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

Nigel Roberts nigel at channelisles.net
Sun Jul 12 17:58:51 UTC 2015


Its getting late, and I'm tired so I'll try and make this brief.

I explicitly acknowledged much of what you detail in your apparent 

My point was not to beat ICANN up about its previous misdeeds but the 
fact you seek to paint a rosy picture shows the sensitivities are still 

ICANN *is* somewhat better now than it was, although the .AFRICA review 
decision would seem not to assist in the task of convincing skeptics of 

But extrapolating from the fact that ICANN has stopped beating its wife, 
to taking a view that robust constituional checks, separation of powers, 
and an effective system of accountability and (in particular) 
independent review, is NOT necessary, would be a step too far in my book.

It's like saying South Africa and/or Namibia (and I choose those 
democracies specifically) do NOT need the robust constitutions and 
judiciary that they have adopted, becuase post 1994 they are better 
places and there are none of those nasty people that used to run the 
show around any more.

Whilst sailing into Godwin's law territory, it's like saying Germany 
does not need the Grundgesetz (I scored 90% on the German citizenship 
test by the way), again because modern Germany doesn't have the bad 
people around in power.

It's clear to me that it's precisely because Germany has a strong 
separation of powers, and a rights based Basic Law where even the 
government has to follow the rules, means that those bad days are less 
likely to return.

The elephants in the room have long memories. (Or should that be dinosaurs.)

It seems to me that ICANN needs an equivalent of the Basic Law  -  a 
Covenant, or Charter, for the DNS, which should inform everything that 
staff and volunteers do.

On 12/07/15 16:37, Steve Crocker wrote:
> Nigel, et al.,
> The episode with Karl Auerbach was in 2002, when ICANN was just a few years old and was still building its processes, sorting out a stable source of revenue, and generally finding its way.   I am strongly in favor, as I think both the board and the staff are, that directors must have inspection rights.  A similar problem isn’t going to occur.
> The court action you’ve cited is just one part of the commotion Karl caused.  He was also quite disruptive in other ways, and his “popular” election made it clear that we don’t yet have viable mechanisms to support the popular elections.  No method of enfranchising voters, and no way to prevent the type of massive fraud that led to his election.  Live and learn.
> ICANN is far from perfect but it is also far from totally broken.  It’s always hard to deal with situations that are neither black nor white, so the challenge is to be accurate and balanced.
> Steve
> On Jul 12, 2015, at 10:51 AM, Nigel Roberts <nigel at channelisles.net> wrote:
>> How about adding
>> 'unreasonably restricting directors access to corporate records and depriving directors of rights afforded them by law'
>> 'imposing unreasonable requirements . . .'
>> 'promulgating rules not adopted by the board by ad hoc groups of functionaries'
>> 'depriving directors of inspection rights afforded them by law'
>> 'requiring burdensome review' before permitting a director to enforce his (legal) inspection rights
>> These are not my words but are taken from the words of the Hon. Dzintra Janavs, in granting the peremptory writ of mandate against ICANN in Auerbach -v- ICANN to force ICANN to comply with the applicable California law.
>> ICANN is, without doubt, better than it was in 2002.  But I personally will not be satisfied with sticking-plaster accountability mechanisms.  Otherwise, why should there need to be any form accountability mechanisms in the United States' constitituion, if you trust the current incumbents to do the right thing.
>> On 12/07/15 14:41, Dr Eberhard W Lisse wrote:
>>> George,
>>> Jonathan's list is quite an excellent start, much better then mine dealing with examples (by detail).
>>> Sometimes I think the Board develops a bunker mentality, ie we 15/17/19 (or however many) Board Members are right, so everybody else must be wrong. I have used much choicer words for this transformation that Board Members seem to go through, by the way.
>>> But, why on earth do you people not ask yourselves why there is no trust in you (the Board)?
>>> el
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