[discuss] ICANN accountability and Internet Governance Principles

DAVID JOHNSON davidr.johnson at verizon.net
Mon Mar 24 20:42:49 UTC 2014

The ICANN community could have a disproportionate and positive impact on NetMundial if it could come together around three principles that relate both to ICANN accountability and to the means by which what Bertrand would call "governance on the net" (governance of online behaviors) should proceed. To wit:

1. Mandatory adhesion flow down contacts, imposing global rules on registrants and end users, must be subject to and supported by a consensus among all affected parties. (The imposition of rules by ICANN staff on new gTLD registries, in the absence of consensus, should be recognized as an abuse of the IANA function -- using the power over the root zone to impose top down rules.)

2. Global rules must be applied globally. (After the US relinquishes its role, the Multi-Stakeholder model, as applied to domain names by ICANN, would be incoherent unless all registries (including ccTLDs) agree to be bound by the global policies that ICANN makes.)

3. Revocation of domain names should not be used to enforce global rules that regulate content or prohibit behaviors that do not threaten the operation of the DNS itself. (ICANN may need to consider the global public interest, but it is not itself a consumer protection agency, a police force, an anti-trust enforcer, or a general purpose internet governance body.)

These principles relate to ICANN accountability because they should be part of the standards to which ICANN should be held accountable. They relate to Internet Governance, writ large, because they would clearly tell the broader world what ICANN, as an institution, can and cannot do to solve the problems they are trying to solve.

See: http://www.europeaninstitute.org/EA-March-2014/perspectives-us-plans-to-divest-control-over-internets-icann-dilemma-for-some-european-registries.html

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