2015-10-02

Why the ICANN Board Does NOT Support the Single Member Model

Why doesn't the ICANN Board of Directors support the Single Member Model (SMM or CMSM), which was proposed in CCWG-Accountability's 2nd draft Report?

Keith Drazek, CCWG participant, Chair of the ICANN Registries Stakeholder Group, and Director of Policy for Verisign, Inc. (but not an ICANN Board Member), summarized the reasons on the CCWG-Accountability mail list, which provides a good summary of what listening CCWG members and participants have read, heard and understood. As Domain Mondo has previously noted, some on the CCWG, unfortunately, appear not to be listening (if they ever did), but are close-minded, stuck in groupthink and their collective sunk cost bias, looking to just grab the power they think may be available for exploit in the Single Member Model.

Below is Keith Drazek's summary of what he has read, heard and understood as the "ICANN Board's position," which he shared on the CCWG mail list on September 30, 2015:

"In no particular order, my interpretation of the Board's written comments, what we heard in Los Angeles and from Fadi yesterday is:

-- Introducing a different governance structure, i.e. membership, is new, untested, and cannot be proven to resist capture in the limited time available to meet the September 2016 date.

-- Shifting authority from the Board to an untested membership body is potentially destabilizing and will be difficult or impossible to sell as not introducing risk at a delicate time.

-- If we're going to shift authority, we must also shift a commensurate level of accountability, and the current SOs and ACs do not have sufficient accountability at this time.

-- ICANN and its SOs/ACs need to be safe from capture from outside and from within; empowering the SOs and ACs without clear safeguards is problematic.

-- Concentrating power in a new "sole membership" body is not balanced if it doesn't include all community members, and two groups (SSAC and RSSAC) have said they want to remain advisory.

-- Shifting from consensus-based decision-making to reliance on a voting structure is not consistent with the multi-stakeholder model.

-- The CCWG recommendation is too complex and difficult to explain/understand, so we need to make smaller, incremental changes that are more easily implemented and understood.

-- A recommendation requiring a substantial governance restructuring will suggest that ICANN is currently broken -- a politically risky message going into the transition.

"I'm obviously not in a position to speak for the Board, but that's my non-legalistic reading of the concerns. I'd be happy to be corrected if my interpretation is off-base."--Keith Drazek

Seun Ojedeji, CCWG participant and Non-Commercial Users (NCUC) stakeholder, in response to the above, posted"Thanks for this, and just for record, the list [above] is what I can naturally add my +1 to in its entirety. Every points are critical and the last is even more critical than any other one."

Later, Keith Drazek also posted: "And just for the record, I was not advocating or supporting the points, just pointing out what will need to be addressed and/or resolved in the next iteration of our proposal."

See also on Domain Mondo



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