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

Paul Rosenzweig paul.rosenzweig at redbranchconsulting.com
Sun Jul 12 18:05:44 UTC 2015

Dear George

With respect, we've been over this ground before.  In general, past
practice, while interesting is not relevant to our discussion.  We are
designing an accountability mechanism to bind the Board and community  going
forward under changed circumstances.  In doing so we have been positing
(through the stress test process) some modes of failure that we might
anticipate.  The bounds of that consideration are the bounds of
reasonableness and expectation.  We cannot defend against all risks and some
risks are more likely  than others.  For that reason we've not considered a
response to the zombie apocalypse :-).   But we have (and in my view must)
consider many  situations that have not occurred in the past as risks that
may eventuate in the future.  For me, past disagreements with the Board
serve only one purpose -- to be a plausible predictor for likely future
disputes.  At a minimum, the accountability mechanisms must address
perceived past accountability failures -- i.e. these lists -- but we don't
need to spend too much time dredging up old disputes and resolving them
factually.  All of them (even the ones with contended facts) are plausible
future scenarios that would need to be addressed even had they not
previously been perceived to have occurred.

As I said, we've had the "how bad is the Board" discussion before.  I
confess I have played the game a bit myself.  But in the end it isn't the
question.  Even assuming the current Board is filled with saints who never
have erred, they will not be the future Board, who may be saints as well,
but who may be sinners.


Paul Rosenzweig
paul.rosenzweig at redbranchconsulting.com 
O: +1 (202) 547-0660
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VOIP: +1 (202) 738-1739
Skype: paul.rosenzweig1066
Link to my PGP Key

-----Original Message-----
From: George Sadowsky [mailto:george.sadowsky at gmail.com] 
Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2015 12:24 PM
To: Jonathan Zuck
Cc: Accountability Cross Community
Subject: Re: [CCWG-ACCT] An mplication of accountability models being


Thank you _very much_ for taking the time to respond to my request.  I
really appreciate it, because I think that your list, with additions by
Eberhardt, Jordan, Christopher and others give me a sense of why the  CCWG
is progressing as it is, and why the discussions are going the way they are.
Thank you for being forthcoming.

I know that I entered this discussion late, and I regret that I felt so
constrained at its beginning.  I suspect that I'm raising old issues, but
I'm not sure.  I do subscribe to Chris' intervention that it's important to
know whether the points raised are true and if so are widely held community
concerns.  At the moment I'm agnostic because I haven't heard your point of
view yet, and I hope that I have a sufficient reputation for fairness and
independent thinking that you accept that as true.  I have no wish to defend
established positions just because they exist.  OTOH, it's important to be
able to proceed in an informed way based upon commonly agreed upon facts.
(You may recall that on your point 7 below, I was the only vote against
proceeding with the gTLD program at that time.)

My family, with granddaughter, arrived yesterday afternoon and are here with
us in Vermont, so my time is more limited than I would like.  Nevertheless I
think this is an important dialogue, and I am glad that it has started, if
only for my own education  --  although I'm not sure that it has occurred
before.  (If not, it would be important to understand why  --  let's put
that on the "to do" list.)

I would like to get back to you and to the list later today.  Perhaps you
might have time for a Skype conversation sometime tomorrow?


On Jul 12, 2015, at 7:49 AM, Jonathan Zuck <jzuck at actonline.org> wrote:

> George,
> 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
> 3. Failed to prevent decision making prior to termination of comment
> 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
> 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
> 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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