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

James Gannon james at cyberinvasion.net
Mon Jul 13 17:25:44 UTC 2015


I think that the points that you're making are well taken by the group. And I understand your desire to delve deeper into the thinking and motivations for the current community powers that we have enumerated.
However I have to ask that we temper any requests to go back to the conceptual phase of our work, which I think is the logical conclusion of your questions. 

The community has deliberated over the mechanisms by which the community can be empowered for many months, with both supporters and detractors coming to compromise to get to the set of community powers that we are now attempting to translate into a future vision of accountability at ICANN. Those deliberations took place in the atmosphere of ensuring that what we are doing is in the best interests of not just ICANN but in the interests of the greater internet as a whole. They were decisions that were not taken lightly, they were the subject of much internal debate for many members of the CCWG, both due to the impact of the implementation of the powers and also because of the importance of the work we were tasked with. They are not abstract wants but rather concrete needs to take ICANN into a new era post-NTIA.

In my own simple terms I would see our work on what we need being in essence complete with the work before us now being how do we translate those requirements into a solution while maintaining the security and stability of ICANN during a period of change. I believe for us to go back to deliberating over the community powers would be a step back in the progress that we have made, and would be ill-advised as we need the time, effort and concentration of the CCWG to be solely on the work that is before us right now, rather than the work that we have done to date.

I would suggest that there are many in the CCWG who would be more than happy to bring you through the process we went through to get to where we are with the community powers, and many of those will indeed be in Paris, but as I said above, I would be reticent to suggest that the CCWG as a whole, or even as a subgroup, goes back and restarts the evaluation process of the community powers. We have limited time, effort and concentration left to bring us through these last few weeks of deliberation before our second public comment period at the end of this month.


-----Original Message-----
From: accountability-cross-community-bounces at icann.org [mailto:accountability-cross-community-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of George Sadowsky
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2015 5:49 PM
To: Malcolm Hutty
Cc: Accountability Cross Community
Subject: Re: [CCWG-ACCT] An implication of accountability models being discussed


[These are my personal opinions, and in no way are they meant to represent the opinions of anyone else or of any organization.]

Thank you for this note.  I believe that it provides a balanced perspective from which to discuss issues of accountability.

I'd like to suggest a next step in the direction of due diligence.  For each of the alleged misbehaviors, in Jonathan Zuck's or any others' lists, I suggest that the ideal way to proceed would be to:

1. Reach a common understanding of what the facts are and what really happened.

2. Characterize why the alleged misbehavior violated community norms or bylaws, or was inappropriate in any other way.

3. Discuss and decide what would/could have happened if any one of the several accountability models currently being discussed had been in force.

4. Discuss whether the proposed changes would be overkill, with respect to this specific incident only, i.e. judging whether the response is proportional to the alleged misbehavior.

I know that this is not possible in the large, but I think that it would be instructive, certainly for me, to choose some examples and work them through.

This suggestion is not meant to sidetrack the issue of developing an appropriate accountability structure for its own sake. As Malcolm notes, "accountability is desirable per se, and improvements should be put in place because they are desirable in their own right."  That's an important part of the equation also.

I seek serious conversations on this subject in Paris.   Anyone else? 


On Jul 13, 2015, at 6:48 AM, Malcolm Hutty <malcolm at linx.net> wrote:

> On 2015-07-13 04:48, George Sadowsky wrote:
>> But I would like to push back on your belief that past practice, 
>> while interesting, is not relevant to our discussion.  I believe that 
>> it is relevant, if only to agree with George Santayana's statement 
>> that people who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.
> [..]
>> But it should also help the CCWG, in that where there is factually 
>> verified and agreed upon evidence of out of bounds behavior by the 
>> Board (or for that matter any other organization in the ICANN orbit), 
>> one of your "stress  tests"should be to discuss what kind of reaction 
>> that behavior would produce if one or more of your accountability 
>> models had been in place at the time.  I would think that this is a 
>> necessary test of any new accountability proposal.  Wouldn't not 
>> doing this be a failure of due diligence?
> Generally I agree with Jonathan when he says that accountability is 
> desirable per se, and improvements should be put in place because they 
> are desirable in their own right, and should not have to be justified 
> by reference to some past misdemeanour they are intended to correct.
> On the other hand, the advice I quote above from George is also compelling:
> if we fail to address identifiable problems that have arisen before, 
> then that would be delinquency on our part.
> So it seems to me that the question of past issues is not symmetrical:
> evidence of past problems is relevant input to justify a proposed 
> accountability improvement, but a lack of evidence of past 
> misbehaviour is not relevant input as to why a proposed accountability improvement is not necessary.
> Malcolm
> -- 
>            Malcolm Hutty | tel: +44 20 7645 3523

George Sadowsky                     Residence tel: +1.802.457.3370
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Skype: sadowsky                           twitter: @georgesadowsky

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