[At-Large] ICANN Accountability Mechanisms
evan at telly.org
Mon Jan 3 01:27:50 UTC 2022
On Sun, 2 Jan 2022 at 19:17, Carlton Samuels via At-Large <
at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> wrote:
> Very thoughtful engagement here and for sure, all the top ones are listed
> by Evan. I think he missed just one thing, how to determine what is a
> conflict of interest. Because there is a real need to reassess how that is
> determined in ICANN councils.
As you indicated, there really is no effective "conflict of interest"
policy in ICANN, just a "statement of interest" policy; everything is fair
game so long as you declare. Having *any* community CofI that required
recusals and declarations at each meeting would be a step in the right
direction; it would also decimate the GNSO as we now know it.
But the biggest conflict of all is ICANN's own. Its revenue derives almost
completely from the volume of extant domains from which it derives rent.
Thus any public-interest policy which might curtail that rent (such as
measures against squatting or disposable domains, or a measured approach to
TLD expansion) could be seen as detrimental to ICANN's sustainability;
Board members, whose sole fiduciary duty is to ICANN itself, would be
obliged to oppose any such potential for shrinkage.
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