
      • Kanchuanasut: individual has a different interest and motive when acting as individual in at-large and in SO.
      • Could monitor by managing membership of SOs through ICANN
      • Separate voting for directors from policymaking? Ask them to choose which directors they vote for
    2. Exclusion of organizational members of SOs from at-large membership
    3. At-large membership to represent the users, the individuals who don’t fit into the SO categories
    4. Double voting issue: not so significant if we have a large membership, so long as affiliations are made clear.
      • Issue if candidates run in both SO and at-large elections?
    5. Census. See if many at-large members are also members of SOs – where the influence is coming from


    For additional information, please contact:

    Ben Edelman and Wendy Seltzer
    Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School