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RE: [bc-gnso] CCWG on ICANN Accountability: Work Stream 1 and the concept of Leverage

  • To: Steve DelBianco <sdelbianco@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, BC List <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: RE: [bc-gnso] CCWG on ICANN Accountability: Work Stream 1 and the concept of Leverage
  • From: Marilyn Cade <marilynscade@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2015 22:53:44 -0500

Steve, thanks for this update.
I share the concerns about accountability mechanisms being essential and the 
linkage to the IANA Transition - while enhancing the present mechanisms can be 
an improvement it is simply not enough.  
I am troubled to hear that the Board is viewed as possibly rejecting effective 
accountability mechanisms that the broad community recommends -- that speaks to 
the critical importance of the BC engaging more directly with the CSG 
constituencies, and with the Contracted Party SGs and CCNSO to discuss shared 
views about accountability.
Steve, this also should rise to the top of the priority list for the 
Intercessional discussions.  We will have Crocker and Kummer joining the 
Intercessional, along with Fadi, as noted in the agenda.  
I will look for the transcript. It didn't seem to be available as of yet. 
Thanks so much for the ongoing feedback. It is very helpful to the BC! 

From: sdelbianco@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bc-gnso] CCWG on ICANN Accountability: Work Stream 1 and the concept 
of Leverage
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2015 23:05:18 +0000

First, Happy New Year!  And second, here’s an update from the Accountability


We had our 4th call on Tuesday (call notes).  The work team I am leading has

documented many accountability mechanisms, placing them into one of 2 ‘work 
streams’ according to this rationale:

Work Stream 1 is designated for accountability enhancement mechanisms that must 
be in place [or firmly committed]
before IANA transition occurs.   All other consensus items could be in Work 
Stream 2, provided there are mechanisms in WS1 adequate to force implementation 
of WS2 items despite resistance from ICANN management and board.

At this point the CCWG is debating that rationale, with some members fearing 
that ICANN's board might reject significant new accountability measures. Below 
is the response I gave to Alan Greenberg when he expressed that concern:

On 1/2/15, 5:12 PM, "Steve DelBianco" <sdelbianco@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Alan Greenberg has questioned the accountability measures we were placing into 
Work Stream 1, saying, 

"I am somewhat troubled by all of the items in WS1 where I do not see the 
direct link to the IANA transition. Note I am not saying that they might not be 
perfectly valid and desirable accountability mechanism, just that I do not see 
the direct link, and thus
 perhaps greatly increasing our work to be done to allow transition.”

In responding to Alan, several of us said that a direct link to IANA transition 
is neither required nor desirable.  Instead, the IANA transition is the 
community’s last bit of leverage to force accountability measures on ICANN’s 
board.  The leverage is directly
 held by NTIA, who has said they would not transition IANA unless there was 
consensus about holding ICANN accountable to the community once the IANA 
contract is gone.  And the internet community has indirect leverage, though 
pressure being brought on the US
 Administration and on Congress.  

So I would hope that Alan and others can gain confidence and comfort with the 
leverage our CCWG holds in this process.  With that leverage comes the 
responsibility to create accountability mechanisms that will guide DNS policy 
making for decades to come.  And
 we must also get our work done without causing undue delay to the IANA 
transition process.

Alan’s group is the ALAC, which has often felt the lack of leverage over 
ICANN’s board and and management.  As a recent example, ALAC called on ICANN to 
stop delegating new gTLDs serving highly regulated sectors but lacking 
enforceable public interest commitments
 (link). ICANN’s board and management might continue signing contracts despite 
concerns of the ALAC and others, perhaps fearing lawsuits by gTLD applicants.
  The fear of lawsuits may also have led the board to ignore community concerns 
over delegating both singular and plural forms of the same gTLDs.    After all, 
the ICANN board’s duty is to the interests of the ICANN corporation — not to 
the community. (see
Article 6, Section 7).  

What would be the source of leverage to hold the board accountable to the 
community for this decision?  We have seen the futility of Reconsideration 
requests and Independent Reviews that lack leverage to reverse a board 

This IANA transition is our last chance to create mechanisms that could hold 
ICANN’s board accountable to the community it was designed to serve.   Let's 
embrace that challenge and use all the leverage we have.


Steve DelBianco
Executive Director
http://www.NetChoice.org and http://blog.netchoice.org


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