20i Domains

A threat to independence

Discussion in 'Nominet General Information' started by Acorn Newsbot, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. Acorn Newsbot

    Acorn Newsbot Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2006
    Posts:
    22,066
    Likes Received:
    36
    The question of Nominet’s independence has been a key part of the EGM discussion. The EGM campaigners suggest that taking action to remove board directors will somehow secure Nominet’s independence. It won’t. Quite the reverse – and the inherent risk of instability could jeopardise Nominet’s future as a membership organisation.

    Nominet is unlike any other comparable company. While it is a membership organisation, it is not a pressure group or a trade body, or a co-operative for members.

    From the outset, Nominet’s constitution ensured that it was not simply there to do the membership’s bidding but would conduct its activities with due regard for the wider good. As a result, there is a variety of stakeholders who depend on our work.

    That makes what we do complicated. There are different constituencies among the membership who want different things from us and then there are stakeholders in government, civil society, and law enforcement.

    It’s a delicate balancing act. Alongside the service our members can depend on, we have spent time and energy to demonstrate to wider stakeholders that self-regulation works. The work we have done to tackle criminality online, working with both law enforcement and registrars, has underlined the responsible approach we take.

    In 2010, the last time Nominet had an EGM, it was to urge members to vote on important governance reforms. The threat at that time was direct government intervention as Nominet was perceived as too beholden to parts of its membership, at the expense of wider stakeholder interests, and incapable of delivering reform itself.

    The solution to this threat of ‘capture’ was the introduction of independent directors to the board. Nominet members voted to bring in the necessary changes and preserve the organisation’s status.

    The Government was still concerned enough to give itself reserve powers under the Digital Economy Act in 2010. It means that the government can step in, if Nominet is ever considered unstable or not capable of governing itself.

    Removing five directors, including two of the four independents, and pressuring the remaining directors to install candidates outside normal procedures, as the EGM petitioners seek to do, would be a huge step backwards in terms of good governance. We have been warned that instability will be of serious concern to government. We know it would create a scenario which would make intervention more likely.

    Some of our detractors seem not to care. Or perhaps they have just not appreciated the real risk of intervention and government control. This is a dangerous game. It would lead to an unpredictable future for the UK domain name industry and .UK pricing and policy.

    This is not to overlook or minimise the important debates we need to have with members about how we work together to keep .UK prominent and popular, how we attract and retain people, our public benefit priorities, or about how we have more constructive dialogue. Those must all happen.

    We can do all of that without a wrecking ball that threatens Nominet’s independence and the role we play to preserve self-regulation of the domain name industry. It’s important that those coming new to the debate – particularly those who do not normally take part in voting – hear why we believe the long-term fallout from the resolution would be so damaging.

    A vote for the EGM resolution will not preserve Nominet’s independence. If you care about that, please vote NO.

    The post A threat to independence appeared first on Nominet.

    Continue reading...
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

    Joined:
    1999
    Messages:
    Many
    Likes Received:
    Lots
    articles.co.uk
     
  3. Pedigree United Kingdom

    Pedigree Active Member Acorn Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 2019
    Posts:
    684
    Likes Received:
    70
    BS
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. webber

    webber Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2019
    Posts:
    317
    Likes Received:
    90
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Siusaidh

    Siusaidh Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2019
    Posts:
    967
    Likes Received:
    342
    (repost from the other thread, where I addressed this):

    Today Mark (Chairman) has posted an article entitled ‘A Threat to Independence’.

    The line of argument is plain: he is alleging that if 5 directors are removed, the Government may intervene, take away Nominet’s independence, and remove the membership-based system of governance.

    What you might call ‘Plan G’.

    For a start, I think it is a reflection of Mark’s expectation that he is likely to lose the vote next Monday, that he is shifting the playing field to threaten ‘Do that, and the Government will intervene, and you’ll be left with zero participation in Nominet.’

    'The government can step in," Mark explains, “if Nominet is ever considered unstable or not capable of governing itself.”

    My question would be: “Why does a change of leadership make Nominet unstable or incapable of governing itself?”

    Governments of whole countries change, without making those countries ‘incapable of governing themselves’. Are Russell and Mark, in person, so irreplaceable?

    Mark goes on to suggest that the EGM petition is pressurising any remaining Board Directors “to install candidates outside normal procedures.” He is referring to the call in Resolution 2 (which he has refused to hold, alleging we wanted to 'elect' the replacements) for the Board to appoint Sir Michael and Axel (note ‘appointing’ not electing).

    To be plain, the membership is entitled to take a view on who should be Chairman. As there will be NO Chair if Resolution1 passes, it is reasonable and responsible to draft in a man (Sir Michael) of great experience and acute understanding of Nominet, as an interim or caretaker Chairman. It would just be a responsible interim measure.

    No-one is saying that “normal procedures” would not then take place to confirm or repeal that interim measure. Everything would proceed in a normal orderly manner. There is no instability involved in all of this. And Mark could himself set to work, co-operating in an orderly transfer of leadership to Sir Michael. Leadership changes. That happens in all companies.

    I don’t think the Government need to see that as “instability”. It’s simply transition of leadership.

    The EGM is not a “wrecking ball”. To suggest that is to be fairly derogatory towards 429 of the most engaged Nominet companies, including the top 75% of UK members/companies in Nominet. Members simply want new leadership, as is their right and function, in law.

    March 22nd begins that process.
     
  6. Siusaidh

    Siusaidh Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2019
    Posts:
    967
    Likes Received:
    342
    Cyprian's video (above) is thought-provoking. Clearly, and it's maybe worth mentioning as well as the footnote at the end of it, this is not a video affiliated with Simon / Public Benefit UK, though it argues the case for voting YES at the EGM. Because of previous accusations directed at Simon about what the rest of us may have been putting up, or commenting on, he has no personal responsibility for this. Nominet should in no way criticise Simon and Public Benefit UK for contributions individuals make to the debate.

    This is the internet.
     
  7. Siusaidh

    Siusaidh Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2019
    Posts:
    967
    Likes Received:
    342
    And Mark's latest version of "Project Fear" is covered today in The Register.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2012
    Posts:
    3,447
    Likes Received:
    255
    Here's my latest email to Mark Wood...

     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. Siusaidh

    Siusaidh Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2019
    Posts:
    967
    Likes Received:
    342
    Have you had a reply?