[CCWG-ACCT] Statement of accountability scope and limitations; fact based evidence

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Fri Jul 10 17:35:09 UTC 2015


thanks for the reply, I only want to address one paragrapgh.

On 10-Jul-15 12:51, Steve Crocker wrote:
> While I agree we need something akin to a judicial function, you have repeated two assertions that aren’t true, at least not as you’ve formulated them in absolute terms.  First, as noted above, NTIA has not functioned as a backstop.  And the board does not have absolute authority.  Board members have limited terms, strong opposition from the community does have an effect, and, in the event the board goes beyond its statutory authority, it can be sued in court.  I think a somewhat clearer presentation of the matter is that many in the community are not satisfied with these avenues of recourse and want stronger, more immediate, and finer-grained forms of recourse.  All of that is understandable, but I think we should recognize that these are improvements in degree, not kind.

I think there is a difference of opinion on the degree of backstop. 
Just the fact that a contract has to be renewed every few years, with an
RFP ever 7 years year (how biblical)  means that to some degree they are
a backstop.  If nothing else, if the Board really messes up, the
contract might end up elsewhere.  As to whether they ever also served as
an informal moderating influence by having strong conversations that
helped Board members arrive at a better clue, we could argue until the
end of time without reaching a final conclusion as to degree to which
these served as a backstop. 

As for absolute authority, of course I mean within the limits of the
bylaws, I do not mean to speak of absolute authority in the sense of the
Dear Leader of North Korea.  Currently the bylaws offer no repsonse for
the community to a Board consensus other than a (s)election that could
be up to 3 years away.  If the Board decides to unilaterally change
reference contracts of new gTLD applicants, no one can challenge that. 
It the Board decides to add TMCH+50 we have no real recourse.  Given
that the Board can overrule any recommendation made by any SO or advice
of an AC, without any possible recourse (except of course for the GAC
with its special powers) is as close as we can come to absolute
authority, at least within the confines of ICANN's mission.  And, as
some argue, even outside the confines of a narrowly understood mission
the Board can decide to things that no ACSO can affect, e.g. deciding
which multistakeholder efforts beyond ICANN we give money to, and how
much we give.

So we may need to agree to disagree on whether the Board has absolute
authority and whether the NTIA is a backstop.


As for miters, we speak of a removing ones hat to speak in ones own
right as opposed to speaking ex cathedra with the authority of the
Board.   The only hats of authority I can think of, other than crowns,
are miters.

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