At-Large Structures (ALSes) are independent and self-supporting organizations within ICANN's At-Large Community, which aim to represent the voice of individual Internet users all over the world. ALSes provide an avenue for every Individual Internet user to take part in all the issues discussed within ICANN.
The At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) is responsible for evaluating, processing, and certifying the applications of any group that is interested to become an ALS after the criteria set forth by ICANN for ALSes is met. Currently, there are 239 ALSes in 104 countries and territories.
Criteria for At-Large Structures
Different types of groups, such as professional societies, academic and research organizations, community networking groups, consumer advocacy groups, internet society chapters, computer user organizations, and internet civil society groups are qualified to become At Large Structure, as long as they are able to fulfill the minimum criteria established by ICANN, which include:
- The ability to display its commitment to supporting the participation of individual Internet users in ICANN by disseminating information, offering Internet-based mechanisms to enable discussions regarding important ICANN activities, issues and policy development, discussions, and decisions.
- It must be constituted to ensure that participation by individual Internet users who are citizens or residents of countries will predominate the ALS operation within the geographic region where the ALS is based. The ALS may allow additional participation of others if compatible with the interests of the individual Internet users within the region.
- The group must Be self-supporting.
- The group must post its goals, structures, membership description, working strategies, leadership, and contacts on a publicly accessible website such as the ALAC's website or elsewhere on the Internet.
- Must assist the RALO in performing its function.
There are 85 individual members around the world. Typically, an individual Internet user joins the At-Large community by joining one of the local ALSes. However, individuals may also participate in ALAC without joining an ALS. All five regions accept individual members, but the terms and conditions differ from RALO to RALO on who can do so and how. All individual members within a RALO must select one representative, who gets one ballot to vote during RALO-wide election, selection, and ratification processes, whereas each ALS gets one vote for the entire ALS in polls within its RALO.
Regional At-Large Organizations
- African Regional At-Large Organization (AFRALO)
- Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization (APRALO)
- European Regional At-Large Organization (EURALO)
- Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization (LACRALO)
- North-American Regional At-Large Organization (NARALO)
Every RALO has a Chairman and Secretariat and conducts a yearly general assembly and regular monthly teleconferences to discuss and develop the position of the individual internet users community from each region in conjunction with every current ICANN policy issue.
One result of the Second ALAC Organizational Review was the formation of an ALS Mobilization Working Party. At ICANN 74, in the RALO Leaders Meeting, Alan Greenberg explained that the review final report included a recommendation to "either abolish ALSes or treat them as individuals but not put our overall focus on ALSes...The response from At-Large was 'we disagree, that we believe ALSes do have a purpose...they have groups of people on the ground in the countries we're looking at." Thus, ALAC formed the ALS Mob WG, which met in late 2019 and throughout 2020 and generated a list of expectations to improve ALS involvement and participation metrics:
- make them useful and make sure they guarantee access
- participation of end users must be informed
- organized by geographic regions, but now allow spanning regions
- Has to be substantial; can't just have 3 members
- must show expressed interest in ICANN specifically
- can be part of other stakeholder groups in ICANN, but must be noted
- must stop relying on representatives, should focus on access to members
- No longer based on the activity level of representatives, but on that of average embers, as the goal is to mobilize members not representatives,
- messaging has to be broad without jargon
- report every two years from each also to show it's still active (via webforms)
- Must mention ICANN on its website,
- must communicate with ALAC
- must have 2-4 reps,
- must have clear way to join the als on the website
- no expectations of all members voting or participating all the time, gathering of new members, or new restrictions
ALS Mobilization Members
- At-Large Framework Formation
- ALS Criteria
- RALO Leaders Meeting, ICANN 74
- [https://community.icann.org/display/atlarge/ALS+Mobilization+Working+Party?preview=/120821482/202703511/ALS-Mob-WP-Report-Final-Approved.pdf ALS Mob Final Report, 04 December 2020
- ALS Mob WP Community Wiki, ICANN