[CCWG-ACCT] Board position re the GAC carve out

Edward Morris egmorris1 at toast.net
Fri Feb 19 19:48:07 UTC 2016

 Hi Steve,
 As I always want to do when responding to one of your posts where I may have a different perspective, let me acknowledge my respect for you and my appreciation for all you've done for this community and the internet generally during the past four decades.
 Lest I be accused of ignoring one of those whom I represent on the GNSO Council, Paul Rosenzweig, let me state that I do agree with Paul that should your proposal be adopted it would endanger GNSO approval of several recommendations in the CCWG package. I think we can all agree that would be unfortunate and best avoided if we can.
 Steve, I would ask that you check with ICANN's paid consultants on government affairs and ask them to evaluate the prospects before Congress of a transition proposal where the final status of governments is listed as 'to be announced' (aka WS2). I'm not sure it would improve our chances there.
 Rather than focus on substance at this moment, though, I'd like to ask you a question more of procedure:
 What do you want us to do with your proposal?
 The review of the third draft proposal is over. Changes were discussed and made. The GAC carve out has certainly prompted extensive discussion on the list and now,  via the fine Minority Statement by Olga Cavalli, we know that 7.3% of the GAC has a problem with this part of the Supplemental Proposal. Kavouss tells us there will be more governments weighing in on the matter in support of Olga's statement. Kavouss is a gentleman and a man of his word, I believe him, but let's face it: you could triple the support for the proposal and still only one in five governments will be on record favouring this view.
 The deadline for minority statements was yesterday. So I presume you do not intend your statement to be published in that section of our report. I guess then that your post is purposed for the 48 hour review by CCWG members which ends at 23:59 UTC this evening, or in about 4 hours. It was always my belief that this 48 hour review was more a mechanism to catch typographical errors or omissions than anything else. Perhaps I am wrong.
 Steve, do you expect us to change the substantive content of our Supplemental report on the basis of a Board submission that was posted on a Friday about seven and a half hours before the conclusion of a review, not comment, period by CCWG members? This after weeks of consideration of this issue?  If so, that expectation worries me far more than the substantive content of your post.
 I grew up about four miles from the home of John Adams, the second President of the United States of America. As a kid I was force fed a lot of information about President Adams and of his son, the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams. One quote of President Adams has stayed with me, though, and informed me as to the first principle of good governance. President Adams said we needed to be "a government of laws, not of men".  That is as true of the ICANN of today as it was of the United States of the 1700's. We need to follow President Adams' advice.
 Steve, I am concerned. I recall Istanbul where the Board dumped 88 questions on the CCWG the night before our face to face meeting. I recall Dublin where shortly before ICANN 54 the Board shot down the groups reference model. Today's last minute post sadly makes those two instances seem like models of procedural respect and restraint.
 We have a fine Charter. We all have roles to play. Might I suggest it is not the proper role of the Board, or any other group or individual, at this stage of the process to use a 48 hour review period to try to force or even suggest changes to this groups substantive work.
 We are now approaching the period where the Supplemental Report is to go to the chartering organisations. Those of us in the chartering organisations will take a look at the report, evaluate the recommendations and report back to our exceptional co-chairs. It is then that the Board should consider our proposal with reference to its resolution of 16 October 2014. That stated, it is a shame the Board did not inform us of its concerns on this matter when the rest of us were crafting our compromise solution it seems to have problems with. That time is now past and we as a community need to move on in accordance with our Charter.
 I understand the desire for strong personalities and groups to try to impose their will on processes, often with the best of intentions. We wouldn't be here today had it not been for one such personality, Jon Postel, who I was fortunate enough to know when I was a student at USC.  We're no longer in the more informal early days of the internet, Steve,  and we are trying to show the NTIA and the world this organization can be trusted with a vital international common resource. We need to show that we as a community have reached the level of maturity where we truly are an organization governed by laws and rules rather than by personalities and power plays. If we are not at that place today then ICANN is not ready for independence.
 I would respectfully encourage the Chairs to take note of Dr. Crocker's last minute intervention but to not allow it to change in any way our plans going forward. Let's follow our Charter, our published plan, and show we are capable of responsible governance ordered by procedure and structure rather than by personality and capricious last minute changes and proposals, even if they are made by good people with the best of intentions.
 Edward Morris


 From: "Steve Crocker" <steve.crocker at icann.org>
Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 4:29 PM
To: "Mathieu Weill" <Mathieu.Weill at afnic.fr>, "León Felipe Sánchez Ambía" <leonfelipe at sanchez.mx>, "Thomas Rickert" <thomas at rickert.net>
Cc: "Steve Crocker" <steve.crocker at icann.org>, "Icann-board ICANN" <icann-board at icann.org>, "Accountability Community" <accountability-cross-community at icann.org>
Subject: [CCWG-ACCT] Board position re the GAC carve out   
CCWG Colleagues,

The Board has a serious and continued concern about the issues being raised that may result in the reduction of the GAC's ability to participate in community decision making. This is most noticeable in the question of thresholds for board removal, however this is not an issue about removal or even thresholds, it is one part of the community being (or perceiving that it is being) sidelined. The Board's concerns with this issue are not about Board removal, but about maintaining the balanced multistakeholder model.

The Board is against any changes to the long established equilibrium and fairness among the different stakeholders within ICANN. The Board has long supported a threshold of four participants for Board removal in the ultimate escalation method proposed by the CCWG. Selecting one portion of the ICANN community and removing them from the equation - just through the ability to say that the community is unhappy with the acceptance of GAC advice that is within ICANN's bylaws - raises significant concerns about how the multistakeholder model, and the ultimate stability of ICANN as an organization, can be maintained. This carved out exception undercuts the established role of governments within the multi stakeholder process, and could introduce new issues with the acceptance of ICANN's model undermining the work of the CCWG.

We understand that there are concerns with this path from within other parts of ICANN community, including members of the GAC and ALAC. The best course, in our opinion, would be a careful and objective discussion of the whole matter of how advice from ALL parties is appropriately considered within ICANN. If there is a graceful way to remove this matter from the immediate pressure of the deadline of submitting this proposal and make it a priority matter for either the implementation phase or Work Stream 2, we think there will be a solution which is genuinely good for everyone.

We encourage you to share the CCWG's proposal with the Chartering Organizations while the dialog on this outstanding point continues.

Thank you,

Steve Crocker
Chair, ICANN Board of Directors

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