[discuss] Anything specific? Was: Re: IPv6 Deployment and IG

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Sat Dec 28 21:35:26 UTC 2013

On Sat, Dec 28, 2013 at 10:03:42AM -0600,  Carlos Raúl G. wrote:

> 3/ doesn't ICANN, as an operative entity distributing resources,
> have a vey explicit and formally agreed governance framework in the
> AoC? As compared to many other I* members? ICANN s governance can be
> certainly improved, but so also the RIRs and other technical
> standard setting ones.


This is not to pick on Carlos, but I feel like I keep asking the same
question, only to be met either with silence or hand-waving
generalities.  I ask that people give a proposal for some particular
thing that they want to see changed.  Not, "We need better
governance," or, "We need improvements," or, "This could be improved
too," or such vague and, frankly, empty claims.  Instead, what exactly
needs to be changed?  That doesn't mean it's your only concern, but
I'd sure like to see an example of something people would like fixed
before I conclude that we have work to do.  Maybe I've missed a
specific proposal, but if I did I didn't understand it.

And note, while you're at it, that pointing at "ICANN" hardly helps
here.  There is ICANN-the-coördinator-of-root-zone; that's the entity
that has caused some controversy with the expansion of the root zone.
There's the odd and perhaps uncomfortable relationship in the
management of the root zone with both Verisign and with the US NTIA.
Then there is ICANN-the-ARO-participant, where ICANN seems at least to
be somewhat less active and rather less controversial (although not
completely so).  Then there is
ICANN-as-IANA-protocol-parameters-registry-operator, where it seems to
be doing not too bad a job if previous IAB[*] evaluations are to be
believed.  Which of these one is talking about makes a big difference.

Similiarly, "I*" is hardly meaningful.  The IETF, for instance, works
by an open rough consensus model; if one think that it is not
responding to legitimate concerns, then one needs to participate, not
try to invent some new process that won't work without breaking the
successful model laready in place.  If one thinks the operation of the
IAB or the IESG is not right, then perhaps one could say what exactly
is wrong and how greater and wider and detailed input to the Nomcom
won't address those issues[+].  And so on.

I freely admit that I do not have the background of a politician or a
legal scholar or a diplomat, and I acknowledge that some of these
issues are operating at that level.  But I fail completely to see how
those disciplines can be any more likely to reach a useful conclusion
than philosophy or engineering (two things I know about) without
narrowing questions into specific and particular ones.  The only
explanation I have so far for the refusal to talk about specific
issues is that people don't really want to talk specifics in public.
If that's the case, then this entire supposed bottom-up discussion is
a charade, and the real discussions will happen elsewhere.

Best regards,


[*] Full disclosure: I'm a sitting IAB member, but had nothing to do
with those previous evaluations as I was not seated then.

[+] As a liaison to this year's IETF Nomcom, I can assure everyone
that it takes its responsibilities of both exhaustive consideration
and secrecy extremely seriously.  

Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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