ICANN CCWG-Accountability Co-Chair Comments on the Public Comments

Mathieu Weill is co-chair of ICANN's Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability). In the tweet embedded above he is referring to the public comments submitted in response to the CCWG's 2nd Draft Report (Work Stream 1), for which the comment period ended September 12. All of the comments submitted may be reviewed here.

Mathieu's reference to Domain Mondo above is in reference to the comment submitted by John Poole, editor of Domain Mondo, which may be read in full here (pdf), excerpts below:

To CCWG-Accountability:
".... Your proposal, though well-intentioned, is unacceptable and fundamentally flawed. You have failed to follow your own Charter, and in your “rush to meet a deadline” you have failed to achieve the charter’s stated goal: a proposal which enhances ICANN’s accountability towards all stakeholders—i.e., the global multi-stakeholder community. Instead, you have focused solely on a power-game of “who’s on top”--the ICANN Board of Directors or the few well-resourced, special interests, who dominate and control the so-called “ICANN stakeholder community” which is not representative of, nor even accountable to the global Internet community a/k/a global multi-stakeholder community. Your proposal does not “enhance ICANN’s accountability towards all stakeholders.” It does subject the ICANN Board of Directors to greater direct manipulation, control, and capture by the “special interests” which NTIA’s stewardship and the Affirmation of Commitments had prevented, to some degree. Your proposal, as it stands, is therefore not in the public interest, nor is it in the best interests of the global multi-stakeholder community. In fact, your proposal is a step backwards and will hasten the demise of ICANN within just a few years, at the insistence of a global multi-stakeholder community, fed up with the avarice of those self-serving “ICANN community stakeholders” or “special interests” who disrespect the values and ideals of Jon Postel and his peers as expressed in RFC 1591: “The designated manager [of a TLD] is the trustee of the top-level domain for … the global Internet community."  Whatever happened to the fiduciary standard of duties owed by gTLD (and ccTLD) registry operators to the global Internet community? .... Unless you are willing to backtrack and spend the necessary time—at a minimum, six months or more—to reconsider, redraft and correct your fundamentally flawed proposal, you should sit down in LA later this month and honestly try to work out something with the [ICANN] Board--setting aside your collective egos, your obvious “sunk cost bias” in favor of the CCWG proposal, and the “group think” clearly evident on your CCWG mail list. I suggest you listen closely to Mathieu Weill. I have been a close observer of your work since the beginning and I trust his judgment and leadership. I have reviewed the ICANN submittal of September 11, 2015, and while it is far from perfect, as best I understand it, a dialogue with the Board may help lead to a path forward. Frankly, the best thing that happened this year, in terms of improving or “enhancing” ICANN accountability, was the dotSUCKS fiasco, because now all of ICANN—stakeholders, directors, officers, staff, contracted parties, and service providers—are now on the radar of the US Federal Trade Commission, and probably the U.S. Justice Department as well. I agree with INTA [International Trademark Association], U.S. jurisdiction should be a fundamental bylaw. The potential for corruption, particularly within the ICANN Global Domains Division, is too great to allow ICANN to try to escape or evade prosecution by relocating to a “friendlier” jurisdiction. The global multi-stakeholder community really doesn’t need more FIFA-like scandals .... ICANN may need Board reform—that should have been priority #1. Almost every failing of ICANN can ultimately be attributed to a Board of Directors that was not activist, failed to question, failed to challenge stakeholders, management, staff or GAC advice, failed to be vigilant, pro-active. Therefore, review and improve processes for selecting members of the ICANN Board of Directors, which will lead to independent, activist, vigilant ICANN directors, reflective of the diversity of the global multi-stakeholder community, who will question, investigate, and push back (when necessary or appropriate) against policies advanced by self-interested ICANN stakeholders which are to the detriment of the global public interest or the global multi-stakeholder community; directors who will question and hold accountable ICANN officers, ICANN staff, GAC advice, and all ICANN stakeholders, including policy-making proposals, inquiring as to whether ICANN policies and principles have been followed ...." (emphasis added in sentence referring to Mathieu Weill)


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