[discuss] Who-and-where vs. what

Jordan Carter jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Wed Sep 3 12:29:51 UTC 2014

dear all,

On 3 September 2014 15:21, Andrew Sullivan <ajs at anvilwalrusden.com> wrote:

> Dear colleagues,

> It seems to me that if people were completely satisfied with ICANN's
> actions, then nobody would care where it was incorporated.

Completely agree. There is always going to be some form of law and the fact
this is based in California really isn't relevant to any of the substance.


> To
> me, however, the goal we ought to prefer is one in which the right
> outcomes can be produced _even if_ the people involved would like to
> do the wrong thing.  For instance, suppose that ICANN were arranged
> such that any Board decision could be overruled, and any member could
> be removed, by a majority vote of all the SOs (note: this is not
> originally my idea, and I'm using it just as a thought experiment).
> That would be a much greater check on action than the current
> naming-and-shaming answer we have today; for a bad decision today has
> considerable time (effectively, until the changeover of the board) to
> settle in and become established practice.  Under the hypothetical new
> regime, both bonehead and malicious decisions could be cut off quickly
> if they were truly outrageous.  _That's_ what we want, I think, and it
> may not need us to answer "who?" or "where?" in order to get the
> desired outcome.

I think this is an important insight to tease out and share - thank you for
sending it, Andrew. I agree with you largely. We do not want a system of
Internet Governance that requires particular people or entities to be
trusted: we need a responsive system where if bad actors get into a
position to shape things, or an institution goes off the rails, the
community can act together to correct things.

A system of redress and change such as you suggest can achieve that. So can
the sensible division of power through structural arrangements that avoid
concentrating it in one place.

As Pat Kane noted in the morning session on this topic, ICANN needs to
evolve. In my view, in the post-NTIA-functions-contract age, the current
system of accountability doesn't stand up.


<snip rest>

Jordan Carter

Chief Executive

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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