[CCWG-ACCT] An mplication of accountability models being discussed

Jonathan Zuck JZuck at actonline.org
Sun Jul 12 11:49:33 UTC 2015

I appreciate your questions about past actions of the board that might be motivating this accountability exercise, and I did spin off a short list for Chris not too long ago (see below) but I continue to believe this isn’t the most productive line of reasoning. This exercise really isn’t about the current board, which operated under he watchful eye of the NTIA. This exercise is about the next incarnation of ICANN, independent from any last tether to the USG and, as such, we owe it to ourselves to finally build real accountability mechanisms into the ICANN framework. There are certainly examples of international organizations which has lost there way. It’s our duty to attempt to prevent that fate for ICANN. So I think it’s a mistake to think of this exercise as “motivated” by the current board or any previous board. We’re starting over and trying to get it right.

That said, here’s an incomplete list of things I came up with during a coffee break in BA that I believe at least raise some questions as to how they might have been handled under a reformed accountability framework. I’m sure Eberhard would add to this list some questionable decisions to allow corrupt governments to expropriate ccTLDs. I hope this is more helpful than hurtful. We really just have one chance to get this fundamental balance of power right. JZ

1. Failed thus far to develop binding accountability mechanisms.

2. Failed to adhere to policies around publication of documents prior to meetings.

3. Failed to prevent decision making prior to termination of comment periods.

4. Developed no standard for review during the previous attempt at accountability reform (2006?)

5. Failed to develop public metrics to hold ICANN institutions to account (such as contract compliance)

6. Failed to listen to community consensus on singular/plural and controlled the outcome of the redress mechanisms through overly narrow mandate.

7. Pushed ahead with new gTLD program despite a lack of operational readiness, again without consequences.

8. Launched a staff lead review of the new gTLD program prior to any input from the community.

9. Scheduled new round of applications (at least initially) prior to scheduled reviews.

10. Failed to reign in the Net Mundial initiative despite community objection or specify any consequences for secret board resolutions, etc.

11. Accepted the GC advice to protect the corporation instead of the public interest. 

12. Weakened rather than strengthened the IRP. 

13. Allowed staff to unilaterally change community agreement on registry agreements and imposed the unilateral right to amend registry agreements. 

14. Failed to implement half of the ATRT1 recommendations, again without consequences.

15. Supported the practice of passing off all responsibility to third parties so ICANN has no risk. (.SUCKS is the latest example)

16. 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.

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