Monday, January 24, 2005

Auerbach on Bush Inaugural Address

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In an article entitled "Wanna Bet He Won't Apply It To His Own Government?", former North American ICANN At-Large Director Karl Auerbach writes:

"In President Bush's Second Inaugural Address the President said:

"it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture"
Does he really mean this? If so then let him begin at home, with his own Department of Commerce, in particular the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and its internet guild, ICANN.

ICANN, as we well know, was established through the efforts of NTIA. The Department of Commerce has several agreements with ICANN. NTIA and the Dep't of Commerce yearly, if not more frequently, endorse ICANN's actions and promote ICANN as a model institution of internet governance. If ICANN is not technically an arm of the Executive (Presidential) branch of the US Government, then it is certainly the well tended fruit of that government.

Those governmental contracts and endorsements have included an acceptance of ICANN's repudiation of ICANN express obligation to bring the public into its decision-making forums and processes.

If President Bush means what he says then he ought to require his own Department of Commerce to bring the principle of "democratic movements and institutions" to the internet and require ICANN to live up to its promises to let the public elect at least half of ICANN's Board of Directors."

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