2015-09-27

ICANN Board Does NOT Support CCWG Proposed Membership Model

"The [ICANN] Board does not support the single member model.  We are unified in wanting to work with the community to find practical solutions to achieve the additional levels of accountability sought by the community including the ability to remove Board members and the whole Board, requiring community approval of bylaws changes, and requiring the Board to work with the community to reach consensus on strategic plans, operating plans and budgets."--ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker, Sept 26, 2015, in "chat" following his statement further below (emphasis added)
Following Chairman Crocker's statements (above and below) at the CCWG meeting, Keith Drazek, Chair of the ICANN Registries Stakeholder Group in the "chat" stated--

Keith Drazek: "I don't think anyone wants to get to a point of brinksmanship between community and Board. We're not there now and we should try to avoid it. That probably means the CCWG needs to assess all the public comments, including the Board's, and try to identify a compromise solution that doesn't compromise our stated goals. Some legitimate concerns have been raised by the Board and others, and we need to address them. Doing so should result in a compromise everyone can live with....consensus."

On Saturday, September 26, 2015, the second day of the CCWG-Accountability F2F LA meeting, ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker informed the CCWG that the proposed single member model a/k/a CMSM model is not supported by the ICANN Board of Directors. Accordingly, CCWG's 2nd draft proposal for ICANN membership may likely fail to achieve the necessary "consensus"-- see "chat" comment of Keith Drazek, Chair of the ICANN Registries Stakeholder Group, above.

STEVE CROCKER [ICANN Board Chairman]: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. WE CAN'T EMPHASIZE STRONGLY ENOUGH HOW THANKFUL WE ARE, HOW APPRECIATIVE WE ARE THAT EVERYBODY HAS COME TOGETHER. THIS IS A HASTILY SCHEDULED MEETING, DISPLACED A LOT OF SCHEDULES AND EVERYTHING. AND WE KNOW THAT A LOT OF -- THERE'S A LOT OF ENERGY THAT'S GONE INTO THIS. AND I WANT TO SPEAK -- I WANT TO SPEAK ABOUT THE BOARD'S POSITION AND ATTITUDE ABOUT ALL THIS.

THE TRANSITION IS VERY IMPORTANT. "VERY IMPORTANT" IS NOT THE SAME AS IT DOMINATES EVERY POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE. OUR PRIMARY COMMITMENT, OUR OVERRIDING COMMITMENT IS TO THE INCLUSIVE MULTISTAKEHOLDER MODEL.
IT CANNOT SUPPORT COMPROMISES THAT UNDERMINE THAT MULTISTAKEHOLDER MODEL. THIS HAS BEEN BUILT UP IN A -- BY ACCRETION IN A WAY OVER 17 YEARS WITH CHANGES AND ADDITIONS AND MODIFICATIONS OVER TIME. EACH OF US SERVES ON THE BOARD FOR THREE-YEAR TERMS. AND EVEN IF WE EXTEND IT OUT AS I HAVE FOR A LONG TIME, EVENTUALLY IT COMES TO AN END. NONE OF US ARE HERE PERMANENTLY. THERE'S NO SENSE IN WHICH THE BOARD HAS A ROLE DISTINCT FROM THE COMMUNITY. WE COME FROM THE COMMUNITY. WE RETURN TO THE COMMUNITY. AND WE LEAVE BEHIND WHAT WE HOPE IS A STRONGER AND MORE VIBRANT OPERATION.

BUT I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT AS STRONGLY AS WE ARE SUPPORTIVE AND BELIEVE THAT THE TRANSITION AWAY FROM THE CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENT WITH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE ENTIRE WORLD, THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY, NOT JUST THE CORPORATE STRUCTURE OF ICANN, IT IS SOMETHING THAT HAS PERSISTED FOR A LONG TIME. WE WRESTLE WITH IT. WE CHAFE UNDER IT A BIT. BUT IT HAS NOT BEEN DISASTROUS. SO THAT SETS A KIND OF THRESHOLD FOR WHAT OUR ULTIMATE DECISION PROCESS IS GOING TO BE.

WE THINK THAT WE ARE SO, SO CLOSE TO WRESTLING -- WRESTLING TO THE GROUND TO GETTING AGREEMENTS ON THE BIG THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN IMPORTANT HERE ON ACCOUNTABILITY, ON TRANSPARENCY, ON ENFORCEABILITY, ON COMMUNITY POWERS, AND EVEN ABILITY TO REMOVE INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBERS. YOU MAY THINK THAT THAT'S A THREAT SOMETIMES. WE THINK THAT WOULD BE A RELIEF AS AN ESCAPE. [LAUGHTER ]

ANOTHER KEY THING THAT'S VERY VIBRANT AND VISIBLE TO US IS THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTION, THE PREDICATE FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT MADE A YEAR AND A HALF AGO WAS THAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WAS SAYING ICANN IS READY FOR BEING CAST LOOSE. IT DID NOT SAY WE ARE TIRED OF RUNNING IT AND WE HAVE TO FIND SOMEBODY TO SUBSTITUTE FOR OURSELVES. THEY DID SAY, OF COURSE, THEY WANTED A GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT, THE MULTISTAKEHOLDER MODEL TO BE COMFORTABLE, TO EVERYBODY TO BE COMFORTABLE WITH THE SYSTEM. AND IT OPENED UP THE DIALOGUE WHICH LED TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY. BUT THEY DID NOT -- AND I SHOULDN'T SPEAK ABOUT WHAT THEY SAID. BUT WE CERTAINLY DID NOT UNDERSTAND AND DON'T BELIEVE THAT CREATING A SUPERSTRUCTURE TO REPLACE THEM IN A CORPORATE SENSE WAS INTENDED, DESIRED, NEEDED, OR APPROPRIATE.

SO WE'RE FEELING OUR WAY VERY GINGERLY THROUGH THIS PROCESS. THE BOARD BELIEVES VERY DEEPLY AND TRIES TO ACT APPROPRIATELY THAT WE REPRESENT AND CARRY OUT THE SENSE OF THE COMMUNITY. WE'RE NOT IN A BASTION POSITION OF DEFENDING OURSELVES AGAINST THE COMMUNITY BECAUSE IN THE END, WE ARE TRYING TO BE REPRESENTATIVES AND CARETAKERS ON BEHALF OF THE COMMUNITY.

BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE HAVE VERY STRONG RESPONSIBILITY. AND THAT RESPONSIBILITY IS CAREFULLY SEPARATED FROM EACH OF THE STAKEHOLDERS AND CONSTITUENCIES. WE TAKE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST VERY SERIOUSLY IN THE SEVERAL INSTANCES WHERE A PARTICULAR BOARD MEMBER HAS A BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP OR DOESN'T HAPPEN, BUT A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP, IT HAS TO BE DISCLOSED AND THEY GET REMOVED FROM THE DECISION PROCESS AND SO FORTH.

WE DON'T HAVE THE SAME FRAMEWORK OF PROTECTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF DISCIPLINE IF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY. AND THAT'S FINE. THAT'S PERFECTLY FINE. BUT IT IS SOMETHING THAT WE TAKE SERIOUSLY.

SO THE COMMENTS THAT WE SUBMITTED SOME TIME AGO, WE DID REPRESENT A BOARD POSITION. WE DID A QUICK CHECK THIS MORNING, AND 100% AGREEMENT THAT WHAT WE SAID THEN STILL STANDS.

WE REALLY, REALLY DO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS SO CLOSE THAT IT'S THERE. AND, AS I SAID, WE ARE VERY STRONGLY SUPPORTIVE OF THE PRINCIPLES AND THE OBJECTIVES. AND WE'RE DOWN TO WHAT IS SOMETIMES SAID WITH A LITTLE BIT OF IRONY, THESE ARE JUST IMPLEMENT DETAILS BUT THE IMPLEMENT DETAILS ARE, IN FACT, QUITE IMPORTANT.

I WAS REFLECTING AS I SAT IN MEETINGS -- IT IS ALMOST EMBARRASSING -- ALMOST 50 YEARS AGO TO BRING INDIVIDUALS TOGETHER TO BUILD THE ARPANET I WAS TERRIBLY CHAGRINED FAIRLY EARLY ON IN THE PROCESS WE HAD -- FIRST TIME WE HAD PEOPLE FLYING ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE U.S. TO COME TO A MEETING. AND THE MEETING FELL APART BY NOONTIME BECAUSE THE SOLUTION THAT I HAD BEEN PUSHING WAS REJECTED BY THE VERY PEOPLE I THOUGHT THAT I WAS DRAWING IT FROM. I WAS TAKING MODELS ABOUT THE WAY THE ADVANCED SYSTEMS AT MIT WORKED AND THE MIT PEOPLE CAME AND SAID "WE CAN'T DO THIS" MUCH THE WHOLE MEETING WAS IN SHAMBLES. I WAS A LOT YOUNGER THEN AND IT RATTLED ME. SOMEBODY TOOK ME ASIDE AND SAID "YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS." SURE ENOUGH, THE PROTOCOLS GOT REBUILT, AND THE ARPANET GOT BUILT AND LOTS OF THINGS HAVE HAPPENED SINCE THEN.

WE CAN MAKE THIS WORK, AND WE CAN MAKE THIS WORK WELL ENOUGH. I WAS VERY, VERY PLEASED TO SEE THE DIFFERENT SCENARIOS THAT WERE BEING DISCUSSED BEFORE LUNCH. TO MY EYE, THEY WERE MORE SIMILAR THAN DIFFERENT, DIFFERED IN SOME DETAILS. AND ONE OF THE TEST QUESTIONS I ASKED: WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE DIFFERENTLY? AND THERE WERE ANSWERS. IT WASN'T ZERO. AND I THINK THAT'S FINE. I THINK THERE WERE SOME THINGS THAT ONE COULD ARGUE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER IF IT WAS DONE DIFFERENTLY, AND THAT'S FINE.

BUT I THINK WE WANT TO DO IT IN A MEASURED AND INCREMENTAL WAY AND WITH THE COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS IS AN ONGOING PROCESS. WE'VE HAD THE ATRT REVIEWS. WE'VE HAD THE STRUCTURAL REVIEWS. WE'D HAD PLENTY -- WE HAVE ALL OF THE ADVICE THAT COMES IN FROM THE ADVISORY COMMITTEES AND WE HAVE THE POLICIES THAT COME UP FROM THE SOs. THIS IS AN ONGOING PROCESS THAT WILL GO ON TOMORROW AND THE NEXT DAY AND THE NEXT DAY. AND IT IS NOT ESSENTIAL THAT WE GRAB HOLD OF EVERY SORT OF THING AND MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN NOW.

SO I WANTED TO CONVEY THAT. I WANTED TO CONVEY THAT THE BOARD IS DEEPLY INVESTED IN TRYING TO BE HELPFUL, IF WE CAN, STAYING OUT OF THE WAY IF THAT'S THE BEST THING TO DO. BUT WE'RE NOT TO BORROW A PHRASE FROM SOME YEARS AGO, WE ARE NOT POTTED PLANTS. WE ARE NOT JUST SITTING HERE PASSIVELY. WE ARE VERY HEAVILY ENGAGED. AND WE HAVE QUITE HEAVY RESPONSIBILITIES. AND THOSE WILL GET EXPRESSED AS THEY ARE -- AS I'M TRYING TO DO NOW AND THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST, AND THEY WILL CONTINUE AS WE GO.

AND WE ARE HOPING VERY STRONGLY THAT WE ARE NOT PUT INTO A POSITION OF HAVING TO MAKE REALLY TOUGH DECISIONS OR GET INTO A "IT'S THAT OR THAT" SORT OF THING. BUT, IF NECESSARY, ALL OF US ARE SEASONED ADULTS AND WE TAKE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES QUITE HEAVILY AND WE DON'T HAVE CONSEQUENCES EXCEPT TO OUR OWN PERSONAL REPUTATIONS OR CONSCIENCE THAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH PERHAPS. WE WILL DO WHAT IS NECESSARY, WHEN IT'S NECESSARY. WE DON'T WANT TO CONVEY THAT AS A THREAT, MORE AS A PLEA, SORT OF "PLEASE DON'T THROW US INTO THAT BRIAR PATCH" IF YOU WILL. ..." (emphasis added) (Note: This transcription may be incomplete/inaccurate--a final reviewed transcript will be posted on CCWG Wiki)

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