auDA Election 2017

For those who know me, the fact I have nominated for the auDA Board Demand Class Director’s position is somewhat intriguing.

Why do you ask? Because those who know me well would tell you I would happily sit in my “cave” as I call it and just create and develop systems, etc. I don’t put myself out there but would gladly talk anybody’s ear off about my ideas and views.

I put my nomination in before I headed over to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for ICANN60 AGM this October/November 2017.

With the ICANN AGM in its final days, I would have to say that it has been a fantastic experience and one that I would encourage ALL internet users to get along to if the opportunity presents itself. One thing is abundantly clear to me now, and that is you can have all the views and opinions in the world, but if you ever want them to have action taken on them – into the foray you go.

A little about myself

I have been using the internet since ’94 and have seen the internet rise from infancy in Australia to being fully fledged now.

Having a direct involvement with a number of businesses in the last 20 years, ranging from hardware and systems administration to network and internet engineering I am now looking for something new.

Experienced with a wide range of technologies and systems including DNS, Web Hosting, Email services and routing just to name a few.

Recent ventures were as the Chief Technical Officer, and then Chief Technical and Development Officer for VentraIP Australia, Synergy Wholesale and Zuver. Up until a couple of years ago, I had my finger in almost all aspects of technical operations in the organisations.

So what do I stand for?

Transparency, Honesty and Accountability are a number of my qualities from a business perspective. From a personal one, I am kind, caring and respectful to the views and thoughts of others.

Right now .au is in a critical phase of its life. After being open and transparent for the longest time, from an outsiders viewpoint that appears to be coming to an end. I do NOT believe it should end; it SHOULD continue. auDA should be a stakeholder-driven organisation, and those stakeholders are the end users both commercial and non-commercial, technical and policy/government. We are ALL in this together.

If there is one thing that ICANN has shown the internet community and the world in general, even though for the longest time it was viewed as an experiment, well it worked and it still does to this day.

What am I campaigning for?

Right now we have a number of “issues” if you will in auDA and indeed the entire. au namespace that should be addressed.

Disparity between the board of auDA and that of its members

While it’s true that auDA Directors are personally liable at the end of the day in Australian Corporations Law for the running of auDA as a whole and there can be severe consequences for mismanagement, they need to remember they serve as elected representatives of the auDA Membership. I do not believe it’s okay just to say; you don’t understand the complexities so that we will do whatever regardless.

At the same time, the auDA membership needs to realise the reverse of the above applies to them as well. At the end of the day, the general public can walk away and go to bed at night without much consequence to them if something went wrong at auDA. But for auDA directors, well it’s an entirely different story. Who want’s to be known for being asleep at the wheel as it plays out publically in the media.

We need to work together, not get into a slanging match about who is right and who is wrong. Nobody gives a hoot about that sort of big noting and grandstanding at the end of the day. The end user just wants to know that things are being dealt with appropriately.

Greater interaction with ICANN

I have seen a number of current directors and team members at ICANN 60 here, and that is great. I would like to see more interaction with ICANN in matters that are of importance to not only .au – but the entire global namespace. Many great projects are currently underway in ICANN from both a policy and technical nature, and we should be helping that.

Better public accountability and transparency

It is essential to remain accountable and transparent to our constituents at the end of the day. That applies to both auDA and its members jointly. The door swings both ways. We need more interaction between all the various stakeholders, so we can honestly and sincerely say at the end of the day – we did what we thought was the best for .au

Better education

Say what? The general community doesn’t correctly understand the internet. Ask the average user; half believe that Google created it, or run it, and the other half think the government controls it. We have a unique role in helping them understand and better yet, give input or ask questions of us.

Summary

You will notice that I am not trying to target specific or individualised issues right now because I do not feel that is the solution to the problem at hand. It is my firm belief that once the points mentioned above are addressed, the others will start to fall into place.

Sure, we may not get it 100% right the first time. But nothing is ever perfect; there is always room for improvement in what we do.

I hope I can count on your support at the auDA AGM.

Many thanks for your valuable time,

Craig Marchant