[atrt2] Draft Report - version 1 for review
steve at shinkuro.com
Wed Oct 9 19:35:27 UTC 2013
Not good enough. This is an important point and not one where it makes sense to throw up your hands and say you don't understand. That's code for "I disagree but I'm overruled" and it leaves you in a position to continue to criticize without closure.
Let me suggest the essence here has two elements. First, there is an intentional structural difference between SOs and ACs. SOs represent constituencies and have formal power. Decisions, in the form of policy adoptions, by SOs have authority. The authority is not absolute because the Board can, in principle, refuse to accept their policies, but the bar is very high and not often or easily exercised.
The ACs are, in principle, intended to provide advice. However, the second salient element here is the ACs are not a uniform group. There is more disparity among the ACs than there is among the SOs, even though there is quite a bit of disparity across the SOs. The GAC, in particular, feels it has a certain level of authority, and in that respect has some characteristics of an SO.
SSAC is at the other end of the spectrum. No defined constituency and no authority. No predefined criteria for membership. They make an effort to have members from all parts of the world, to have some women to balance the usual all male club, to have people who have background or connection with registrars, registries, address registries, root operators, security researchers, etc., etc., but there aren't any formal rules.
If you start with the presumption that an advisory committee must meet the same criteria as, say, the Board or even the SOs, then you're focusing on process and not results, and you're attempting to add cost and criticism without any indication that it's needed. In my view, the time to look at the process is after the results have become poor or there are substantial complaints about how people are treated. On the other hand, looking at their effectiveness and relevance is always appropriate.
On Oct 9, 2013, at 12:12 PM, Avri Doria <avri at ella.com> wrote:
> Ok, I guess I have to accept that SSAC, like GAC is special and is not subject to the same considerations as the rest of the SO/AC.
> Makes no sense to me. I came to grudgingly accept the special sensitivities of governments to being treated equally to other SO/AC. I guess this is just one more step in enumerating the groups that are somehow special and thus beyond accountability and transparency.
> But if this is the decision of the Board, what am i going to do? I will give up on this unless I see that someone else in this group sees the world as I do. I think this is a huge problem, but if I am alone, I will not go to war over it within the ATRT2.
> On 9 Oct 2013, at 14:21, Demi Getschko wrote:
>>> Let me suggest an unintended consequence of your perspective.
>>> By focusing on whether the SSAC processes meet community standards,
>>> you're implicitly adding weight to the "who" and "how" of SSAC's
>>> output, and that implicitly undermines the "what."
>>> The strength and utility of SSAC's work must, in my view, be
>>> based on the quality of the advice they provide and not their
>>> reputation or stature. If "SSAC said X" becomes the meme and
>>> creates an assumption that therefore X must be done, it lays
>>> the foundation for SSAC, like any other group, to act as if
>>> they have authority instead of only credibility.
>>> That's a very slippery slope, which I think is not the way to go.
>> Good point raised by Steve. Ageed!
>> On 10/09/2013 03:12 PM, Steve Crocker wrote:
>>> On Oct 9, 2013, at 10:47 AM, Avri Doria <avri at ella.com> wrote:
>>>> I agree that their advice should be considered and think I have argued for that, which arguing that all AC should have their advice treated equally respectfully by the Board.
>>>> And I would consider SSAC transparency and accountability to the community, at least in terms of process an important consideration. I know they talk about secret stuff and will need to invoke the cloak of secrecy more than most. But I see no reason that their processes should not be accountable to the community.
>>> They don't actually talk about secret stuff, which I think is a limitation. I've been privy to information about the interior of ICANN that I would have loved to have SSAC look at, but the SSAC folks didn't seem interested in engaging nor in setting up procedures for adhering to the confidentiality requirements.
>>>> I guess I just don't see the implication of a community review as problematic. Though It may be problematic that this is only an implication.
>>> Let me suggest an unintended consequence of your perspective. By focusing on whether the SSAC processes meet community standards, you're implicitly adding weight to the "who" and "how" of SSAC's output, and that implicitly undermines the "what." The strength and utility of SSAC's work must, in my view, be based on the quality of the advice they provide and not their reputation or stature. If "SSAC said X" becomes the meme and creates an assumption that therefore X must be done, it lays the foundation for SSAC, like any other group, to act as if they have authority instead of only credibility. That's a very slippery slope, which I think is not the way to go.
>>>> On 9 Oct 2013, at 13:35, Steve Crocker wrote:
>>>>> Speaking as founding chair of SSAC, there wasn't even a requirement for operating procedures for SSAC much less a requirement they be vetted, reviewed or approved by the Board or any other group. As part of my role as chair of SSAC, I initiated the creation of the operating procedures as a pragmatic way of capturing the tidbits of we actually operated. It was specifically not intended to be a set of rules that bound the group to anything. Rather, it was intended as a compendium to help the group remember what it did before. That said, I noticed that once we wrote things down, people tended to interpret the words as binding.
>>>>> Taking your point more broadly, the bylaws given almost no guidance on the structure of SSAC. I didn't study the words associated with the other advisory committees as closely, but I think the situation is similar. The only specific operational requirement is for the Board to approve the membership on SSAC. In the beginning, there weren't any limitations on terms, there was any criteria regarding membership, there weren't any mechanisms for removing someone except, implicitly, to ask the Board to take such an action. I adopted a practice of presenting to the Board nominations and I did so with sufficient documentation to make it clear we had selected people with strong backgrounds. The Board routinely accepted all of our nominations, and when it came time to replace me as chair, the Board chose to ask SSAC to make the choice.
>>>>> SSAC now has three year terms for membership, renewable, and it has an internal process for selecting new members.
>>>>> Either within ATRT2 or through other community processes I can imagine attempting to provide guidance or impose structure on SSAC and/or other advisory committees. If so, I recommend approaching that question directly. Grabbing hold of the operating procedures may be helpful as part of such an effort, but I don't believe it's the right starting point or even the main issue.
>>>>> To press this point a bit further, SSAC has begun to complain that its advice hasn't been followed. As a matter of form, I think that's out of scope, but I also agree and am actively implementing that when they deliver advice it needs to be acknowledged and accounted for. We have wording in our current ATRT2 report that addresses this, which is fine with me.
>>>>> On Oct 9, 2013, at 10:15 AM, Avri Doria <avri at ella.com> wrote:
>>>>>> On 9 Oct 2013, at 13:04, Steve Crocker wrote:
>>>>>>>> page 12, There was no comment period or other mechanism for community input associated with the publication of the SSAC Operating Procedures
>>>>>>> This wording inappropriately implies there should be a public comment period. The SSAC Operating Procedures is an internal document that captures the processes in effect. It is not a policy document. Publication is done for transparency and comments, if any, will likely be considered, but it was never intended nor would it be appropriate to suggest there is a need for community feedback or approval.
>>>>>> In general, I thought that all SO/AC Operating Procedures go through at least a vetting by the Board and that is preceded by a public comment. I certainly thought this was the case for GNSO Operating Principles. Not sure if this was the case for the ALAC change that just went through, but I thought it was. I don't understand why this would not be the case for SSAC as well.
>>>>>> Or should we take this to mean that no SO/AC needs to go through public comment before changing it Operating procedures?
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