[At-Large] ICANN Accountability Mechanisms

Jeff Neuman jeff at jjnsolutions.com
Thu Dec 30 20:07:17 UTC 2021

Thanks Jonathan.

I ask that everyone put aside the Blockchain aspect of this Assignment request.  .HIPHOP as a TLD is not on the Blockchain and is not as a registry on the ENS.  It never was.  Being on the ENS is the choice of a domain name registrant and they can have a .com, .net or .horse for all that matters.  That is what ICANN is missing.  But lets put that aside because that is not why I brought this up on the At-Large list.

What is in serious need to repair are ICANN’s accountability mechanisms.  They are broken and for using them ICANN punished me (and my company).  I dare challenged ICANN staff for not taking an action they were supposed to.  And they retaliated against me and my company for challenging them.


One thing missed in all of this  Is that ICANN recently executed a delegation of authority document from the ICANN Board to the ICANN staff in order to never require the ICANN Board to approve a REgistry Agreement again by resolution.  SEE https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/delegation-of-authority-guidelines-08nov16-en.pdf.  It was thought of at the time as perhaps a good thing because having to pass a board resolution for the thousands of routine TLD Agreements and routine changes is too much for a board.  But following the law of unintended consequences……..

 The ICANN Board did pass a resolution for .org and PIR, but did not pass a resolution to approve the most recent price amendments to the Verisign .com Agreement.

 With this delegation of power, there will never need to be Board action on a registry agreement in the future and therefore, because there will be no Board Resolution, you cannot ever file an Urgent Reconsideration Request where ICANN has executed a Registry Agreement.

Pretty good manipulation of the process there, huh?

Jeffrey J. Neuman
Founder & CEO
JJN Solutions, LLC
Jeff at JJNSolutions.com

From: Jonathan Zuck <JZuck at innovatorsnetwork.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2021 1:36 PM
To: Jeff Neuman; at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org
Subject: Re: ICANN Accountability Mechanisms

I actually raised this very issue, while we were working on the accountability framework. At the time, folks believed the power to throw out the board would suffice but clearly that is a tool of last resort.

I wonder if there are other examples of inaction so a session, of some sort, would not be focused on your case alone. While I share Evan's perspective,  on this particular example, it DOES seem like a sequence of events we might dislike repeating, in another context.

For example, there were several voices,  in the At-Large community and elsewhere, opposed to the sale of PIR. Luckily, that sale required affirmative approval, by the board, but I'm certain their are instances where a failure to act constitutes passive approval.

Jonathan Zuck
Executive Director
Innovators Network Foundation
Main: +1 (202) 827-7594
Direct: +1 (202) 420-7483
From: At-Large <at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org> on behalf of Jeff Neuman via At-Large <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2021 10:46:36 AM
To: at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Subject: [At-Large] ICANN Accountability Mechanisms


I thought this was important enough of an issue to be discussed and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

Please see https://circleid.com/posts/20211230-icannas-accountability-mechanisms-in-name-only.

This article covers ICANN’s taking retaliatory action against a company I am involved in for daring to use the Reconsideration Process. We alleged ICANN’s inaction was a violation of the Bylaws (and you can read about that separately).

What does ICANN do? It “pauses” its consideration of what it has failed to act on in retaliation against my company thereby compounding the original issue. In other words, we complained ICANN was moving to slow in our request for the assignment of a TLD Agreement - and that was a violation of the Bylaws. ICANN has responded by stating that it now needs to halt all consideration of the assignment request because we filed the Reconsideration Action in order to investigate the basis of our claims that it was moving too slow.


There will be a follow up post on why our initial request for urgent reconsideration was denied.  In short, ICANN has taken the position that:

A). Only ICANN Board Action can be challenged on an Urgent Basis.  ICANN staff Action or inaction may not be.

B). And ICANN Board Inaction cannot be challenged where the basis for the “Inaction” is ICANN’s failure to pass a Board Resolution. In other words, if you are angry at the Board for not passing a resolution, you cannot file an urgent reconsideration request…..why…..because in order to have an urgent Reconsideration Request, there needs to be an actual Board Resolution. Thus, if the board fails to pass a resolution, by definition, there is no resolution on which to basis the urgent action.


This case also covers ICANN’s misguided fight against the blockchain.  Although the request to assign .hiphop has nothing to do with the blockchain, ICANN has decided (wrongfully) that it does.


If you want to cover any of this in an open session, I am more than happy to discuss.  I believe all of this should be done in the open and if ICANN Org is not going to be completely open and transparent, then there is no reason we cannot be.


Jeffrey J. Neuman
Founder & CEO
JJN Solutions, LLC
Jeff at JJNSolutions.com

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