[Internal-cg] Coordination Group, 2 weeks after London.

WUKnoben wolf-ulrich.knoben at t-online.de
Mon Aug 4 07:38:53 UTC 2014

Dear colleagues,

thank you for your openly offered remarks, Jean-Jacques which I take very 

It seems to me that your observations - besides the question of membership 
and chair structure - make here the general point of how CIG members in 
future can trust each other. This question - as usual in diverse groups - is 
strongly related to the commonly understood and agreed process in finding 

Our group is still lacking such an agreement. In London we just agreed to 
follow the "rough consensus principle" but we understand and use different 
means for it: humming, polls, no objections raised on the email list etc. If 
we don't find a better way it will lead us deadlocked in almost every 
question to be decided.

Therefore I am convinced that we have to go through this part to clearly 
define our decision making process. As a starter I attach an extract of the 
GNSO Working Group Guidelines. I'm sure others may have similar approaches 
with additional ideas. It is worthwile to put this together and come up with 
a suggestion to be finalized at the Istanbul meeting. I'd be happy to be 
part of a small prep team.

Best regards


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht----- 
From: Subrenat, Jean-Jacques
Sent: Sunday, August 03, 2014 7:35 PM
Subject: [Internal-cg] Coordination Group, 2 weeks after London.

Dear Colleagues,

two weeks after our first Coordination Group (CG) meeting in London, I would 
like to offer a few remarks.


For most global Internet users, the NTIA statement about transitioning 
stewardship of the IANA functions, while undoubtedly implying that technical 
changes would be required, was primarily a political message about the 
United States' willingness to hand over that stewardship. And for the global 
user community, it is natural and acceptable that Washington, as the current 
custodian, requires certain conditions to be met before transition can be 
carried out. The fact that the timing of the NTIA statement may have 
something to do with the Snowden revelations does not diminish the value of 
the US proposal.

To someone who follows US and world affairs quite closely, some attitudes 
displayed in the CG show little awareness of the fact that the intentions of 
the United States could be completely misunderstood. They also show little 
consideration for the user communities in non-affluent societies.

When it became clear that the membership of our Coordination Group was 
heavily weighted in favour of a single geographic region (North America), 
one citizenship (11 US citizens out of 30 members), as well as business 
interests and technical operators, this was played down by several members 
of the CG as representing a "purely political" dimension and therefore not 
relevant to the matter in hand which, for them, should remain "purely 

To illustrate my point: in London I was given the opportunity ( thank you 
Alissa ;-) ) to share a few thoughts about the geo-strategic challenges 
facing the Internet, and their possible implications for the task of the CG. 
In reaction, there was not a single question or remark: this was not the 
silence of approval, but a lack of interest in the topic. Rest reassured, I 
have no personal hangup about this; but I am concerned that the CG seems to 
be ignoring an important dimension.


In London, through an agreed process, we reached a documented decision in 
favour of 3 Co-Chairs. After London, some of you considered that you did not 
like this result, and took the initiative to set up a poll. I mention this 
topic of Chair structure because it encapsulates several of the problems 
facing us now.

The composition of our CG is what it is, we're not going to change it now. 
But we owe it to the global community to show more sensitivity to some wider 
issues. Are we impervious to the writing on the wall? Quite a few in the 
global user community consider that the presence of US citizens, already so 
strong in the CG, would not be justified in the Chair structure and would in 
fact open our work to easy criticism, whatever the quality of that work. It 
has also been noted that the presence of business interests (already 
strongly represented in the CG) would be unjustified and unfair in the chair 
structure. Let me be clear: this is not about the merits or capacity of any 
individual, it is about over-representation and conflicts of interest, real 
or perceived.

Members of the CG should be aware that they are under close scrutiny by the 
global community, and that the acceptability and credibility of their final 
plan for transition will also hinge on the perceived process by which this 
was developed.

It is therefore important to demonstrate to the outside world that we 
operate in an orderly, efficient and fair fashion, and that we follow agreed 
processes and abide by our documented decisions. Deciding upon our own 
leadership structure is an important first test. We need a leadership 
structure that is the outcome of agreed process and which demonstrates the 
CG's commitment to its duty to act in the interests of the global 
stakeholder community.


Like all of us on this list, I'm not interested in confining myself to 
analysis or criticism. Here are my proposals moving forward:

- Membership of the CG: let's just accept it as is.

- Chair structure: for all the reasons already put forward by the ALAC, 
having 3 Co-Chairs from 3 different geographic regions will garner the 
widest support from the global community. This can be achieved in a simple 
and straightforward way by the Interim Chair declaring that the poll (the 
results of which are in any case open to widely differing interpretations) 
will be put to one side, that the CG will continue as agreed in London, and 
by calling for candidates for the 3 Co-Chairs. The timeline should be very 

- Global public interest: in the future, we need to consciously take into 
account the way in which our processes and choices may impact not only the 
operators and clients of the IANA functions, but more generally the global 
Internet community. This is the only way to ensure that the transition is a 
durable success.

Best regards,

Internal-cg mailing list
Internal-cg at icann.org
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