jan scholte supplementary comment
I have previously posted 14 reflections on the CCWG draft proposal in early May. Now, as the public comment period nears an end, several of those reflections might be restated for special emphasis. One is to maximize the correlation between the ICANN community as represented in the community empowerment mechanism and the evolving wider world of global Internet stakeholders. Already one sees that the functional, regional and social distribution of participation in the IANA transition deliberations does not always correspond to the map of current Internet stakeholders. To be concrete, suppliers are much more present than users, the North Atlantic and Anglophones are much more present than their share of actual and prospective Internet engagement, and there is disproportionately low participation of young persons and women. The CCWG draft proposal acknowledges the issue of 'diversity', but no concrete steps are advanced to address the situation. In particular what, if anything, is going to be done - immediately and/or in the longer term - regarding the composition and workings of the community empowerment mechanism? Otherwise the purported 'empowerment' mechanism might in practice actually marginalize some important stakeholders. For example, would one do nothing if the SOs and ACs delivered a 'community empowerment mechanism' composed entirely of middle-aged white Anglophone business men from urban Euro-America-Australia? A second key point is the accountability of those who hold ICANN to account, particularly through the new community empowerment mechanism. This can be a major challenge for private global governance institutions, as the current scandal around FIFA strikingly illustrates. How does one ensure that appointments to the 'community empowerment mechanism' do not become the object of cosy insider deals, where a small group of well-connected veterans control the show and become divorced from the wider world of constituents to whom they are meant to answer? Where membership of the community empowerment mechanism becomes a stepping stone to membership of the board? One could imagine steps like a term limit, a prohibition on subsequent board membership, and intensified efforts by ICANN to attract new blood. The CCWG report could at a very minimum explicitly identify the issue of community accountability. Otherwise a skeptic can worry that the activist community has a blind spot and/or complacency on its own accountabilities. A third headline point - which follows from the first two - is that CCWG's work is clearly not finished when the IANA transition is completed. A continuation of the CCWG or some successor body is needed to address Work Stream 2 matters post-transition. The CCWG report could commit more strongly than it currently does on page 87 to continued existence and work beyond the transition.