home Domains Scam as ICANN Sponsors Members of Government (GAC)

Scam as ICANN Sponsors Members of Government (GAC)

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Includes the African Batch!

On 22 August 2013, the ICANN Board approved the FY14 Operating Plan and Budget.  The document describes the planned core operations and project activities, aligned with the required funding, for the 2014 fiscal year.  These funded project activities are based on ICANN’s strategic priorities as documented in the adopted three year 2013-2015 Strategic Plan, and includes input taken from comments and feedback received from the community on the draft Operating Plan and Budget posted on 10 May 2013.


ICANN also has revealed the spending for the ICANN meetings. In the reports for the last two ICANN meetings held in Beijing and Durban ICANN spent on NON STAFFERS. What has come to irk the Internet community is the budgetary tag allocated to GAC.


For the Beijing meeting, ICANN spent approximately:
$38,646.29 on 9 Members of GAC and a staggering 88,747.39 for the latest Durban Meet in South Africa.


One individual on reading this added that within these budgetary allocations,

“In addition to the above costs [entire ICANN budget], ICANN developed a couple of regional strategies this year (Middle East Strategy, Asia Strategy, Latin American Strategy… etc), and all of them required funding Internet experts from respective regions to attend such events and contribute to the discussions”

one even took a general swipe saying

 “This freeloading has been going on for many years, and is getting worse. It was called “Club Med for Geeks” for a reason”


According to the GAC,

“Membership of the GAC is open to all national governments and distinct economies as recognized in international fora. Multinational governmental organizations and treaty organizations may join the GAC as observers.”

From this one would expect that governments would be the sponsoring organization to these meetings in order to be able to take a stable stake in the discussions and claim its space and place and a stakeholder of the ICANN “multistakeholder’ model.


It seems that the ICANN purse plays a hand in managing how some decisions are made. The budgetary allocation for sponsoring of a total of 39 delegates representing GAC with a per Diem of $22,480 for only two meetings would certainly influence how GAC members are bound to treat some decisions. A proverb goes “he who pays the piper calls the tune” and thus perfectly inferable in this context.


With the new gTLDS being the main focus in the ICANN daily duties including the tri-annual meetings globally,  GAC’s input which has mostly been criticized as sometimes unnecessary and tyrannical by applicants comes into play.  If ICANN sponsors GAC and dearly stretches its budget and even offering Per Diems, GAC’s input would be weakly fair.


ICANN is the custodian of the Domains Root, with these comes the need for transparency and also neutrality to avoid putting stakeholders at loggerheads. However its direct influence based on some of the decisions taken by the GAC/NGPC/Governance Committee among others coupled with the conflict of interest within the board its difficult to explain how the system can rid itself of friendly decisions.


Applications that fall victim to ICANN sponsored Government Advise:

From current application, I can see .africa and .amazon falling victim of GAC consensus and Advise while the Governments who were never interested have come in the scam of a controversial initiative by the handlers of .africa as that has been put forward as the ICANN Africa strategy to increase  “Africa Participation and influence”, during the Prague  meeting, to which DotConnectAfrica has fired an immediate response.


Brent Donald

This is my collection of some of the things I find interesting from art, design, internet culture, technology and advertising and scoops I get from colleagues and my searches. Internet technology is one of the best technologies that we have been afforded to utilize accordingly.

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