[discuss] structural separation example (was Re: Host country)

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Wed Mar 19 00:27:05 UTC 2014

On Mar 19, 2014, at 1:03 AM, David Conrad <drc at virtualized.org> wrote:

>> When we talk about the RIRs, Registry Policy Development is generally done by a 
>> community working group or body, and implementation/admin/operations handled by 
>> RIR staff. 
> Right. Do you see a significant difference between this and ICANN's coordination of names via gNSO/ccNSO Policy Development Processes with implementation/admin/operation done by ICANN as the IANA Functions Operator?

I see it as being quite similar in terms of division of tasks for regional 
IP address management, noting that global address policy has far stronger
structural separation, with a community-elected policy body (ASO) operating 
within ICANN's framework and implementation/admin/operations of global 
policy done by the IANA team.

>> Combine this with an accountable membership structure to help insure
>> faithful implementation and administration, and it's not a bad system.  
> So, in your view, the existence of a "clear membership structure" is sufficient to remove the need for structural separation?

I believe that it presently suffices for regional IP resource administration;
much in the same was that management of a single ccTLD may be performed under
the auspices of policy developed by a related association.

>> I will note, however, that even accountability to membership doesn't help provide 
>> any protection against implementation that is favorable to "industry" (those who 
>> are direct member of the registry);
> This would appear to suggest that structural separation is still necessary despite the RIRs having a clear membership structure.

I would think that structure separation (or other accountability mechanisms to parties 
other than simply the membership, aka the greater global Internet community) would be

Once, in a time long past, I thought that ICANN was going to have some role in leading
such accountability for the entire Internet identifier system (prior to its actually 
being one of the parties doing policy development...)

>> i.e. in a case where civil society were to 
>> successfully relate their (industry-adverse) needs during policy development such 
>> that they were indeed adequately incorporated into policy, there is still no clear 
>> recourse available against a less-than-diligent implementation, if the member-
>> elected leadership fails to intervene.
> Given the membership is drawn overwhelmingly (or even exclusively in practice) from the industry, wouldn't there be a natural tendency for the elected leadership to favor industry-preferred implementation?

Excellent question.  One would hope that the both the registry leadership and integrity
of the Board would prevent such, but the challenge is the cases when this does not occur.


Disclaimer: My views alone.

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