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Friday, February 03, 2006


The GAC Public Forum

From the UDRPlaw blog: "At the ICANN Annual Meeting in Vancouver, the Government Advisory Committee launched a Public Forum section on the GAC website. To date, there have been only been four comments posted to the Public Forum, all by ALAC members, none by GAC representatives themselves... The Wellington meeting is fast approaching. It would be beneficial for all interested parties if GAC representatives and members of the Internet community were making greater use of the GAC Public Forum."

The blog makes a good point, even though it contains one factual error -- the very first post to the GAC Public Forum was not from an ALAC member, and neither was the last -- even so, it remains admittedly difficult for members of the at-large public that participate in ICANN matters to interact with this thoroughly non-transparent body. The GAC's working groups maintain no publicly archived mailing lists and there are no meeting transcripts.

Writing to such a forum is somewhat akin to taping a note onto a brick and throwing it over a wall -- it's of limited value (unless you happen to enjoy sending messages that always go unanswered). If the GAC doesn't soon adopt some of the modalities that we expect to see emerge in the UN's upcoming Internet Governance Forum, then you can expect even fewer public comments in the future.

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