[At-Large] ICANN Accountability Mechanisms

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Sun Jan 2 22:24:32 UTC 2022

I've been watching this thread.  It's another cycle of conversations 
that have occurred previously, and that were ignored.

Let's face it: Internet governance of today is a mud made from several 
elements, among which are:

    - Pollyanna-ish naivete about "netizens" and 1960's Grateful Dead 
theories of how we can all live together in peace and perfect harmony.

    - Clever, hard-nosed, profit oriented opportunists.

    - Reagan/Thatcher notions that regulation by a government is bad, 
but regulation by a private body is good (and completely non-informed by 
consideration of the excesses of private bodies ranging from the British 
East India Company to Standard Oil to Google.)

    - The abandonment of the belief that governance ought to be by the 
people and for the people and replacement of that belief with one that 
elevates selected (often industrial) "stakeholders" into positions of 
inflated influence and control.

I've written several pieces about how we ought to re-read things from 
the late 18th century regarding structuring governance so that it is 
somewhat self-limiting.

But the most important is this:

> First Law of the Internet
> + Every person shall be free to use the Internet in any way
>   that is privately beneficial without being publicly
>   detrimental.
>    - The burden of demonstrating public detriment shall
>      be on those who wish to prevent the private use.
>        - Such a demonstration shall require clear and
>          convincing evidence of public detriment.
>    - The public detriment must be of such degree and extent
>      as to justify the suppression of the private activity.

There are other things from the past, such as this from 2004:

_/Structural Principles For Internet Governance /_- 

And see my list of other short essays (or blog items) under the heading 
"Internet Governance" at https://www.cavebear.com/documents/

BTW, I agree with Evan regarding ICANN's "nominating committee"; it is a 
relic, a techno-paternalist chunk of machinery that seems almost as if 
lifted from a 19th century colonial playbook written by King Leopold or 
Queen Victoria.


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