[At-Large] ICANN oversight

Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond ocl at gih.com
Sat Oct 10 15:38:26 UTC 2015

Dear Parminder,

my personal point of view is that whilst I am comfortable with some
additional accountability measures to be ingrained in ICANN's DNA in
order to prevent the Board from going rogue, I am very uncomfortable
with giving all of the power to the Community to overrule the Board
*without additional checks and balances imposed on the community too*.

Some aspects of the community proposal would effectively create a shadow
Board that would overrule the ICANN Board and this shadow Board would
have no accountability mechanisms whatsoever. It would not be bound to
all of the reviews which the ICANN Board is bound to. It would not have
any appeal mechanism. It would not have any fiduciary responsibility and
liability. Nothing. The shadow Board would be the most direct way to
capture and to use as a tool to blackmail ICANN into doing things that
it should not do.

I'll repeat Larry Strickling's words, which I agree with 100%: "Why is
it that so many in the ICANN community feel that a Board member which
they have appointed THEMSELVES turns into a pariah the moment he/she is
appointed? "
And do not tell me that SOs & ACs have no say in the appointment of
NomCom appointed Board members: the NomCom is made up of people from the
community appointed by their SOs and ACs. NomCom members work together
to find the best people for ICANN.

On the topic of needing to have a set of accountability mechanisms that
create a legal entity so that the mechanisms can be enforced in a court,
I am even more unhappy. "Enforced in a court" means "enforced in a US
Court" - have you ever checked the cost of US lawyers? Only the rich
will be able to do that. The ALAC has no chance whatsoever to use that
mechanism. Then I am told, "no, ICANN will fund both parties in the
lawsuit" - WOW, what a great tool to destroy the organisation by suing
itself and depleting itself of all resources it has by paying lawyers
ad-infinitum to inflict itself wounds. Really?

A shadow Board, self appointed, with no checks and balances, would only
serve those with the money and time to spend 24/7 on ICANN issues. Pure
volunteers like the ALAC would not have the time to spend on this,
leaving only those with a direct vested interest (and being paid for it)
being able to spend the time on this. If you want to hand over ICANN
control to corporate interests and the domain name industry (in its
widest sense) from rich English-speaking countries then agree to the
current proposals as they stand. I do not want to see that.

The Board has a duty to balance the points of view in the community and
make sure the weaker parts of the community are also supported. A shadow
board will just be the perfect environment for loud mouths, bullies and
deep pockets.

Kindest regards,

(as I said, just my personal views)

On 10/10/2015 12:13, parminder wrote:
> I cannot but note with considerable surprise and disappoinment that when
> everyone with any thing ever to do with ICANN is currently hotly
> debating the issue of the stand off between the ICANN board and CCWG on
> ICANN accountability, ALAC remains so aloof from the issue.... When this
> should prima facie be the one part of the ICANN structure, as
> representing the peripheries, that should be most bothered by efforts at
> concentration of power, or of holding on it,  vis a vis the rights of
> the public.
> I have not been able to follow the process closely, but if I am right 
> -and please correct me if I am not - even in the earlier discussions
> ALAC has been most lukewarm to any kind of structural changes that could
> indeed place an effective oversight of the 'community' over the ICANN
> board, when as said ALAC is the one group that should be most keen on
> institutionalising such checks over centralisation of power with the
> ICANN board. Can anyone explain me why it is so. It really intrigues me,
> and I am sure I am missing something here.
> Thanks, parminder
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