[discuss] Possible approaches to solving "problem no. 1"

Joe Alhadeff joseph.alhadeff at oracle.com
Tue Feb 18 02:06:20 UTC 2014

What are the implications of "diplomatic standing", if any, to obligations of accountability to, or ability of participation by, stakeholders? 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: salanieta.tamanikaiwaimaro at gmail.com 
To: george.sadowsky at gmail.com 
Cc: discuss at 1net.org 
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 3:37:14 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern 
Subject: Re: [discuss] Possible approaches to solving "problem no. 1" 

If the Board were to meet and pass a resolution to shift its registered office to Geneva, then it would be submitted to the authorities in California to justify a shift afterall ICANN is a not for profit corporation registered under California laws. 

This could mean expanding the Geneva office and operations but it would still be pretty much a Not for Profit company registered in California with its registered office in Geneva. Conversely one could argue that New York is also home and Headquarters to some of the UN organisations, so even a shift from California to New York is also a viable option. 

If the institution were to go through structural overhaul where you have several options: 
a) winding up ICANN and rebirthing ICANN to have diplomatic standing; 
b)not winding up ICANN but merely shifting its HQ from California to Geneva or New York. 
c)maintain the status quo but make ICANN more accessible globally as they have been doing with the hubs - (although I still don't know why we don't have a Pacific Hub yet when the middle east, africa and asia have been getting hubs. There are 27 countries and territories in the Pacific region that have ccTLDs and we should receive indiscriminate treatment) 

There are several glitches that would need to be ironed out and that is whether the decision must revert to IETF or to the wider community or solely by NTIA and by extension the US Department of Commerce. At some stage if there were a legal battle in the US to determine who assigned the IANA function, there is potentially enough evidence for it to flip either way - to the IETF or to NTIA. There are all kinds of issues such as whether one of them could have been perceived to have waived their assignment rights and whether this was done tacitly. Either way, it is calculated chaos. 

Offices can be opened and manned in different location but the concern would be in keeping the core critical internet infrastructure within the US so as not to interfere with Security, stability and resiliency. 

On Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 8:04 AM, George Sadowsky < george.sadowsky at gmail.com > wrote: 


I think that you are quite right in terms of formal accountability. 

However, given the importance of the Internet today and in the future, I don’t think that the world will be at all comfortable putting ICANN in the hands of a 16 (or 20, depending upon how you count) member Board of Directors. I think that’s the case even if the Board were to magically be able to internalize IANA within ICANN completely and move to, say, Geneva. 

We could, as you suggest, look at Board selection processes again. An earlier attempt to select Directors through direct voting failed badly, in my opinion, but there are a whole range of possibilities that could be explored. 

Legal issues need to be addressed. What type of organization would ICANN be if it performed the magic trick above and was headquartered in, say, Geneva? What legal status, and equally important, protections, would it need and what would it have? I wish some of the diplomats and lawyers subscribed to this list would make contributions that address these questions. 


On Feb 17, 2014, at 2:39 PM, Brian E Carpenter < brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com > wrote: 

> On 18/02/2014 02:22, George Sadowsky wrote: 
>> All, 
>> If we want to move forward from Ian Peter’s conclusion below, the accountability framework for ICANN becomes crucial, which is why I quoted earlier from Jovan’s two diplomacy-based options. ICANN can internalize IANA without a problem, but then how is ICANN made accountable in a manner that both leaves the degrees of freedom it needs to operate effectively and ensures effective global oversight over its activities? 
> Maybe I'm naive (and maybe sometimes that is a good thing to be), 
> but it seems to me that ICANN is accountable to its Board and its 
> Board members are accountable to the communities that select them. 
> If there's an accountability problem, surely we'd need to look 
> at the Board selection processes again? 
> Brian 

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