[discuss] Transparency and Accountability vis-à-vis ICANN and the IANA functions

Sivasubramanian M isolatedn at gmail.com
Thu Apr 3 23:32:46 UTC 2014

Dear George Sadowsky,

( I am using a few apparently negative words, "blame", "question" in order
to arrive at the totality of "Accountability" expected of an Organization
established in Global Public Interest. Posted with apologies for the
peculiar manner in which the idea is expressed )

As an Internet user, if there is any problem that affects me, due to some
gap or failure in the management of Critical Internet Resources, whether
such a problem occurred due to an error made years ago by an Intern working
at the time of Vint Cerf, or due to a policy flaw caused / unnoticed by a
previous Board or due to an Execution flaw of a Serving or Past Executive,
I would like to call Steve Crocker (as the Head and face of the entire
Board of ICANN) and ask him "Why did YOU do this to me? / Why did YOU allow
this to happen?" and as a user would expect him (and by extension the
Board) to accept the blame, and not turn away by naming an Intern who does
not exist.

In other words, Accountability in the ICANN context is taking TOTAL and
COMPLETE RESPONSIBILITY for the Coordination of Critical Internet Resources
with a total willingness to be answerable to the Global User, for anything
concerning Critical Internet Resources, occurring due to reasons within or
beyond ICANN's control. That would be the highest standard of
Accountability expected of ICANN Governance.

There are several components of Governance under the purview of
Accountability, but the most central object concerns ICANN's Technical and
Administrative role in management of Names and Numbers.

Now this would bring up the question of who could "question" ICANN in a
qualified manner. The "Who" in "Who is ICANN accountable to" is the Global
Internet User - User as an individual, User as a Business and "user" as a
Government. Another way of saying this is that ICANN is accountable to
everyone to whom the Internet matters. How the Universe of Beneficiaries
are represented is through the Stakeholder Organs, so we could say that
"ICANN is accountable to the Global Internet Users and answerable to their
Stakeholder representatives". .Stakeholder Representation has not been
perfected yet, but we try.

Beneficiaries form one Broad Class. It also needs to be acknowledged that
those who have built or contribute to the Internet, and those who built or
contribute to ICANN have an added privilege to "question" ICANN.

Sivasubramanian M

On Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 3:41 AM, John Curran <jcurran at istaff.org> wrote:

> On Apr 3, 2014, at 5:55 PM, michael gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com> wrote:
> John and all (and please take this as also my response to your comments
> re: "the Current Drive" discussion...
> I take your points below concerning "principles"...
> But from what I see these are principles concerning the processes which
> are being (or will be) undertaken concerning ICANN/IANA.
> What I don't see there is anything about what the fundamental goals that
> these processes are directed towards or the outcome they are meant
> Efficient operation of the Internet...  this is the purpose for the
> Internet protocols that
> have been developed, and the accompanying registries serve the same
> purpose.
> As I see it there are two possible and mutually exclusive goals that these
> processes might be pursuing:
> 1.       The “public interest” i.e. ensuring that the operation of these
> processes maximize benefits for the broadest range of those concerned with
> the Internet i.e. (in the current context) “everybody”/in Parminder’s
> phrase, the public
> There are quite a few elements that might encompass "maximizing benefits
> (for everybody)";
> this includes specific public policy norms that effect protocol or
> registry usage; various economic
> incentives, taxation, and/or redistibutions, content controls versus
> freedom of speech and
> various user and service provider mandates with regards to public policy
> norms, etc.
> These are not the realm of the Internet registry operations, anymore than
> they are normally
> part of the development of Internet protocols.   There may be interactions
> from time to time,
> but you do not want significant public policy tradeoffs for purposes of
> governing the actiions
> of others being made in predominantly technical forums.
> BTW, I think going back to George’s original exhortation, this is the
> basic and most fundamental question concerning Internet Governance
> Principles which must be addressed in the context of the NetMundial.
> That might easily be the case, but that is a set of principles for
> Internet _governance_, whereas
> ICANN and the related registries are predominantly about technical
> administration and require
> a set of principles that insure that Internet technical coordination is
> performed in a very visible
> and transparent manner.  These are different problem spaces.
> Thanks!
> /John
> Disclaimer: My views alone.
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Sivasubramanian Muthusamy
India +91 99524 03099
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