[IANAtransition] On Enhancing ICANN Accountability

Tamer Rizk trizk at inficron.com
Fri May 30 00:45:48 UTC 2014

In its overview on Enhancing ICANN Accountability, ICANN's Senior 
Advisor to the President on Strategy graciously offers a window of 
"opportunity for public dialogue and community feedback" to be heard 
during an "accountability discussion that will take place entirely 
within the ICANN community". The overview sets forth a number of 
questions to the public that were designed by ICANN to provide input to 
the ICANN Accountability Working Group, in order for ICANN to craft the 
framework for its Accountability to the Public. Primarily, ICANN would 
like to consider the issues that the public identifies as being core to 
strengthening such accountability.

In essence, Accountability is the answerability, liability, and 
expectation of account-giving, in response to, and remediation of, 
organizational misconduct. Thus, the issue underscoring reasonable and 
growing Public concern is that the ethical development of a framework 
for accountability should endeavor to correspond to those whom which an 
Organization should be answerable, as opposed to the Organization 
itself. It should address how they may, independent of the Organization, 
hold the Organization liable to remediation, and it should reflect that 
the Organization truly believes that account-giving is forthcoming.

In ethics, and in governance, the core issue necessitating 
accountability is the preservation of social equity within a diverse 
power spectrum comprised of individual citizens, fledgling businesses, 
governments varying in size and nature, special interests and larger 
corporations. Throughout history nations have struggled with preventing 
failures in ability to maintain the fairly impartial administration of 
accountability from evolving into anarchy or tyranny at either extreme. 
Today, modern governments largely curtail a breakdown in systemic 
accountability through the separation of mutually dependent structures, 
each empowered with mechanisms to hold the other accountable, bolstered 
by processes to facilitate public recourse.

In the current trajectory towards Internet Governance and the Framework 
for accountability, when ICANN finally determines how it should be 
accountable to the greater global community comprising individuals, 
governments and businesses that must increasingly depend on the 
impartial provision of IANA functions far into the future, the Public 
may hope to continue to find opportunities to address ICANN, via well 
established procedures, such as the submission of complaints to ICANN's 
"Office of the Ombudsman" in accordance with the bylaws instated by 
ICANN. It should be noted that the common definition of Ombudsman is "a 
government official appointed to receive and investigate complaints 
against abuses or capricious acts of its officials". Individual, 
Corporate and National Citizens of the Internet may feel fortunate that 
such an Office exists at present. To this effect, the burden is on these 
very Citizens to collaboratively ensure that Accountability is 
adequately and enduringly developed to preserve the equity of the 
structures governing the Internet of tomorrow.

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