This guest post on Discourse.net is quite interesting – the perspective of young folks working in government moving blindly through the system is an interesting one to remember. The highlighted part seems to highlight what is going on with the US government ( FCC & Commerce Department ) and the ICANN
The O’Connor resignation, though, has been reminding me of the year I spent, way back when, working for the Justice Department. Late in the year, Harry Blackmun announced his resignation, and I found myself part of an ad hoc team putting together a memo for a White House working group on the decisions of Richard Arnold, an Eighth Circuit judge then being considered for the top job. I got the gig helping to summarize Arnold’s jurisprudence not because of any merit of my own, and not because I’d done anything like this before (I hadn’t), and not even because I worked for a unit of the Justice Department that was concerned with such things (I didn’t), but pretty much by happenstance. I thought we wrote a pretty good memo, considering that none of us had ever vetted a potential Supreme Court Justice before, and we were making up our procedures as we went along.
What I began to realize then, and came to realize much more fully later on, is that government decision-making routinely is undertaken, with the best of intentions, by people who have never been in this situation before and are making it up as they go along. I was working for the government again a few years later — this time for the Federal Communications Commission — and found myself part of an interagency group trying to figure out what to do about the domain name system. That was the process that brought you ICANN. And the most salient facts about it were that (1) we had the best of intentions; (2) we didn’t have a lot of humility; and (3) we didn’t know what we were doing. And it showed.