[GTLD-WG] [CPWG] [registration-issues-wg] Towards a comment on evolving the multistakeholder model at ICANN

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Sat May 18 20:37:46 UTC 2019


Evan, as much as some people (and I count myself among them) feel that the overall ICANN model needs to be changed to address the types of issues you list in your bullet points below, that is not what this exercise is about.

As the name implies, this is evolution to increase the effectiveness of the current model and not a complete reorg. That may make it less than useful in the minds of some, but that is what it is.

It is not the only such exercise going on. There is one purely within the GNSO which addresses some of these same problems but has the potential for worsening some things (including participation of non-GNSO groups/entities which some view as impeding the PDP process).

Is this current process sufficient to address the larger problems? No (in my mind). But can it provide useful change without increasing the overall structural problems? I hope so.

Alan

At 18/05/2019 01:58 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:
Hi Marita,

I apologize for not making the call. I am very interested in this topic, but even more interested in not having my time wasted.

As has been expressed before, I am extremely skeptical that the status quo can be disrupted purely from the inside.  There have been quite a few exercises of this kind before, even high profile moves such as the ATRT and independence from the US government have been tortuous but led to little real change in the way decisions are made. I could even make the case that the IANA transition has worsened the status of stakeholders outside the compact of domain buyers and domain sellers. What is the assurance (or even broad confidence) that the results of any new work would be heeded?  What are the consequences to ICANN of yet again ignoring the calls to distribute power more broadly or address its many fundamental breeches of public trust?

There are a few key components of ICANN governance that, so long as they exist, render all talk of real change aspirational at best.

  *   So long as GNSO consensus policy binds the ICANN Board, the rest of us are essentially powerless.
  *   So long as ICANN's revenue comes solely from domain acquisition, it is by definition in a conflict of interest in setting domain policy.
  *   So long as domain sellers sit on both sides of the negotiating table in development of the RAA and other instruments of domain regulation, ICANN cannot be trusted to act impartially.
  *   So long ICANN is accountable to nobody but its core conflicted community, it will successfully resist change. "Empowered" my eye.

ALAC has diligently participated in multiple previous "fix the MSM" efforts which have yielded no significant result. Two white papers produced by ALAC members were ignored without so much as acknowledgement of their existence. In this context, exactly how serious is this latest iteration? A new turnover of ALAC members provides fresh hope and maybe even new insights, but lack of institutional memory simply indicates new iterations of old efforts that have proven to fail. We hit the most solid of walls whenever intention tries to turn to execution.

This just feels so much like ICANN is Lucy and ALAC is Charlie Brown. Maybe if we try kicking the football again, this time it will work.....

What's different this time?

- Evan

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