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[I-coordination] The self correcting nature of the American system? Judge rules against NSA tapping program. Snowden vindicated?

Shatan, Gregory S. GShatan at
Tue Dec 17 22:46:52 CET 2013

I think there are a variety of myths/"urban legends" around ICANN, and the "IPC runs ICANN" myth is one of them..  As a member of the IPC, it is probably in my best interests to have you believe that the IP community has some sort of outsize amount of influence in ICANN.  For better or worse, that's not the case.  If I had joined the IPC for the thrill of wielding immense hidden power, I would have been sorely disappointed.  Of course, the IPC has a voice, but it is one among many, and not one with any outsize influence.  I tend to feel more like Sisyphus than Zeus....

Consider the current GNSO Council configuration, where the Registries and Registrars have 6 seats each and the NCSG has 6 seats (5 of which are currently held by NCUC members and 1 by an NPOC member), while the IPC has only 2 seats (along with the Business Constituency and the ISP Constituency, which also have 2 seats each).  Consider that prior to 2009, there were 6 equal constituencies (of which IPC was one) -- when the GNSO Council was restructured the registry, registrar and noncommercial constituencies were each elevated to stakeholder group status, while the IPC, BC and ISPCPC were all put into one stakeholder group.  Whatever one thinks of the wisdom of that change, that does not sound like "running ICANN" to me....

Meanwhile, regarding the GAC -- I think that over the last year or so (since Beijing?), the GAC has been ascendant.  So while "governments" do not "run ICANN," the GAC has had a very strong say in the outcomes of a number of recent issues relating to the new gTLDs, among other things.  Their relative influence cannot be ignored.  Going forward, the relationship between GAC "policy advice" and GNSO "policy recommendations" will be an interesting one indeed.  Let's see how the IGO/INGO policy recommendations from the GNSO fare at the Board, which has already received contradictory GAC policy advice.

(My opinions are my own and not those of the IPC or my employer.)

Best regards,

Greg Shatan

Gregory S. Shatan
Reed Smith LLP
599 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
212.549.0275 (Phone)
917.816.6428 (Mobile)
212.521.5450 (Fax)
gshatan at

-----Original Message-----
From: i-coordination-bounces at [mailto:i-coordination-bounces at] On Behalf Of Carlos A. Afonso
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 11:38 AM
To: McTim
Cc: i-coordination at; korg at; Ali Hussein
Subject: Re: [I-coordination] The self correcting nature of the American system? Judge rules against NSA tapping program. Snowden vindicated?

:) McTim, you are not naïve. What do you think? You really think govs run Icann (except for the USA at a certain extent)??

Of course the IP community has a say -- a strong say. But Icann is basically fed by registries, not the IP constituency.


On 12/17/2013 02:05 PM, McTim wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM, Carlos A. Afonso <ca at> wrote:
>> Hi Ali, registrars are just resellers of domains, intermediaries for
>> the big domain name businesses called registries -- these are the
>> ones who really have their big hands on ICANN, the likes of Verisign and so on.
>> After all, they are the ones who feed nearly all of the $$$ to the
>> organization.
> and for years I have heard NCSG/NCUC complain about "IP interests"
> running ICANN, so which is it?
>> It is unreal to say GAC has "the most influence". On what, exactly?
>> On certain new gTLD names? Frankly...
> They get to give advice after policy has been made and the BoD MUST
> listen according to bylaws.
> new gTLDs just one example.
> rgds,
> McTim

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