[CCWG-ACCT] recap and next steps?

Schaefer, Brett Brett.Schaefer at heritage.org
Sun Feb 21 11:59:20 UTC 2016


This is a good summary.

I am offended at how the Board has abused its power in this process by violating process, procedure and timelines to push its agenda.

I would ask one additional question. Our entire proposal is focused on how to make ICANN accountable to the community, so what conclusions can be drawn from the fact that we can't even hold the Board to the same rules that we have established for ourselves in this process?



Brett Schaefer
Jay Kingham Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs
Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy
The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002

On Feb 20, 2016, at 10:28 PM, Jordan Carter <jordan at internetnz.net.nz<mailto:jordan at internetnz.net.nz>> wrote:

Hi all

I'm trying for a recap / reset in this message, not sure I succeed but trying to help the discussion along.

Here's the background that has caused the current extension of debate, as I understand it:

- CCWG incorporated the idea that a decisional participant with a special role (GAC's advisory role that requires due deference by the Board, unique among ACs) should not be a decision-maker in applying accountability powers in relation to the consequences of that role. (In other words, GAC can choose - either consensus advice, or the ability to decide on accountability powers re its views - but not both).

- if GAC is excluded from decisions, there would likely be four other SOs and ACs participating.

- CCWG developed a principle that the use of community powers should not require unanimity for their use, so a proposal was made that the threshold for the Board Removal power should lower to 3 in such a situation.

- the debate since has been about when that lower threshold of 3 SOs/ACs should apply.

  - some participants think it's only if an IRP holds that the Board has breached the mission / bylaws

  - other participants think it's broader than that and applies whenever the cause is related to Board responses to GAC advice

- the Board has repeatedly said that it does not want the "no unanimity" principle to apply, but is willing to accept the lower threshold where an IRP finds against it.

-  there seems to be disagreement about what the CCWG actually decided in this, which is driving the discussion.

So here is what I think are some basics that we have to do:

- we have to reach clarity about what precisely we have decided, and if there were any gaps in that, they need to be specified.

- we have to decide what to do if that clarity exposes alternatives that haven't been decided between - that may include a position that the Board isn't happy with.

- we have to choose alternative that can drive the widest possible consensus within the group (unlike Steve Crocker's email, I don't think that a decision on this can be pushed to implementation)

- we have to publish the report

I'm not a spokesperson for the leadership team but I can say that I'll be doing what I can with the co-chairs and other rapporteurs to help make sure that the options are as clear as they can be for our meeting on Tuesday -- so that the chances of confusion are as low as possible.

I've said before that I don't mind where the group finalises on this issue.  Here's why

I do not think it's likely that the community is going to use the new accountability powers to disagree with Board implementation of matters that include GAC advice in the future.  There are a number of reasons why I hold that view, two key ones being:

- the improving transparency of GAC advice and particularly the GNSO/GAC engagement and the Board/GAC engagement
- the existence of the new accountability framework, which makes it less likely the Board will go against strong community sentiment

If I thought this was an important issue which would have a significant impact on our package, and that it was a life or death matter to resolve one way or the other, I would be very offended by the way this has played out in the past few days.  But because the stakes are so low on the substance, I am *very* happy to fall into consensus with whatever direction the group wants to go, and I *do not* see this as an issue where *anyone* should be adopting non-negotiable positions.

I don't expect that everyone will agree with me that this simply isn't that important an issue, but I really hope that as a CCWG, we can put this matter into perspective.  The CCWG has to come to a conclusion on that, and get the report out.

SO -- hopefully on Tuesday we can work through the options in front of us and come to a decision about what to do.

If any party gets to the point on this issue that they feel like dying in the ditch is worth it, well may I humbly suggest that you find yourself a ditch? :-)


Jordan Carter

Chief Executive
InternetNZ - your voice for the Open Internet

+64-4-495-2118 (office) | +64-21-442-649 (mob)
Email: jordan at internetnz.net.nz<mailto:jordan at internetnz.net.nz>
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