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

Jordan Carter jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Tue Jul 14 05:59:51 UTC 2015

Trying to pick up a few points in an effort to be constructive:

On 12 July 2015 at 19:41, Chris Disspain <ceo at auda.org.au> wrote:

> Hello Jordan,
> See in line below.
> Cheers,
> Chris Disspain | Chief Executive Officer
> .au Domain Administration Ltd
> T: +61 3 8341 4111 | F: +61 3 8341 4112
> E: ceo at auda.org.au | W: www.auda.org.au
> auDA - Australia's Domain Name Administrator
> On 12 Jul 2015, at 14:17, Jordan Carter <jordan at internetnz.net.nz> wrote:
> Hi all, hi Chris:
> On 12 July 2015 at 15:54, Chris Disspain <ceo at auda.org.au> wrote:
>> Hi Jordan,
>> On ATRT, please see
>> https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/atrt2-recommendation-implementation-02apr15-en.pdf and
>> let me know the 'strange cases' to which you refer.
> Probably the implementation timetable. The report was submitted in
> December 2013. It is July 2015. There seem to be ticks in the boxes marking
> complete for roughly half the components in that (sixty-six) page PDF.
> Other elements continued (tho this update is April, and it's now July), and
> some aren't due for well over another year. Is that the kind of pace that
> we should expect?
> George said:
> "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."
> You gave ATRT as an example and referred to the "strange case" of failure
> to implement. Now apparently the problem is the timetable.

I regard that as reasonably understood as a "breakage". I'm not used to
timescales of that sort in delivering improvements. If that's the kind of
timeframe the ICANN community is happy with, that's fine by me! We will
simply have to agree to disagree as to whether that is what it is or not. I
don't have a view as to what the "right" answer is - I was simply offering
my perspective.

> Also: sixty-six pages is not the kind of summary that is a useful
> dashboard look at what is happening. Is part of the new dashboard approach
> going to summarise this information more briefly, more meaningfully?
> So we're clear are we that this is not an example of obfuscation or
> secrecy? Rather it seems you are concerned, now, that there is too much
> detail. Which indicates to me that what we are actually dealing with is an
> example "damned if we do and damned if we don't".

That's not my point at all. Having detailed information is incredibly
important, and the way the ATRT information you sent out is set out is

Yet to read and absorb it is a commitment of a considerable amount of time.
If there is brief summary material available on key matters within the
ICANN community then yes, in my view, that is an example of a material
improvement in accountability. It simply allows a wider part of the ICANN
constituency to understand the key points.


> You challenged Jonathan to pose some examples; he did so; as far as I can
> find, this is the first time you've responded. I didn't quite know what to
> make of your silence, but now I do at least in respect of one of his points
> :-)
> Jonathan had posted in a subsequent note that he realised he had breached
> his own suggested protocol by posting the list. I decided on that basis not
> to respond. Your restatement of the list in the context of answering
> George's question led to me to chose an example.

I didn't notice that from him at the time or subsequently, and so I
apologise for its restatement.

> It leads to a more important question tho:
> How can we have a sophisticated, evidence based discussion about the
> specific examples of failures in ICANN's accountability, the breadth of
> view as to whether they are failures or not, in a way that helps the CCWG
> do its work?
> Well, we could do what I suggested. Come up with an example from the past
> that we all understand and agree is something that there would be community
> consensus to overturn. And acknowledge that in truth these are few and far
> between.

Speaking personally, I think the problem with dealing with this (evidencing
and exploring some past specific example) is that it takes us back to the
notion that the reason that there is an accountability improvement process
of the sort that is happening now is because of some real (or worse,
imagined) litany of past mistakes.

>From my point of view, the reason there are needs for systemic improvement
in ICANN accountability is because of the demise of the external
accountability created by the IANA Functions contract. That's the explicit
basis for this whole exercise - the stewardship transition.

The proposal isn't intended to deal with specific past failures. It is
intended to respond to the new environment that ICANN and its community
find itself in, and to try and build a framework that can be sustainable in
securing the multistakeholder approach to Internet governance in the ICANN

Because that's my view, it might have been more sensible to not participate
in this thread at all, since it takes us down the track that doesn't help.
But nobody's perfect.

> Or, alternatively, stop justifying our calls for greater accountability by
> making broad brush, non-evidence based claims that place the staff, the
> board and often various parts of the community in a bad light and instead
> acknowledge that greater accountability is a good thing and within
> reasonable boundaries doesn't actually need to be justified by claims of
> bad acting in the past.

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