[discuss] Two accountability questions - help pls- Workshop 23 - ICANN accountability

Jordan Carter jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Mon Sep 1 07:24:38 UTC 2014

Hi all,

> On 31/08/2014, at 7:37 pm, Mike Roberts <mmr at darwin.ptvy.ca.us> wrote:
> I agree with Bill's comments.
> I would also point out that focusing on IANA is like looking at an iceberg.  IANA, meaning the functions its staff carry out, is part of a global family of technical and operational folks who make the DNS name resolution system work.   Assuming that a change in the chain of command/accountability for IANA will solve some perceivecd problem or set of problems is exceedingly short sighted.  As is assuming that the greater "family" would cooperate with an IANA change they viewed as not in the best interests of the Internet.

Mike. This kind of statement appears intended to foreclose debate in
favour of the status quo. There is a bit of that around in this whole
discussion, which is a great shame, because the status quo is
vanishing with the NTIA's departure. Some continue to argue this isn't
a significant change, but it's clear that the wider Internet community
doesn't share that perspective.

On the substance: I agree with you that it's like an iceberg. But one
of the facts on the ground is that two of the three customer groups of
the IANA functions have elegant and well-considered external policy
decision processes.

Among the third customer group, the naming folks, we have the country
code names. I posit that this is the most politically (in the big P,
governments are interested sense) part of the role, and we are at the
most mercy of having decent accountability arrangements in place with
the IANA operator, for a couple of reasons:

* we don't accept that ICANN has any right to be making policy on
ccTLD matters, except to endorse or not endorse decisions that we
make, BUT

* the only forum we have for making those decisions is within ICANN,
which is also the IANA operator.

I appeal to you and others to understand this as the core of why
accountability is of most importance to us. We have the least of it
under the status quo, because we don't have the external policy bodies
numbers and protocols have. Our sole final guard is retiring. The
status quo won't work for us.

I think with good will the community can come up with improvements
that aren't in the nature of a Big Bang. But if people are going to
argue for the view that all is fine and nothing needs to change, we
aren't going to end up in a happy place in my view.


> - Mike
>> On Aug 31, 2014, at 8:00 AM, Jordan Carter <jordan at internetnz.net.nz> wrote:
>> Dear all
>> Apologies for cross-posting...
>> I am seeking some community feedback as part of prepping for the
>> workshop on ICANN accountability scheduled for Wednesday 9am here at
>> #igf2014.
>> The particular questions I have, two, are:
>> 1. Is ICANN's accountability a subject for the whole Internet
>> community to resolve, or (as suggested by ICANN, in distinction from
>> the iana stewardship transition) an internal ICANN community matter?
>> 2. Can *internal* accountability arrangements, of whatever sort, ever
>> be adequate for an entity like ICANN that is intended (at least it
>> looks like that is ICANN's intention) to be responsible for the
>> stewardship of the iana functions?
>> My view is that for the first, the clear answer is the broader
>> community; for the second, most of the discussions in the ICANN
>> community to date have been focused on internal arrangements except
>> for the weird ban on discussion internal structural accountability
>> measures.
>> I'd value any discussion on these to help inform the panel's work on Wednesday.
>> Thanks,
>> Jordan
>> Ps - InternetNZ is the designated manager of the .nz ccTLD; it has a
>> wider cause (a better world through a better Internet (which is an
>> open and uncaptured Internet)) and so is in an interesting situation
>> straddling parts of the Internet's technical and civil society
>> communities.
>> PPS - The session description is as follows:
>> Discussion of how accountability goals are achieved at ICANN under its
>> multi-stakeholder governance processes. To whom is ICANN accountable
>> and what are the mechanisms for ensuring that accountability is
>> adequate? In what way do these mechanisms need strengthening or
>> further improvements, particularly in light of NTIA's announcement to
>> transition out its current role? How do checks and balances on power,
>> such as structural separation of key DNS operations encourage
>> accountability? How have ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments and the
>> Accountability and Transparency Review Team fostered (or undermined)
>> accountability goals at ICANN? What lessens were learned from the AoC
>> and ATRT processes on achieving accountability under a
>> multi-stakeholder governance regime? What is the role of ICANN's
>> Ombudsman Office in achieving accountability for the institution?
>> --
>> Jordan Carter
>> Chief Executive, InternetNZ
>> +64 21 442 649
>> twitter.com/jordantcarter
>> 'Hope is the dream of a person awake' -- French proverb
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