Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 61 Official Organ of LaborNet 07 July 2000  

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Technology

Union Rep for Global Net Body


The godfather of unions and the Internet, Eric Lee, is seeking your support to give labour a voice on the net's governing body, ICANN.

 
 

Eric Lee at the Labor Council last year

One often hears that the Internet is run by no one -- a wondrous anarchy. Actually, this is not the case.

Until a couple of years ago, the Internet was run by the US government. Now it is run by something called "The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers" (ICANN). ICANN recently announced that it was opening up its ranks to allow anyone who uses the net to join. And joining ICANN is free.

Furthermore, ICANN is going to allow all those members to choose five Directors for its Board in a world-wide vote set to take place at the end of September. In other words, for the first time ever, some of the people who use the net will have a say in how it is going to be run.

This week, I announced my candidacy for the ICANN Board and I'd like to ask Australian trade unionists for your support.

I want to be on the ICANN Board because I want trade unionists to have a voice in the future of the Internet. At present, there are 19 members of the ICANN Board. None of them are trade unionists.

One of the issues now before ICANN is a very important one for the labour movement. There is now a proposal to add additional "top level domains" to the Internet -- these are the bits of website and email addresses that currently include things like .com, .org, .edu, .au, .uk, etc. It has been suggested to add ".union" to this list. Unfortunately, it took several months before anyone from outside the US even knew about the proposal, let alone intervened in the discussion.

The interventions by myself and Duncan Pruett of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions added an important dimension -- an international one -- to the discussion taking place in the US. (Among other things, we discussed the problem of the very word "union" which does not everywhere mean the same thing. There are also serious questions about what actually is a trade union -- and who gets to decide.)

If elected to the ICANN Board, I will insist that the question of the ".union" top level domain currently under discussion be resolved with the full participation and consent of the international trade union movement. And not by the current group of businessmen, academics and politicians who currently decide these things.

I also want to make sure that membership in ICANN stays free of charge, so that many more of the estimated 330 million Internet users around the globe -- and particularly those in developing countries -- can join the organization. Today there are only 25,000 members of ICANN; only 363 of these are in Australia!

I urge all readers of Workers Online to take the following steps:

1. Join ICANN online. You can do so at the following web address: http://members.icann.org/join_now.htm

You will receive an immediate confirm of your membership and you will be sent a PIN code by post. Upon receipt of the PIN code, you'll need to return to the ICANN website and activate your membership in order to vote. In order to vote, you must be a member of ICANN before the end of July.

2. On or before Monday 10 July 2000, write to the Nominating Committee of ICANN indicating your support for my candidacy. You can do this by sending an email to mailto:[email protected]


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*    Visit Eric Lee's Labourstart

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 61 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Technology: Union Rep for Global Net Body
The godfather of unions and the Internet, Eric Lee, is seeking your support to give labour a voice on the net's governing body, ICANN.
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*  Interview: Downloaded and Done Over
In the wake of the TV Networks' digital TV victory, Internet industry chief Peter Coroneus rues a missed opportunity for Australia.
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*  Legal: The Global Millennium Project
The International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR) has developed a draft proposal for a comprehensive revision and modernisation of international labour standards for the new millenium.
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*  Unions: Sandgropers Get Serious on Stress
The Australian Services Union in Western Australia in conjunction with the University of Western Australia, is surveying workers across the state's call centre industry.
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*  Politics: New Work for a New Millennium
View in full the ALP's Draft Industrial Relations Policy to be taken to the National Conference at the end of the month.
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*  Solidarity: Korean Hotel Workers Seek Global Help
Striking Korean hotel workers at the Swiss Grand Hotel and the Seoul Hilton are worried they could be the next targets of escalating riot police violence.
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*  History: Vince's Parable of the Sundial
How a working man survived WWII and ASIO blacklists to save a sundial.
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*  International: Room for Optimism from African Poll
The performance of pro-Deomcracy groups in the Zimbabwean elections has given supporters hope for better days.
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*  Environment: Mexican Wave Goes Green
American politics has taken on a Green hue with the left leaning National Action Party and the Greens in Mexico picking up nearly 40% of the vote in the recent elections.
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*  Satire: Aussies Celebrate Centenary by Leaving Country
Prime Minister John Howard has defended his government's decision not to involve Australia in the centenary federation celebrations.
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*  Review: A Building Sings of Lives Lived in Music
Mysterious shadows flicker in the windows of the Parramatta Town Hall. Strains of trumpet and sarod float outside. It's all part of the urban Theatre Project's latest work, 'The Palais'.
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News
»  No Guarantees for Email Workers
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»  Hotel Bosses Face Olympic Showdown
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»  Aussie Bosses Embarrassed in NZ
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»  Labour Hire Task Force Begins Work
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»  Costa to Stay at Labor Council
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»  Lockout Sleight of Hand
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»  Owner Drivers Unite to Save Industry from GST
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»  The Future Starts Now for Youth Charter
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»  Volleyball Stadium Accident - Questions Remain
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»  Telstra - Making it Queasier for You
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»  MUA Helps Deliver Rice for Timor
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»  Reith Puts Boot into Health and Safety
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»  Biko Backer Tours Australia
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»  Unchain Your Mind at Melbourne Forum
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»  Union Stalwart Honoured
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  Congratulations on the Email Rally in Orange
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»  Dissident Site
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»  Tax Workers Defended
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»  A Reluctant Brown-Tongue
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