[ccwg-internet-governance] [discuss] ICANN proposal for NTIA transition published

Shatan, Gregory S. GShatan at reedsmith.com
Wed Apr 9 16:14:52 UTC 2014


Just to put more color on what Marilyn says (at the risk of stating the obvious at great length):

The “GNSO” is a home for several distinct Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies (SG/Cos).

These SG/Cos act in two ways:

-- Through/within the GNSO (sitting on GNSO Council, working in Working Groups, etc.)
--  Directly/outside of the GNSO (submitting public comments, writing letters, speaking, governance of each SG and CO, etc.).

The 4 SG/Cos are a fairly disparate group.

The two “contracted” SGs (Registries and Registrars) may seem to be somewhat aligned, but they are also by their nature on opposite sides of commercial relationships, which certainly leads to differing interests.

The two “non-contracted” SGs (Commercial and Non-Commercial) are more disparate; there are a range of policy issues where the two groups tend to be aligned on opposite sides (that’s way oversimplified, and there are points of agreement and consensus, but the basic point applies).  Further, the two “non-contracted” SGs break down into Constituencies: Commercial/Business Users, IP, and ISPs in the CSG; Non-Commercial Users and Non-Profit Operational Concerns in the NCSG.  While the Constituencies within each SG are somewhat more aligned (compared to SG vs. SG), there are still very significant points of difference relating to policy, focus, practical concerns, interest, expertise, etc.

By and large, the 5 Constituencies and the two constituency-less SGs tend to speak for themselves and not as the GNSO or as representatives of the “GNSO.”  (There are exceptions of course, including all GNSO Policy Recommendations and the rare letter or statement from the GNSO as such, and the NCSG may speak as such more often than the CSG does, but again the basic point applies).

The point is that the “GNSO” is a mixed bag of separately functioning stakeholder organizations, which are then “federated” into the GNSO.  The separate existence of these stakeholder organizations is at least as significant in ICANN as their roles as component parts of the GNSO.

The difference is greater than apples vs. oranges.  It’s more like beef vs. potatoes.  Could you pick two foods to “represent” all foods?  You might pick one animal and one vegetable, but where does that leave fruits and nuts? Can a carrot represent an apple?  Can a pig represent eggs or fish?

So, treating the GNSO as a “body” is true in a very gross sense, but it works poorly in the representative sense, given the significant spread in viewpoints (some diametrically opposed).  Can a registrar represent registry interests?  Can a member of the IPC represent NCUC interests?  As good “representatives,” we can try, but it’s inherently dysfunctional at some point.  While formal statements and official positions always require consultation and consensus, the nature of any representative group is that those around the table need to interact in real time, and yet act in a way that is still in some way “representative.”

I can feel reasonably comfortable speaking from a roughly IPC point-of-view, and somewhat comfortable speaking from a roughly CSG point-of-view, in real time. I would need to avoid a few touchy subjects, and the “usual caveats” that I am not stating a formal position of either organization would need to be understood.  Could I speak from a “non-contracted parties” point of view or a “GNSO” point of view?  It would be exceptionally hard to do so spontaneously on many substantive issues, aside from a few “mom and apple pie” platitudes or on some purely process points (and even then, I might get into trouble).  And I say this even though I view myself as relatively open-minded and “multipartisan” (and as someone whose professional training includes learning to argue both/all sides of any issue).

In sum, any time the GNSO is asked to put forward fewer representatives than the number of its parts, it’s a problem and will not yield the same results, even with all the good will in the world.

Greg Shatan

From: Marilyn Cade [mailto:marilynscade at hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:46 AM
To: Patrik Falstrom
Cc: Shatan, Gregory S.; ccwg-internet-governance at icann.org
Subject: RE: [ccwg-internet-governance] [discuss] ICANN proposal for NTIA transition published

It may be that an AC can agree to two. I am not commenting on that.

For the GNSO, we are not organized in that way.
The GNSO Council is limited to gTLD policy. Governance of the GNSO is done through Excomms in each SG/Constituency.

I would propose at least one per SG from GNSO, which is 4.

I just reread the ICANN posting on the Strat Panels, which avoid a real public comment process and have an 'unarchieved' email list, which means that whatever anyone posts to the chairs of the Strat Panels goes into a black hole, without any visibility to others from the community.
While that may seem insignificant to some, it is a significant shift.

Just as the continued effort to have staff drive rather than support.

I realise that the SSAC is an expert mechanism with staff supporting, not driving, but that is not the present trend with many discussions.

I continue to look at the CCWG.

We struggle for acceptance from the ICANN staff, Board.
Why is that?

Because racing ahead as a group of recently retained staff is more important than really working to support the Stakeholders?
One is a sustainable model.

During the ICANN meeting, and even recently, critical comments were made by some about those who voice questions and concerns.  I was so disappointed to hear these words.

Critique is what we need. Expressions of concern are the most important input we can receive. IF we know where ICANN is weak, then we, the community, can guide its improvement.

That should concern us all, and the Board and Staff who have taken that approach should rethink their attitude.

This is not about 'us' endorsing what Fadi/staff/Board want, but listening carefully, reflecting back, gaining views, and putting forward tentative approaches, for community 'discussion', not endorsement, until the community truly endorses.

Subject: Re: [ccwg-internet-governance] [discuss] ICANN proposal for NTIA transition published
From: paf at netnod.se<mailto:paf at netnod.se>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 08:07:24 +0200
CC: GShatan at reedsmith.com<mailto:GShatan at reedsmith.com>; ccwg-internet-governance at icann.org<mailto:ccwg-internet-governance at icann.org>
To: marilynscade at hotmail.com<mailto:marilynscade at hotmail.com>

On 9 apr 2014, at 07:44, Marilyn Cade <marilynscade at hotmail.com<mailto:marilynscade at hotmail.com>> wrote:

In this proposed model, staff goes even farther to limit input and representativeness on the SG, by limiting the participants to 2 per SO/AC.

How many participants do you suggest per SO/AC?


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