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

Jordan Carter jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Sun Jul 12 03:22:58 UTC 2015

Dear all, dear George,

I did see a specific example in the recent note by Kieran in response to
Bruce's point about financial transparency.

I can note from a ccTLD perspective the ICP1 'original sin' if you like,
from years ago.

I can note more recently and more generally the NetMundial experiment.

I can also point you to a post that Jonathan Zuck made during the Buenos
Aires meeting on the mail list, which I take the liberty of posting below.
His post was in response to Chris Disspain saying "It is one thing to
assert this and another to document it.", which in turn was Chris
responding to Jonathan saying, among other things: "...ICANN as an
institution has systematically resisted real accountability for years".

I also note the strange case that many accountability improvements agreed
for implementation in various ATRTs seem not to have been implemented?


*---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Jonathan Zuck
<JZuck at actonline.org <JZuck at actonline.org>>Date: 20 June 2015 at
06:48Subject: Re: [CCWG-ACCT] [Acct-Legal] Memo - Revised Powers Chart,
Voluntary ModelTo: Chris Disspain <ceo at auda.org.au <ceo at auda.org.au>>Cc:
Accountability CCWG <accountability-cross-community at icann.org
<accountability-cross-community at icann.org>>Sigh. Okay.Failed thus far to
develop binding accountability mechanisms.Failed to adhere to policies
around publication of documents prior to meetings.Failed to prevent
decision making prior to termination of comment periods.Developed no
standard for review during the previous attempt at accountability reform
(2006?)Failed to develop public metrics to hold ICANN institutions to
account (such as contract compliance)Failed to listen to community
consensus on singular/plural and controlled the outcome of the redress
mechanisms through overly narrow mandate.Pushed ahead with new gTLD program
despite a lack of operational readiness, again without
consequences.Launched a staff lead review of the new gTLD program prior to
any input from the community.Scheduled new round of applications (at least
initially) prior to scheduled reviews.Failed to reign in the Net Mundial
initiative despite community objection or specify any consequences for
secret board resolutions, etc.Accepted the GC advice to protect the
corporation instead of the public interest. Weakened rather than
strengthened the IRP. Allowed staff to unilaterally change community
agreement on registry agreements and imposed the unilateral right to amend
registry agreements. Failed to implement half of the ATRT1 recommendations,
again without consequences.Supported the practice of passing off all
responsibility to third parties so ICANN has no risk. (.SUCKS is the latest
example)First attempted to prevent an accountability component to the IANA
transition and then tried to control it, insert experts, etc. rather than
trusting the community to organize itself.Just a few thoughts off the top
of my head. Your turn.Jonathan ZuckPresidentACT: The App
AssociationWww.ACTonline.org <http://Www.ACTonline.org>*

On 12 July 2015 at 06:52, George Sadowsky <george.sadowsky at gmail.com> wrote:

> Eberhard,
> I took a tour of the history of the Hippocratic Oath, via Google, and you
> are of course correct.  Actually, it is a very, very long oath in any of
> its forms.
> Avri believes that there is no point in going over the past, but I really
> would like to understand what past events are most prominent in driving the
> accountability discussion.  There are, to be sure, normative considerations
> regarding governance models and structures, but there also seem to be a lot
> of specific evens that would yield fact based evidence for change.  Are
> there that many?  Hw about starting a list, with a short description of how
> each affects the accountability process underway?
> As for reforming ICANN, I have a number of ideas on how ICANN could be
> improved, some affecting the Board.  For example, I feel strongly that
> Board meetings should generally be public, and that the serious issues for
> debate should be scheduled for public sessions.  That is not the case now,
> and I continue to push the idea.  Now, when you say, "ICANN is broken in so
> many ways, some of which we know, some we suspect, some that are hidden by
> obfuscation and even secrecy," say more, give concrete examples of
> brokenness and the directions the fix could take.  It's impossible to deal
> only with the general statement.
> I'm not aversee to changes in ICAN, but I want them to be based on
> observable defects and improvement strategies that are likely to be
> effective in fulfilling our mandate.  That's all.
> George
> >> What specific events and/or activities can you identify In the past on
> any part of ICANN or its constituent bodies that current accountability
> mechanisms do not protect from?
> On Jul 11, 2015, at 1:09 PM, Dr Eberhard W Lisse <el at lisse.na> wrote:
> > George,
> >
> > as being familiar with the Hippocratic Oath from a professional
> perspective, I need to point out that the "First, do no harm" maxim does
> not appear there. A popular misconception, as seven Wikipedia will tell you.
> >
> > However, I do not agree that we  should put in only minimum fixes,
> because we can only fix what comes to our attention as being broken, after
> the fact.
> >
> > Now the old software maxim "Don't fix what ain't broken" has its place
> in avoiding introducing new bugs, but it does nothing to improve the user
> experience or function.
> >
> > Since you brought it up, in (Curative) Medicine and especially Surgery,
> we of course only do what the patients gives informed consent to, but only
> doing the minimum to fix a problem is considered unprofessional and would
> attract serious liability. Never mind that Preventative Medicine including
> Screening have shown to be of immense value.
> >
> >
> > ICANN is broken in so many ways, some of which we know, some we suspect,
> some that are hidden by obfuscation and even secrecy, and I am sure in many
> other ways that will come to light eventually.
> >
> > It is in need of comprehensive, structural reform, if not a complete
> redesign. Not just our tinkering around the edges.
> >
> >
> > el
> > --
> > Sent from Dr Lisse's iPad mini
> >
> >> On Jul 9, 2015, at 19:16, George Sadowsky <george.sadowsky at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> The Hippocratic oath, "do no harm," is as relevant to communities and
> organizations as it is to medicine.  If something is largely working but
> has flaws, it's reasonable to ask the question of what is the minimum
> change necessary to eliminate the flaw.
> >>
> >> In the case of accountability,  it is clear that accountability is a
> necessary component of an adequate governance structure. The question in my
> mind is how much and in what form. I believe that the advisor to the CCWG,
> Jan Scholte, remarked in an earlier intervention, the issue is
> accountability for what, to whom, and with what enforcement mechanisms.
> It's possible that the this easy WG has already provided a concise
> statement answering these questions. If so, could someone please point me
> to it; if not wouldn't it be useful to have one?
> >>
> >> In that spirit, I'd like to ask members of this group the following
> question: What specific events and/or activities can you identify In the
> past on any part of ICANN or its constituent bodies that current
> accountability mechanisms do not protect from?  how do the variety of
> current proposals address those shortcomings, and how in the past with
> these mechanisms have been used to address those specific events and/or
> activities?  If there already exists such a list, please point me to it; if
> there isn't wouldn't it be useful for some reality testing?
> >>
> >> I am not suggesting that it would be sufficient to engineer new
> accountability mechanisms that dealt only with previous behavior that was
> considered inappropriate. Clearly it's very possible that new behavior  by
> any part of the community considered inappropriate by any other part of the
> community will fit into new patterns and will not  replicate earlier
> activities. However, there's a lot of merit in fact-based evidence, and I
> would like very much to have the opinion of people on this list of those
> instances where new accountability measures would have been useful and
> effective where existing accountability measures failed.
> >>
> >> George
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >> Accountability-Cross-Community at icann.org
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Jordan Carter

Chief Executive

04 495 2118 (office) | +64 21 442 649 (mob)
jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Skype: jordancarter

*A better world through a better Internet *
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