2016-02-09

How ICANN and ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé Evade Accountability

Something is rotten in ICANN and the old saying is the rot starts at the top. Embedded below, and here (pdf), is the Editor of Domain Mondo's interchange with ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé in October, 2015, at the ICANN54 Public Forum, and follow-up by ICANN staff in January, 2016, in advance of the ICANN Quarterly Stakeholder call. A copy of the interchange below has been sent to Penny Pritzker, U.S. Commerce Secretary, Larry Strickling (NTIA), and a few others. One can only conclude and surmise from all of this:
1) ICANN intentionally nurtures conflicts of interest as its normal way of doing business (question 1 below);
2) In regard to 21st Century Fox's Rick Lane's questions at ICANN54 Public Forum and ICANN's non-responses below, it is possible ICANN has been paying $$ to influence foreign governments and others outside the U.S. [the two links provided by James Cole of ICANN below are not responsive. The inquiry is not directed to ICANN's U.S. government lobbying, but instead, ICANN's activities outside the U.S., the specifics of which ICANN refuses to disclose]. 


Final note: on January 28, 2016, Mike Silber, ICANN Board Member responded by email:
"Hi John
On 27/01/2016 20:12, John Poole wrote: [DomainMondo.com Editor’s Note: Question was submitted via email, October 21, 2015 (US time), approximately 12 hours before the Public Forum commenced.] Thank you for the clarification. Let me see if those type of questions (dense, but well thought out) can be easily accessed prior to the start of the public forum, so we don't deflect."

Now that ICANN and ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehade have been called to account by U.S.Senators Cruz, Lankford, and Lee, it will be interesting to see how ICANN and its CEO try to avoid the truth and evade accountability, once again. To get full answers to the questions raised above will, apparently, require a U.S. Senate or House investigation, and a Federal Government Audit--Federal Government Contractors are subject to audits performed by a U.S.Government agency such as the Government Accountability Office (GAO)--as well as an IRS (Internal Revenue Service) audit of ICANN's finances for the entire time (2012-2016) Fadi Chehade has been President and CEO of ICANN.

Frankly, none of this bodes well for the IANA stewardship transition. The "accountability mechanisms" proposed by the hardworking sub-group of the ICANN community (CCWG-Accountability) though well-intentioned, are immensely inferior to the accountability mechanisms of the U.S. government as indicated above. Add to that the inept or mostly passive ICANN Board of Directors who allow ICANN staff to run unchecked under the leadership of a CEO unqualified for the position--who himself carved out most of the core functions of ICANN (including the critical IANA functions--see below) into a new "Global Domains Division" (GDD) and put his crony who got him the job at ICANN in charge--allowing the CEO to spend most of his time globetrotting, dabbling in geo-politics, and self-promotion--setting himself up for his post-ICANN career "portfolio".

ICANN organizational chart, p. 5 (pdf) 06/01/2015: The IANA department is part of the Global Domains Division (GDD)
Elise Gerich, VP of IANA, reports to Akram Atallah, GDD President, who reports to ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade
Next post on Domain Mondo: Is ICANN Too Broken To Be Reformed? A Question from CCWG Mail List

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