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

Seth Johnson seth.p.johnson at gmail.com
Wed Sep 10 20:32:47 UTC 2014

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 2:21 PM, Seth Johnson <seth.p.johnson at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 1:53 PM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:
>>> Trying to make IANA
>>> accountability structures that address the IANA operator's failure to perform
>>> is quite straightforward; it is when we also try to address the possible
>>> situation of the IANA operator performing exactly as directed (but somehow
>>> out of alignment with served community) that designing mechanisms for
>>> accountability becomes rather challenging...
>> Yes, that's why some of us favor structural separation and why IANA transition and ICANN accountability are on separate tracks.
>> We should not mix up the two requirements.
>> A bad way of mixing them up is allowing the IANA operator to veto or alter approved policies.
>> A good way to reconcile those two requirements is to have an "independent judiciary" with the authority to enforce binding, constitutional limitations on what the policy process can do. This appeals process could be used to challenge ultra vires policies, to challenge major process failures, or to challenge implementations that do not reflect agreed policies. All of these challenges should take place BEFORE anything hits the IANA, of course. If policy (ICANN) and IANA are integrated in the same organization, it becomes harder to enforce that kind of accountability, imho.
> Or a "House of Rights" or "Internet Rights Steward Federation" or
> "International Rights Society."
> Which would work better in relation to retaining consensus-style
> processes, rather than replacing everything with "governing bodies."
> Develop more formal types of rulemaking only on the basis of
> establishing something that matches more nearly the stewardship
> context we've known so far.
> Such a system would assure that we're able to proceed more in the
> pow-wow style we've had so far -- and would be a strong basis for
> assuring that stricter policy is held to a "standard of living" that's
> about fundamental liberties, while moving (carefully -- more carefully
> than people have evidenced so far) toward an approach to the
> international context that isn't solely sustained by one dominant
> country's constructed tension between an international ICANN and a
> national NTIA.
> (Jimmy Wales is alluding to this with his "culture of free expression"
> phrase, though I don't think he -- or many people -- have been quite
> cognizant of how that's really rooted -- or exactly how many ways our
> stewardship context has been dependent on this.  I'm pleased to see
> Milton starting to articulate an approximately similar awareness.)

A little correction: Milton's starting to articulate a concept that
has some structural similarities.  I don't believe his concern is
specifically targeted to accountability to fundamental liberties and
stewardship context rooted that way -- more to establishing "checks
and balances" -- though his framing in terms of a sort of judicial
authority is moving towards the basis.  I note, however, that "checks
and balances" -- such as a concept of a functioning "judicial
authority" (to which my first reaction is that's way too strong a
conceptual model) -- don't actually work the way you might hope in the
international arena, unless they are rooted in a working foundation.


> Seth

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