[CPWG] [GTLD-WG] Towards a comment on evolving the multistakeholder model at ICANN

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Sat May 18 17:58:06 UTC 2019

Hi Marita,

I apologize for not making the call. I am very interested in this topic,
but even more interested in not having my time wasted.

As has been expressed before, I am extremely skeptical that the status quo
can be disrupted purely from the inside.  There have been quite a few
exercises of this kind before, even high profile moves such as the ATRT and
independence from the US government have been tortuous but led to little
real change in the way decisions are made. I could even make the case that
the IANA transition has worsened the status of stakeholders outside the
compact of domain buyers and domain sellers. What is the assurance (or even
broad confidence) that the results of any new work would be heeded?  What
are the consequences to ICANN of yet again ignoring the calls to distribute
power more broadly or address its many fundamental breeches of public trust?

There are a few key components of ICANN governance that, so long as they
exist, render all talk of real change aspirational at best.

   - So long as GNSO consensus policy binds the ICANN Board, the rest of us
   are essentially powerless.
   - So long as ICANN's revenue comes solely from domain acquisition, it is
   by definition in a conflict of interest in setting domain policy.
   - So long as domain sellers sit on both sides of the negotiating table
   in development of the RAA and other instruments of domain regulation, ICANN
   cannot be trusted to act impartially.
   - So long ICANN is accountable to nobody but its core conflicted
   community, it will successfully resist change. "Empowered" my eye.

ALAC has diligently participated in multiple previous "fix the MSM" efforts
which have yielded no significant result. Two white papers produced by ALAC
members were ignored without so much as acknowledgement of their existence.
In this context, exactly how serious is this latest iteration? A new
turnover of ALAC members provides fresh hope and maybe even new insights,
but lack of institutional memory simply indicates new iterations of old
efforts that have proven to fail. We hit the most solid of walls whenever
intention tries to turn to execution.

This just feels so much like ICANN is Lucy and ALAC is Charlie Brown. Maybe
if we try kicking the football again, this time it will work.....

What's different this time?

- Evan
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