Re: [soac-mapo] Exchange of letters between GAC and ICANN re: morality issues
- To: Bertrand de La Chapelle <bdelachapelle@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: [soac-mapo] Exchange of letters between GAC and ICANN re: morality issues
- From: Carlton Samuels <carlton.samuels@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 11:23:24 -0500
"2) As for the more general discussion of the nature and use of such CC
groups, I believe this format should in the future be used much earlier in
processes, almost as soon as a new topic arises, to engage all SOs and ACs
in the early framing of the issue. It has proven useful even at the late
stage of a very sensitive topic, and its use early in the process will no
doubt foster a much better involvement of all actors later in the policy
discussion, including in the existing PDPs, if it is used appropriately."
Carlton A Samuels
Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround
On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 7:05 AM, Bertrand de La Chapelle <
> Dear all,
> The Cross-community Working Group format is relatively new and does not
> have a formal recognition yet in the Bylaws. The discussion on this thread
> is a very valid one, but we need to distinguish between 1) the specific
> implementation for Rec 6 and how we deal with the results of the group, and
> 2) the more general issue of the nature and fuction of such Cross-community
> 1) On the Rec6 group itself, the discussion below reminds us that :
> - as Jon says, the CWG should not be viewed as a formal policy-making
> group; it has no authority other than the potential quality of the outcome
> and its capacity to help untangle a very difficult issue
> - as Milton says, the GAC has indeed encouraged and endorsed the creation
> of the Group (and asked for it); but as Frank mentions, GAC members have
> clearly participated individually, in a goodwill effort, and not as
> representatives of the whole GAC (like all other participants, none of whom
> engaged their respective constituencies a priori)
> - no consituency, SO or AC should be supposed to have endorsed the outcome
> of the group unless they have done so explicitly (as ALAC did); this is
> valid for the GAC as well as the gNSO; however it is true that members of
> said groups should not voluntary abstain from participating for the sole
> benefit of being able afterwards to object to whatever outcome is produced
> (this would not be a "good faith" participation in a multi-stakeholder
> process); this requires of course that sufficient information is circulated
> on the progress of discussions
> - if the purpose and procedures of such informal groups, as well as the
> status of their outcomes are not clear enough, some (legitimate) fears will
> arise regarding the existing policy-making processes (cf. Jon, Stéphane and
> The Rec6 group was formed very late in the process, to try to iron out a
> solution to probably the most political problem pending, one that
> (in)directly involves national sovereignty and the existence (or not) of
> general principles of international law applicable to the DNS.
> In view of this extremely loaded question and given the extremely short
> time span, the group has clearly demonstrated the benefit of a full
> cross-community interaction : I was personally very impressed by the quality
> of the exchanges and the outcomes. Cathagena should be an opportunity for
> the community as a whole to see what can be done with the results.
> 2) As for the more general discussion of the nature and use of such CC
> groups, I believe this format should in the future be used much earlier in
> processes, almost as soon as a new topic arises, to engage all SOs and ACs
> in the early framing of the issue. It has proven useful even at the late
> stage of a very sensitive topic, and its use early in the process will no
> doubt foster a much better involvement of all actors later in the policy
> discussion, including in the existing PDPs, if it is used appropriately.
> Using this interaction format also at various stages of progress in policy
> drafting would certainly improve what Milton labels the "disfunctionality of
> the current arrangements for multi-stakeholder cooperation within ICANN" and
> facilitate the breaking up of silos.
> A formal introduction of this new interaction format in the ICANN toolset
> can be done without threatening the existing PDPs and this discussion should
> continue on a separate track from the specific case of the Rec6 goup.
> My two cents.
> On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 5:55 AM, Jon Nevett <jon@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> I support the model of cross-community discussion groups, such as this
>> CWG. In certain circumstances, they are a very good idea. I think that it
>> worked very well in this case.
>> Unfortunately, some folks have been characterizing this group as something
>> that it is not. It is not a policy-making group and our report was not a
>> pronouncement with some sort of imprimatur of the will of ICANN community.
>> It should be viewed for what it is/was -- a group of interested volunteers
>> getting together to discuss potential solutions to an issue based on the
>> request of some of the leaders of various ICANN supporting
>> organizations/advisory committees. We were successful in offering up some
>> good suggestions and proposals, but the work has never been ratified by the
>> policy-making body and should not be viewed as bottom-up policy-making.
>> Therefore, if the ICANN Board disagrees with a recommendation of this group
>> with a clear rationale, I don't view it as an affront to the bottom-up
>> policy making model as others have been articulating.
>> My concern is that if folks oversell the nature of the group and try to
>> deem this kind of a discussion group as one with a policy-making function,
>> then the those with the actual policy-making responsibility under ICANN's
>> Bylaws might choose not to support groups like the CWG for fear that the
>> work will be viewed as policy-making without the due process protections
>> built into the Bylaws. In order to foster future discussion groups like the
>> CWG, I suggest that we not suggest that they are something that they are
>> On Nov 28, 2010, at 5:31 PM, Milton L Mueller wrote:
>> Thanks, Frank.
>> I do understand the point you are making. Problem is, it’s incorrect. The
>> CWG was officially co-convened by the Chair of GAC along with the chairs of
>> ALAC and GNSO, and there was active representation of several GAC members in
>> it. Moreover, the charter of this group was approved by the GAC chair and
>> passed by the full GAC for its approval. Therefore while you may be right to
>> say that it is still unclear whether GAC as a body would fully endorse the
>> results of the report and its recommendations, it is plainly not correct to
>> say that “the GAC” did not participate in it. It did.
>> Beyond that, on a more human level, I wonder whether you have thought
>> through the longer term implications of what you seem to be saying/doing.
>> Many people, not just myself, would take this kind of distancing as further
>> evidence of the dysfunctionality of current arrangements for
>> multistakeholder cooperation in ICANN. As long as representatives of
>> national governments hold themselves apart from the process and (through
>> strategic behavior) seek a special, privileged influence over policy
>> outcomes, then there will be major challenges to the legitimacy of both the
>> GAC and the policy outputs that come out of the board on any issue. That
>> lack of good faith process can only hold back the internet.
>> Certainly, if governments want to make these decisions on their own, on
>> their own terms, they can do it. But then they’d have to be big boys and
>> girls and negotiate and pass a binding international treaty. And that would
>> require you to follow constitutional constraints, due process requirements
>> and ratification processes of the member states. If you’re not willing to do
>> that, then perhaps you need to take these processes a bit more seriously.
>> You can’t have it both ways.
>> (p.s., if you do want to go the treaty route, I look forward to discussing
>> the First Amendment implications with the U.S. representatives.)
>> *From:* Frank March [mailto:Frank.March@xxxxxxxxxxx]
>> *Sent:* Sunday, November 28, 2010 3:51 PM
>> *To:* Milton L Mueller; Antony Van Couvering; soac-mapo
>> *Cc:* Heather.Dryden@xxxxxxxx
>> *Subject:* RE: [soac-mapo] Exchange of letters between GAC and ICANN re:
>> morality issues
>> Without wishing to seem pedantic, the GAC did not participate in the
>> Rec6WG. As I was at pains to point out on a number of occasions, some GAC
>> members including myself were part of the group but not able to speak on
>> behalf of the GAC. I would like to think that the overall direction of the
>> report would have strong GAC support but this has not been tested.
>> Because of the timing issues of getting the report ready in time for the
>> Council retreat, it was never proposed that the report be taken formally to
>> the GAC for discussion or endorsement. My view is that it it is the Board's
>> response to the report and the outcomes therefrom that would engage the GAC,
>> not the report itself.
>> Given that the issues raised are still 'live' and the work is carrying on
>> it would certainly be possible to have a discussion in Cartagena. I have a
>> feeling however that endorsement of the report from the GAC would be
>> difficult to achieve. It might well be considered by some members not to be
>> an appropriate action for the GAC to take.
>> Best wishes, Frank
>> Frank March
>> Senior Specialist Advisor
>> Communications and IT Policy
>> Ministry of Economic Development
>> 33 Bowen Street, PO Box 1473
>> WELLINGTON, New Zealand
>> Mobile: (+64) 021 494165
>> *From:* owner-soac-mapo@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-soac-mapo@xxxxxxxxx] *On
>> Behalf Of *Milton L Mueller
>> *Sent:* Monday, 29 November 2010 4:48 a.m.
>> *To:* Antony Van Couvering; soac-mapo
>> *Subject:* RE: [soac-mapo] Exchange of letters between GAC and ICANN re:
>> morality issues
>> The disturbing thing about this exchange of letters is that both sides
>> seem to treat this working group – which GAC participated in – as if it did
>> not contribute “thoughtful proposals” to resolve the stated concerns.
> Bertrand de La Chapelle
> Tel : +33 (0)6 11 88 33 32
> "Le plus beau métier des hommes, c'est d'unir les hommes" Antoine de Saint
> ("there is no greater mission for humans than uniting humans")