PLEASE disseminate (if you agree :-) DEADLINE : September 8 URGENT
Last July, I sent a message over several lists to encourage people to register with ICANN for the coming elections of the ICANN board of directors.
The registration process is now closed. If you are not a registered voter, this message probably does not concern you, unless you still want to participate by helping to support a candidate, for example by disseminating this message.
The election process has already started and is unfortunately very fast, considering it started during the vacations period. There are 2 kinds of candidates:
This process is well advanced and unfortunately terminates very early : September 8, 2000. Hence prompt action is required.
He will be able to participate only if he gets enough endorsements from european registered voters. see http://members.icann.org/nom/cp/EU.html pour la liste des candidats and https://members.icann.org/cgi-bin/atlarge/endorse.cgi
In my opinion, a candidate must satisfy several criteria :
1- be close enough to my (your) own vision of the role of the Internet and its regulation : support of democratic principles, openness to innovation and competition, no private control of standards and technical interfaces, no abusive use of patents and intellectual property, especially regarding intellectual and social processes (commerce, education, ...) which shall be more and more dependant on the Internet.
2- be independent from financial and corporate powers.
3- be personnally and professionally credible, with enough public visibility to be a credible candidate (why waste votes). In this respect we should not forget that voters belong to varied communities.
4- finally, and essentially, have enough competence and experience to participate with effectiveness to the management of a structure like ICANN. This competence must be at the same time technical because the problems to be managed are technically complex, sociological because of the increasing role of the Internet in our society, and political because it is rather obvious that the issues raised are often politically touchy and will require considerable skill in order to achieve significant result.
After considering the various european candidates, I believe that Bernard Benhamou answers best these criteria. See his site : http://perso.club-internet.fr/benhamou/ (English) and his candidacy : http://members.icann.org/nom/cp/144.html (English)
He already has a significant number of vote. His past actions witness his understanding and competence : for example his organisation of a vast exhibit about the Internet at the Paris City of Sciences, or his participation in public meetings and conferences that show an understanding of issues both technical and sociological. His positions are in agreement with the principles I stated earlier, and notably regarding the issues of intellectual property and the preservation of public standards, see his site in English, or in French : http://petition.eurolinux.org/statements/view_html?key=968097172.256
He is used to political action and his current position as Senior Lecturer at the Political Science Institute of Paris is witness to his familiarity with political problems, even though his academic studies and degrees are in medecine and computer science.
I believe he is a brilliant candidate for Europe, and I recommand endorsing his participation in the final vote. I should add that I have no personnal nor professionnal links to Bernard Benhamou, and I know him only from meetings during public events usually related to the Internet. My only motivation here is to promote a candidate who will be an independant and able representative for European interest, and whose past vouches for his commitment to an Internet both democratic and open for all, technically and socially.
And I repeat that you can still endorse him (until September 8), even if you previously chose to endorse someone else.
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