[CCWG-ACCT] "Consumer Trust" in the Mission Statement

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Sat Jan 9 19:53:29 UTC 2016

Before my substantive reply to this thread, I 
note that the text on the AoC Review on Promoting 
Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice 
(CCTCC) seems to have been omitted from Annex 9 
(between the SSR review starting at para 98 and 
the Whois review starting at para 112 (which 
should be in bold), jumping from Review 2 to 
Review 4). Since no one seems to have noticed, I 
have to wonder what else was lost in this revision?

If the text for this review had been there, it 
would have said (taken from the 2nd draft proposal)

"566 ICANN will ensure that as it expands the 
Top-Level Domain (TLD) space, it will adequately 
address issues of competition, consumer 
protection, security, stability and resiliency, 
malicious abuse issues, sovereignty concerns, and rights protection."


"569 This Review will examine the extent to which 
the expansion of gTLDs has promoted competition, 
consumer trust, and consumer choice, as well as effectiveness of:"

Clearly this review is focused on the EXPANSION 
of the namespace. However, the vast percentage of 
names in use now and probably for the foreseeable 
future are not associated with the expansion. 
Omitting the issue from the core serves to 
disenfranchise the consumers who use those names 
(that is, the bulk of all Internet use).

I agree with those who say that the term may be 
hard to define, quantify and measure. That is 
true with many things we value in life. But it 
does make them less important. Regardless, the 
term is used twice in the Whois Review section of 
the proposed Bylaws as well as in the missing 
CCTCC section. The lack of a definition does not 
preclude its use there and certainly we cannot 
omit the expression in a wholesale manner because 
of the lack of a definition or metrics.

We have said that much of what we are doing in in 
this CCWG is not to control the current Board or 
management, but to ensure that as time goes 
forward, we can ensure that veer off course. This 
is exactly such a situation. The formal Mission 
of Contractual Compliance is "To preserve the 
security, stability and resiliency of the Domain 
Name System and to promote consumer trust." 
In the past, Compliance has been accused of only 
enforcing certain aspects of its contracts and 
specifically not the parts that would often 
impact consumers (such as Whois issues and issues 
related to improper domain name transfers or 
hijacking). Thankfully that is no longer the 
case, but we need to ensure that the "bad old 
times" do not return. Capturing the concept of 
consumer trust in ICANN's mission is exactly how 
we can do so. The Contractual Compliance mission 
statement can be changed at will with no notice 
or community consultation. Embedding the concept 
in ICANN's mission provides the protection that is needed.


At 09/01/2016 12:12 PM, Kavouss Arasteh wrote:
>Steve, I tend to agree with Malcolm in saying 
>that whenever, we do not have a xclear 
>definition nor a descrition for an item what is 
>the usefulness of its inclusion in BYLAWS ?
>The difficulties that I have is , we may include 
>many thing in the Mission and/or Bylaws, but 
>when ICANN wants / required  to implement that 
>it would face difficulties to do so. Even if 
>ICANN claims that it has had implemented, it is 
>difficult to check the validity of that claim.
>2016-01-09 14:16 GMT+01:00 David Post 
><<mailto:david.g.post at gmail.com>david.g.post at gmail.com>:
>I do not think that the addition of this 
>language is a good idea.  Lengthening the list 
>of 'values' and 'commitments' that ICANN is 
>supposed to implement will inevitably weaken the 
>Mission Statement.  The more the document 
>suggests that it is ICANN's job to balance a 
>wide variety of different concerns - enhancing 
>competition and consumer choice, supporting 
>geographic and cultural diversity, promoting 
>human rights and the global public interest - 
>the easier it becomes for ICANN to justify 
>pretty much anything it might do in the future 
>as promoting one or another of these broad 
>goals.  The point that Andrew Sullivan made 
>recently in connection with the discussions 
>about the GPI is applicable here, I think:
>"ICANN should pay attention to its 
>well-understood and needed functions.  It should 
>not go adventuring out into global governance issues that
>distract from that narrow set of 
>responsibilities.  And it should not embrace 
>language that distracts from the narrow responsibilities --
>lest such language become an attractive nuisance 
>that encourages people to think ICANN has power it never has had"
>At 04:10 PM 1/8/2016, Burr, Becky wrote:
>>   As discussed in our call yesterday, we would 
>> like to get some discussion started on some of 
>> the issues with the Mission Statement, 
>> Commitments & Core Values elements of the CCWG 
>> Proposal.  One of those issues relates to the 
>> inclusion of the concept of promoting 
>> “consumer trust” in the Commitments and/or 
>> Core Values.  The USCIB comment, for example, 
>> urged inclusion of a Commitment/Core Value of 
>> “promoting competition, consumer trust, and 
>> consumer choice in the DNS 
>> marketplace.”  ALAC urged inclusion of the consumer trust language.
>>This is the topic we will discuss on Monday, 
>>during the Ad Hoc meeting just announced.  Feel 
>>free to contribute your views in this thread, 
>>particularly if you are not going to be able to participate on Monday.
>>        ISSUE: Paragraph 3 of the Affirmation 
>> of Commitments describes the goals of the AoC, saying:
>>          "This document affirms key 
>> commitments by DOC and ICANN, including 
>> commitments to: 
  (c) promote competition, 
>> consumer ttrust, and consumer choice in the DNS marketplace
>>Paragraph 9.3 of the AoC says:
 If and when new gTLDs (whether in 
>> ASCII oor other language character sets) have 
>> been in operation for one year, ICANN will 
>> organize a review that will examine the extent 
>> to which the introduction or expansion of 
>> gTLDs has promoted competition, consumer trust 
>> and consumer choice 
. >ICANN will organize a 
>> further review of its execution of the above 
>> commitments two years after the first review, 
>> and then no less frequently than every four years.
>>           In the Initial Draft Proposal, this 
>> AoC language was transposed into the Core 
>> Values by requiring ICANN to depend “on 
>> market mechanisms to proote and sustain a 
>> healthy competitive environment in the DNS 
>> market that enhances consumer trust and 
>> choice.” (Para 107, page 27 Initial Draft Proposal)
>>   In the 2nd Draft Proposal we elected to 
>> delete the reference to consumer trust in the 
>> Mission statement and include it in the Review 
>> section of the Bylaws (See 3rd Report, 
>> Appendix 9, Para. 33).  The reason we agreed 
>> to make this switch was because it is not a 
>> standalone ICANN commitment in the AoC, 
>> rather, it is specifically tied to new gTLD 
>> expansion and specifically tied to a required review.
>>           Several commenters in both the 2nd 
>> and 3rd comment round argued that the Core 
>> Values should specifically call out consumer 
>> trust.  Some have disputed my characterization 
>> of Paragraph 3 of the AoC (i.e., it states the 
>> goals of the AoC but does not recite a 
>> specific commitment), on the grounds that my 
>> characterization is an opinion and not a fact.
>>Should an AoC provision specific to TLD 
>>expansion be leveraged to impose generalized, 
>>independent, and affirmative competition and 
>>consumer trust protection obligations on ICANN?
>>Does ICANN’s fundamental Mission to ensure 
>>“stable and secure operation” of the DNS, 
>>and its various Commitments (i.e., to use 
>>processes that enable 
>>competition,             and to preserve 
>>stability, reliability, security, global 
>>interoperability, resilience, and openness) adequately address this concern?
>>J. Beckwith Burr
>>Neustar, Inc. / Deputy General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer
>>1775 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington D.C. 20006
>><tel:%2B1.202.533.2932>+1.202.533.2932  Mobile: 
>><tel:%2B1.202.352.6367>+1.202.352.6367 / <http://www.neustar.biz>neustar.biz
>>Accountability-Cross-Community mailing list
>><mailto:Accountability-Cross-Community at icann.org>Accountability-Cross-Community at icann.org
>David G Post - Senior Fellow, Open Technology Institute/New America Foundation
>blog (Volokh Conspiracy) 
>book (Jefferson's 
>publications etc.  http://www.davidpost.com
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