A subtle procedural change means ICANN's newly elected At Large board representatives will be mere observers at this year's Annual General Meeting in Los Angeles next week.
In a break with previous AGMs, the secretive Internet quango (shouldn't that be consensus-driven Californian non-profit organisation? - ed.) will only allow the elected reps to take their seats at the end of the meeting, effectively barring them from voting on ICANN business this year.
"The bylaws have been altered such that the At Large elected board members take their seats at the end of the conclusion of the annual meeting," Karl Auerbach, newly elected At Large representative for North America tells us. "Last year the bylaws were such that the members of the supporting organisations when they were elected were seated at the beginning of the annual meeting, so they voted on things like the NSI contract," he says.
A friend who attended a particularly sadistic all-girl Convent school in the chilly north east of England tells us that newcomers to the class had to stand with the classroom windows open, until they'd correctly answered five questions set by the teacher. Only then could they close the window nearest them, and take their seats. We're not sure if ICANN will adopt this procedure for Auerbach and co in Los Angeles - but we wouldn't be surprised... ®