[CCWG-ACCT] Updated Proposal Documents Available for Review

Edward Morris egmorris1 at toast.net
Tue Feb 23 00:01:51 UTC 2016

 Thank you Milton/
 Four, five, three...details.
 Whether this community and this organisation has reached the maturity to be granted independence....that's now the issue.
 With seven hours thirty one minutes left in the 48 hour  CCWG  review of its final proposal, the day before we were going to publish our report,  a dictate was  issued from on high by  Dr. Crocker. It was immediately praised by the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who had been arguing for the dictate's positions incessantly in the days prior to Dr. Crocker's intervention. The ICANN Board agreed with Iran and a small minority of vocal governments (initially 7.3% of the GAC) most of which, unlike Iran, had argued their position in and supported the appropriate  high quality Minority Statement that had been submitted to the CCWG two days earlier by Argentina. It was a fine statement Olga. Read in tandem with Robin's equally fine Minority Statement, it provided the context of both positions in our rather heated conversation. Thank you both very much for your exceptional work.
 Note the words: Minority Statement. It pretty much says it all.
 In the GNSO we have been working hard to ensure we had the opportunity to fully consider the Supplemental Report despite the short deadline. We've been scheduling special calls, repositioning Marrakech meeting slots, doing things most groups have been doing. It's hard. Unlike the Board, as an NCSG member of the GNSO Council I have over 500 members in over 100 countries to inform and consult before I can cast my vote. I was planning on doing a first for the NCSG: A Periscope Q and A. I was going to schedule it for today.
 Until, that is,  we heard from the man at the top of the proverbial mountain. The Board seemed to like the Minority Statement and wanted to make it the Majority Statement. So sayeth the powers that be. Damn the bottom up multi-staskeholder model, we are the Board and we have no respect for your procedures, timelines or charter. We do what we want, when we want. You adapt to us. So much for my Periscope.
 The sage words of Springsteen provide the reasoning: "Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be king. And a king ain't satisfied, 'til he rules everything".
 You see, folks, we're the group responsible for crafting rules to prevent the Board or anyone else from "ruling everything" in the DNS. Accountability. The first step in designing an accountable governance model is engineering rules that have the respect and willing adherence of all involved. You respect each other, but you respect the rules and regulations that bind you together even more. It may be expedient to break the rules, it may even be more efficient to do so, but you don't because in the long haul adherence to rules and structure create predictability and stability in governance.  For a group trying to ensure the security and stability of the DNS I'd say that's pretty important.
 I'm still in a bit of shock that the Board would try something this disruptive at this time and that parts of this community would seemingly welcome the disruption. Perhaps it's because the Board supported your position. Be warned, my friends: next time the Board could be seeking to overturn a compromise you worked hard to craft. This is not about the position or any substantive argument involved. It is about respect, respect for the process, and respect for agreed rules of this community and this working group. No changes should be made to the document that was being readied to ship to the supporting organisations. None.  It's about respect for process, our own.
 This group has a decision to make: will this group on Accountability follow its own published timeline. its own published processes, the intent of its own Charter or will it opt for expediency and convenience and allow the Board to dictate to it rather than follow the approved processes for input and debate? It's that simple. If we allow the Board to change our approach, to force substantive changes to our document, in a way that would be allowed for no other group...can the world trust us to hold future Board's accountable to follow the detailed accountability plans we have  developed? Can the world trust us to be good stewards of the commons that is the DNS? If we don't follow the rules that we have established for the accountability working group, how can the world be assured that we will follow the rules for accountability we are establishing for the Board?
 I hope folks do the right thing tomorrow. In terms of substance, the Board will still have an opportunity to object to portions of the report they don't like, as will the chartering organisations. It's not about that. It's about whether this community can be trusted to ensure that future Board's follow established rules, norms and procedures. It's a test for the community and the world (including at least two Democratic Congressional staffers I've alerted) will be watching, or at least listening for our verdict.
 Kind Regards,
 Edward Morris
 GNSO Council


 From: "Mueller, Milton L" <milton at gatech.edu>
Sent: Monday, February 22, 2016 8:51 PM
To: "Paul Rosenzweig" <paul.rosenzweig at redbranchconsulting.com>
Cc: "CCWG-Accountability" <accountability-cross-community at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [CCWG-ACCT] Updated Proposal Documents Available for Review   

Yes, Paul  

This is the most disturbing thing about the latest board intervention. Clearly, the board is still laboring under the mentality of the pre-reform ICANN, in which the board had completely unchecked power (other than by the NTIA exercising a nuclear option) to dictate outcomes regardless of the bottom up process. The board apparently has learned nothing about why these accountability reforms were necessary and has not internalized the attitudinal changes required to insstitutionalize a more accountable and balanced environment.   


If the board's attitude about this has not changed, and they are still assuming that _in this process_  they can unilaterally dictate change, then it is not clear whether the reforms will work. It looks like the board forces us to constantly battle them in a highly conflict-prone process - and then wonders why people don't trust them.   


Second, and more importantly, this is really a procedural test of the community.  If it cannot take, defend, and enforce a decision (whether an edge case or more significant) against the Board's abuse of the process then it leaves me with little confidence that =any = of the accountability measures we have identified are going to be effective.  It takes fortitude to call a hierarchy to account.  If we don't have it now, we are unlikely ever to have it.  




Paul Rosenzweig  

paul.rosenzweig at redbranchconsulting.com  

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