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Thursday, February 02, 2006


Silence of the Lambs

What can you conclude when ICANN GNSO constituency members are silent? The Non-Commercial constituency appears to be adopting the position that silence implies consent. This is the very same dangerous position adopted formally by the Business Constituency: "If no comments are received the position will be deemed approved."

One of the NCUC members, Rick Weingarten who represents the American Library Association, makes this

"ALA is a member because we generally support the concerns and objectives of NCUC, but our detailed involvement with these issues waxes and wanes. And, speaking for me as an infrequent participant, the confusing arcanity of ICANN policy, process, and politics makes it hard to dive in at the last minute when we suddenly do see an interest. I suspect that we will become more involved again in the future, particularly on the broader governance questions. But, in the meantime, our silence has to be taken to reflect general consent with what is going on. Otherwise, the NCUC leadership would be paralyzed."

It's a shame that constituency members are equating non-participation and silence on key issues as unqualified support for a constituency position (whatever it might be). Silence should be interpreted as just that -- silence.

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