[bc-gnso] ICANN Accountability WG and the BC Stress Tests
Just a quick update on work in the ICANN Accountability Working Group (CCWG). This week, CCWG member Eric Brunner-Williams circulated draft scenarios to help design and evaluate accountability mechanisms. Earlier, I had circulated the ten BC stress tests<http://bizconst.org/stresstests> as a starting point for scenarios. But Eric included only 3 of our stress tests in his list. So today I added the missing scenarios from what the BC submitted in in May-2014. See my attached markup, or list below, where numbers 14-21 are the ones I added. If you have other ideas for stress tests, please pass them along soon. —Steve Scenarios for the CCWG to consider: 1. Change authority for the IANA Root Zone ceases to function, in part or in whole. Consequence: significant interference with existing policy (or policies) relating to the content of the IANA Root Zone and/or prejudice to the security and stability of one or several TLDs. 2. Delegation authority for the IANA Root Zone ceases to function, in part or in whole. Consequence: significant interference with existing policy (or policies) relating to the delegation from the IANA Root Zone and/or prejudice to the security and stability of one or several TLDs. 3. Litigation arising from existing public policy, e.g., Anti-Trust (Sherman Act, et. seq.). Consequence: significant interference with existing policy (or policies) and/or policy development relating to one or more relevant activities. 4. New regulation or legislation (see above). Consequence: significant interference with existing policy (or policies) and/or policy development relating to one or more relevant activities. 5. Domain industry financial crisis. Consequence: significant reduction in domain sales generated revenues and significant increase in registrar and registry continuity costs, threatening Icann’s ability to continue operating. 6. General financial crisis. Consequence: loss affecting reserves sufficient to threaten business continuity . 7. Litigation arising from private contract, e.g., Breach of Contract. Consequence: significant loss of contracted party fees. 8. Technology competing with DNS Consequence: significant reduction in domain sales generated revenues and significant increase in registrar and registry continuity costs. 9. Major corruption of fraud Consequence: major impact on corporate reputation, significant litigation and loss of some or all reserves 10. Chairman, CEO or major officer acting in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s mission. Consequence: major impact on corporate reputation, significant litigation. 11. Compromise of credentials. Consequence: major impact on corporate reputation, significant loss of authentication and/or authorization capacities. 12. Capture by one or several groups of stakeholders Consequence : major impact on trust in multistakeholder model, prejudice to other stakeholders 13. One or several stakeholders excessively rely on accountability mechanism to “paralyze” Icann Consequence : major impact on corporate reputation, inability to take decisions, instability of governance bodies, loss of key staff, … 14. ICANN or NTIA choose to terminate the Affirmation of Commitments. Consequence: ICANN would no longer be held to its Affirmation commitments, including the conduct of community reviews and required implementation of review team recommendations. This consequence could be avoided if Affirmation reviews and commitments are added to ICANN’s bylaws. 15. ICANN terminates its legal presence in a nation where Internet users or domain registrants are seeking legal remedies for ICANN’s failure to enforce contracts, or other actions. Consequence: affected parties could be prevented from seeking legal redress for commissions or omissions by ICANN. 16. ICANN uses fee revenue or reserve funds to expand its scope beyond its technical mission, through grants for developing nations or other causes. Consequence: ICANN has the power to determine fees charged to TLD applicants, registries, registrars, and registrants, so it presents a large target for any Internet-related cause seeking funding sources. 17. ICANN attempts to add a new top-level domain in spite of security and stability concerns expressed by technical community or other stakeholder groups. Consequence: DNS security and stability could be undermined, and ICANN actions could impose costs and risks upon external parties. 18. Governments in ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC) amend their operating procedures to change from consensus decisions to majority voting for approving advice to ICANN’s board. Consequence: Under current bylaws, ICANN must consider and respond to GAC advice, even if that advice were not supported by consensus. A majority of governments could thereby approve GAC advice that restricted free online expression, for example. 19. ICANN attempts to re-delegate a gTLD because the registry operator is determined to be in breach of its contract, but the registry operator challenges the action and obtains an injunction from a national court. Consequence: The entity charged with root zone maintenance could face the question of whether to follow ICANN re-delegation request or to follow the court order. 20. A court order is issued to block ICANN’s delegation of a new TLD, because of complaint by existing TLD operators or other aggrieved parties. Consequence: ICANN’s decision about whether to honor such a court order could bring liability to ICANN and its contract parties. 21. A government telecom minister instructs ICANN to re-delegate a country-code top-level domain (ccTLD), despite objections from many current registrants and user communities in the country concerned. Consequence: Faced with this re-delegation request, ICANN lacks measures to resist re-delegation while awaiting the bottom-up consensus decision of affected stakeholders.
20150108 CCWG Accountability - Scenarios -WS4coord-MWE-SDB.docx