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

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Sep 8 16:15:35 UTC 2014

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Curran [mailto:jcurran at istaff.org]
>   Again, my point is not that structural separation is "good" or "bad", but
>   only that we need to be very clear that moving IANA doesn't necessary
> address  any problems that exist elsewhere in the system (e.g. if a problem 
> is with  the policy implementation process that occurs _before_ IANA gets
> involved.)

Thanks for the clarification. I assume, however, that in the last sentence you mean "policy development" not "policy implementation."
Based on that assumption, I would agree that a separated, fully accountable IANA _by itself_ does not solve the problems in the accountability of ICANN's policy development process. That is why we have two distinct accountability processes underway.

The IGP paper has always argued that these are distinct problems. They are interdependent, however, in the following ways:
 - if ICANN is permanently awarded the IANA without making any reforms in its policy process, it has no incentive to reform; it can do whatever it likes and implement it regardless of how much support a policy has. (If you think that statement an exaggeration tell me how you would react to any out of process action by an ICANN that had complete control of IANA?)
 - There should be hard constraints on the scope of the ICANN policy process; i.e., strong, enforcable limits on ICANN's mission, avoidance of making ICANN a central regulator of Internet content and conduct.  It is possible that the IANA transition process could be used to create these limits. 

Milton L Mueller
Laura J and L. Douglas Meredith Professor 
Syracuse University School of Information Studies

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