[At-Large] [ALAC] [ALAC-Internal] GNSO Council Motion on Cross-Community Working Groups

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Wed Jan 18 03:51:27 UTC 2012

At 17/01/2012 07:03 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:
>On 17 January 2012 17:35, Alan Greenberg 
><<mailto:alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca>alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca> wrote:
>Several of the points are very GNSO-centric (and perhaps ccNSO) in 
>that they repeatedly stipulate that formal "policy" must be carried 
>out under the rules set out in the  ICANN Bylaws for such policy development.
>As we have seen in the gTLD rollout, the GNSO has repeatedly shown 
>its own willingness to overstep its bounds and deal in processes 
>rather than policy (ie, objection processes).

Actually, I think that "willingness" is the wrong word. The GNSO is 
not limited to policy work, although some on Council have at times 
taken that position. I view it more as stepping up to their 
responsibilities to look at a wider range of issues than just making policy.

>If the GNSO wants to be anal about how policy can be done, we also 
>have the obligation to point out that GNSO has less bylaw-based 
>authority to comment on non-policy implementation matters than ALAC does.
>The point that will no doubt be a lightening rod following the JAS 
>group is the stipulation that when formed, a CCWG should have a 
>single charter. Although in the far reaches of my imagination I can 
>come up with reasons that this should not be a rule, but I not at 
>all sure that such edge cases need to be dealt with here.
>I don't see the stretch. Soon to come will be RAA discussions in 
>which the issue of "rights", for end users and/or registrants will 
>come out. In previous GNSO meetings I have been told these issues 
>have been out of scope and are of no interest to them. If there is 
>future cross-community work on this issue I will not want to 
>constrain the ALAC's ability to advocate for end-user issues because 
>it's out of the GNSO's scope. It may mean there are components of 
>the combined work in which the GNSO may have no interest, but the 
>lack of shared interest in (what some would see as) a side issue 
>should not present the larger issues from being discussed jointly.
>There should be many, many opportunities to do cross-community work. 
>If it is to be constrained to always be the lowest common 
>denominator of only that which is of interest to all, not much of 
>this will happen.

I don't see any conflict here. If we (At-Large) want to work on 
something that is counter to the interests (or self-interest) of part 
or all of the GNSO, then is is not a really good CCWG. We do it 
alone, or with someone else who IS interested. The GNSO is not the 
only game in town. If (as you allude) we have interested that are a 
super-set of GNSO interests but do not conflict, I would think that 
people of good faith could come up with a charter that covers this. 
If not, then it reverts to the first case.

>I do not believe that we have ever participated in a CCWG that had 
>multiple disagreeing charters at the beginning.
>Alan, we have not participated in that many CCWGs, period. The 
>concept is still in its infancy and I see these regs as the wedge of 
>an attempt to thwart this concept before it becomes too dangerous to 
>established power.

There in fact have been a few - both with us and the ccNSO. But my 
point was that a CCWG is likely to be born out of a common interest. 
If there is none, then we need another vehicle. To be candid, I 
fought hard to eliminate that rule, not because I felt we were likely 
to need to invoke a multiple-charter group, but because I felt that 
there was no real reason for it. In any specific case, if one or more 
partners feels that a multi-charter would not work, they have it 
within their power to simply refuse it at the time. But this was not 
a battle that I won in that group.

Once it goes to the larger community of AC/SOs, perhaps the pendulum 
will flip the other way. But I really don't think it is a major 
roadblock regardless.

>  In fact, those who were around may recall that for the JAS group, 
> we did agree on a single charter. Due to a clerical (honestly!) 
> error, one clause was omitted from the version that the GNSO 
> approved. When the charter came up to the ALAC, the ALAC decided to 
> drop that clause as well, as it wasfelt that it was not 
> sufficiently important to
>warrant delaying the entire process until it could go back to the 
>GNSO for re-chartering (and we believed that the group WOULD look at 
>that issue regardless of whether it  as in the charter). Other CCWGs 
>such as DSSA all had a single charter agreed to by one mechanism or 
>another ahead of time.
>This worked, and is an argument in favour of a status quo of flexibility.

100% agreed. That is my preference. My only argument to the contrary 
is that as real life unfolds, I really don't think it will matter a whole lot.

>You will notice that the principles are silent on the issue of 
>re-chartering part-way through a process, the situation where JAS blew up.
>If the proposed principles demand a single charter, then a 
>post-creation divergence in charter would demand disbanding of the 
>WG. This is IMO unacceptable.

I don't agree with the conclusion. Once a WG is born, there is no 
words in the current principles that say that a single charter is 
required for life. I do believe that some on the GNSO would like to 
see that, and perhaps on Thursday, they will say so and get their 
way. But for whatever it is worth, those on the DT were willing to 
let sleeping dogs lie and not mention it as a principle.

JAS was born with a single charter and ended up life with two. If the 
WG itself had refuse to work in that situation, or if the two 
charters were really going in opposite directions, the outcome would 
have been different.

>If you recall the sequence of events there:
>I recall that ALAC did all the accommodation in an unsuccessful 
>attempt to find a middle ground.
>- that was perhaps a bit awkward to work with, but the JAS WG was 
>willing and things proceeded to the eventual VERY successful 
>outcome, with the GNSO supporting all end-products equally, even the 
>ones that they had not included in their charter.
>Evidence, please?
>The GNSO motion on the JAS final report did not endorse it at all, 
>but simply acknowledged it and forwarded it to the Board.
>That hardly constituted "support", and obviously feel short of a 
>GNSO request that the Board approve the JAS core component requests 
>(such as fee reductions unconstrained by a fixed fund).

Based on the outcome we have today, my reading is that not objecting 
is de facto acceptance if not throwing their arms around it and 
hugging the report.

>Another area that may attract discussion is about the rules that a 
>CCWG will follow.
>Why does this need to be set in stone?
>Different problems call for different solutions, and constraining 
>the process before it starts is worse than counter-productive.

Again we agree 100%. But for better or worse, the discussion has been 
started. Not by you or I, but started nonetheless.


>- Evan

More information about the At-Large mailing list