[CCWG-ACCT] Internet culture and its applicability to the work of the CCWG

George Sadowsky george.sadowsky at gmail.com
Thu Jul 9 17:28:37 UTC 2015

I thank the CCWG lawyers for describing more clearly the spectrum of model choices at the Wednesday working session i Buenos Aires (slide 4, The Trust-Enforceability Continuum, attached below to this message).

The point I was making in that meeting before I was cut off is the following: In deciding what balance to select between trust and enforcement, recognize fully the culture of the development of the Internet and the very substantial value in respecting and employing it to the maximum extent possible.

The early history of the Internet is characterized by massive multi-stakeholder cooperation on primarily a voluntary basis. Academic institutions, governments, and industry worked together voluntarily and cooperatively to create first the ARPANET and then the general purpose Internet. Although commercialization occurred in the Internet space from 1990 onwards, it was clear that the motivating force for the spread of the Internet, both in the United States and internationally, was an enthusiasm among people to spread this new tool and to maximize its use for all kinds of human endeavors. Without this culture of cooperation and sharing, the Internet could not possibly have some have developed as quickly or as pervasively as occurred.  

This spirit of cooperation and sharing and volunteerism still exists to a large extent today. One obvious example is the volunteer community that surrounds ICANN. To the extent that ICANN can successfully continue as an organization in the Internet ecosystem using a voluntary model of trust and enforceability, it's my opinion that this culture will continue to provide substantial dividends for the evolution of ICANN as well as of the Internet. To the extent that the CCWG pushes the balance point on the continuum to require judicial contracts and judicial enforcement, this we lose the benefits of this culture and of these desirable characteristics.

This is an important decision and the results of the choice of balance point will affect the Internet for years to come.  I strongly urge you to  converge in favor of a balance point that is as close to the voluntary cooperation model as you can. I recognize that total reliance on the voluntary cooperation model is probably not feasible, nevertheless I urge you to use that as a starting point, and then, on the basis of real evidence of possible misuse or misapplication of that model by the staff, the board, or any of the constituent parts of ICANN, add accountability mechanisms that would prevent such future misuse. Starting from the judicial enforcement  end of the spectrum, is likely to result in a litigiously-based web of relationships that will serve more to  to assume and strengthen mistrust among our constituent parts rather than to engender trust. This would be going in exactly the wrong direction.

Finally, if trust is the real issue underlying much of these discussions, let's solve the trust issue in parallel with addressing the accountability issue. Let's not use one as a disguised proxy for the other.


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/accountability-cross-community/attachments/20150709/2df32e8b/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 12.17.52 PM.png
Type: image/png
Size: 247465 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/accountability-cross-community/attachments/20150709/2df32e8b/ScreenShot2015-07-09at12.17.52PM.png>

More information about the Accountability-Cross-Community mailing list