[discuss] shifts in IANA/accountability discussion: your thoughts?

Bertrand de La Chapelle bdelachapelle at gmail.com
Thu Jun 19 14:25:34 UTC 2014

Dear Jordan,

Thanks for the pertinent question and the good framing.

*As a preliminary note, the thread you received in response is a clear
explanation why this list is having problems: if people here cannot respect
a minimum of netiquette and they veer off topic immediately as was the case
here, this is extremely encouraging everyone to stay out ... including me
at the moment. Better moderation is needed, or at least some peer pressure
to encourage people to stay on topic.*

Just a quick chime in nonetheless on the link between the two processes.

In a nutshell, the discussion on the transition of NTIA's role has
highlighted that there are two distinct dimensions:

   - the day-to-day operational "pressing the button" to send updates for
   implementation to Verisign, which is a function for which I think we can
   relatively easily find a simple, practical solution (even if there are
   various options)
   - and the much more important and delicate question of NTIA's role in
   attributing (and potentially rescinding!) the responsibility to handle the
   IANA functions to a particular entity, within a set of detailed

This second issue is the one directly linked to the ICANN accountability
track and raises at least three issues, roughly summarized here:

   - who has ultimate authority to confer the responsibility to handle
   these tasks to a particular entity (and thus to choose it)? There are
   different views on this, including: the "customers" (I hate this term) of
   the IANA functions, the whole community (of Internet users or even humanity
   as a whole, as it is a global public interest function), governments
   (supposed to represent their citizens), etc...
   - how this mandate is concretely formalized if very different types of
   actors need to express their endorsement? a mutual affirmation of
   commitments, several "contracts" or MoUs, anything else...?
   - under which conditions and through what procedure(s) if any, should
   specific decisions be appealed, and more importantly the mandate
   potentially be modified, suspended or reallocated?

The above is an unrefined quick input, but it helps me at least to
understand why the question of ICANN's accountability has relevance to the
discussion on NTIA's role transition - and how they are articulated.

That being said, this dimension of ICANN's accountability regarding the
IANA functions should itself be distinguished from how ICANN is accountable
in the other activities it conducts, including policy development,
implementation by staff and Board decisions. There are of course
connections too here, but the distinction is important if we do not want
this discussion to basically end up opening everything about ICANN. And
even for those who want to do that.

De facto, the announcement by NTIA raises a chain of questions. However
interconnected and far reaching they may be, it is important to agree first
on the useful distinctions to structure discussions.

I have always thought that a correct framing of issues is the indispensable
prerequisite for addressing any of them in any meaningful manner. I hope
the above is a useful - albeit rough - contribution in that regard and
welcome suggestions to clarify and improve it. Provided they remain on
topic, of course :-)



"*Le plus beau métier des hommes, c'est d'unir les hommes*", Antoine de
Saint Exupéry
("*There is no greater mission for humans than uniting humans*")BERTRAND DE
LA CHAPELLE Internet & Jurisdiction Project | Directoremail
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On Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM, Jordan Carter <jordan at internetnz.net.nz>

> Is this list still active?
> How are people feeling in the lead up to ICANN London about the responses
> of the organisation on the IANA transition process and the initial paper on
> ICANN accountability?
> I think there have been some steps forward in terms of acknowledging
> feedback and changing the process in response, but more to be done esp in
> linking the two processes together, if I had to sum it up in a sentence.
> What do others think?
> bests,
> Jordan
> --
> Jordan Carter
> Chief Executive
> *InternetNZ*
> 04 495 2118 (office) | +64 21 442 649 (mob)
> jordan at internetnz.net.nz
> Skype: jordancarter
> *To promote the Internet's benefits and uses, and protect its potential.*
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