[discuss] NetMundial Initiative

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Fri Aug 22 05:34:30 UTC 2014

My personal take is that the IGF, or ISOC, or even 1Net, or *something*
else, is desperately required right now ... to provide neutral ground. (*)

In my observations about the swirls of activity regarding the transition of
IANA stewardship and ICANN Accountability, ICANN-the-institution has itself
emerged as a stakeholder with clearly vested interests of its own. Indeed I
would maintain that this interest is *highly* conflicted when ICANN
appoints itself to act as the casting director, secretariat and pen holder
over activities that directly affect its roles, responsibilities,
regulation and revenue.

So I am not bothered when spots for ICANN staff are allocated within some
of the policy bodies set up; this representation is certainly warranted.
However, such presence confirms that ICANN is itself just a stakeholder,
rather than the impartial forum for stakeholders it currently pretends to
be. I am seriously concerned about ICANN's self-assumed prime role in
membership selecting, scope setting, draft-writing and outcome-steering --
worse than merely top-down, it is a substantial conflict of interest.

The independence of oversight bodies and associated mechanisms, IMO, is
critical in the appeal for global legitimacy of multi-stakeholder
approaches to governance,

- Evan

(*) While I'm a big fan of what Netmundial did, I don't think a partnership
with WEF is suitable for this effort, given its own governance prejudices.
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