[discuss] surveillance governance, was Re: [governance] NTIA statement

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Sat Mar 22 10:24:55 UTC 2014

On Mar 22, 2014, at 4:58 PM, David Cake <dave at difference.com.au> wrote:

> I would very much agree with Greg that Parminder's scenario of a single entity (or even a single stakeholder group, or organised cabal across a wide range of stakeholders) taking control of the ICANN board is extremely farfetched, a matter for conspiracy theory novels not a genuine worry. It is a scenario that does not plausibly survive even a casual examination of how board members are selected. 

David - That's excellent news (particularly if those who might otherwise pursue 
such an approach weigh the success probabilities similarly...  :-)

> There is only one likely scenario of all ICANN board members having their decision influenced by the same entity - and that entity is ICANN itself. While an oversight mechanism should function in such a way as to guard against a board that was all somehow controlled by a commercial entity willing to patiently infiltrate and suborn a range of ICANN processes, it should be focussed on the more likely issue that ICANN board will take decisions that are in the interests of ICANN itself, rather than the community it serves. 

While I do not think a plan for IANA-accountability-without-NTIA requires directly 
addressing the issue you note above (i.e. ICANN Board taking decisions to ICANN's 
interests over the community), it probably would be prudent for the community to 
have a complimentary plan (to strengthen the mechanisms for _ICANN's accountability_  
to the community) available at the same time as the IANA plan, since if nothing else
the NTIA contract serves somewhat as symbolic backstop today for such potential issues.


Disclaimer:  My views alone. 

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