[At-Large] On a "consumer" agenda for ICANN

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Sat Sep 3 00:05:08 UTC 2016

On 09/02/2016 11:12 AM, Garth Graham wrote:

> "Accountability is the responsibility to answer for how you got done what you committed to do."

I sense you mean something a bit stronger than your words suggest.

For instance, I read your formulation as allowing a decision maker to 
simply say "Yes, I did it".

In other words I think something more than being required to give an 
"answer" is sufficient for true accountability.

At a minimum "accountability" ought to mean that those to whom the duty 
of accountability is owed have the power and ability to "throw the bums 
out" (i.e. to replace the decision makers who failed to do their duty).

It also means the power to force the undertaking of remedial actions 
such as reversing the ill decision and repairing any damage caused.

In normal corporate structures (and ICANN *is* a corporation, or, now, 
two) that is done through periodic elections of the board of directors 
(with those to whom the duty of accountability having the power to 
vote), by derivative actions (of which ICANN's law firm has a terrible 
fear), and by normal actions against the corporation, its directors, and 
sometimes its officers for violations of fiduciary and other duties.

There are other forms of accountability.  For example, directors of IRS 
501(c)(3) corporations (which includes ICANN) are subject to 
"intermediate sanctions" if there is an interaction between the 
corporation and a closely related party in which an undue benefit is 
conferred.  Yes, those are somewhat vague terms, but there is nothing 
vague in the means in which that accountability is imposed: through a 
200% excise tax (yes, a tax - which is often not covered by corporate 
insurance) directly imposed on the personal assets of the directors as 
well as on the corporation itself.


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