Re: [Ianaplan] Consensus call -- text reply for ICG proposal review

"Richard Hill" <> Sun, 23 August 2015 15:52 UTC

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From: "Richard Hill" <>
To: "'John C Klensin'" <>, "'Eliot Lear'" <>, "'Leslie Daigle \(ThinkingCat\)'" <>
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Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2015 17:51:58 +0200
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Cc: "'Ianaplan@Ietf. Org'" <>, 'Marc Blanchet' <>
Subject: Re: [Ianaplan] Consensus call -- text reply for ICG proposal review
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Dear John,

Thank you for this.

I fully agree with your comments (1), (2), (3), and following, and that's
why I don't think that this group should endorse the non-protocol parts of
the ICG proposal.

Would you be comfortable with the alternative wording proposed by Brian,
which is OK for me, and also for Marc?

Thanks and best,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ianaplan [] On Behalf Of John C
> Klensin
> Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2015 17:46
> To: Richard Hill; 'Eliot Lear'; 'Leslie Daigle (ThinkingCat)'
> Cc: 'Ianaplan@Ietf. Org'; 'Marc Blanchet'
> Subject: Re: [Ianaplan] Consensus call -- text reply for ICG proposal
> review
> --On Friday, August 21, 2015 18:16 +0200 Richard Hill <>
> wrote:
> > The problem is that by supporting the entire proposal you are also
> > taking a position on the names and addressing proposals.
> > And it seems to me that that goes beyond the mandate of this group.
> Richard,
> I've been traveling for the last week or two and haven't read the
> various discussions during that period carefully.  But I
> think I disagree with your statement above.    Breaking this
> down, it seems to me that it must be acceptable for the IETF to
> say:
> (i) We have read the complete proposal and conclude that it addresses
> our specific issues and concerns, stated earlier, in an acceptable way.
> (ii) While we see a variety of ways in which assorted other issues
> could be worked out and specified, that list and the choices about them
> in the current proposal appear to us to not pose a risk to the things
> we've identified as important.
> Consequently, as the good members of a broader community that we aspire
> to be, we are supportive of those things simply because the other
> communities want them and they don't seem to pose a problem or
> challenge for us.
> Now, that is, I believe, more or less what Eliot is suggesting.
> It doesn't mean we would be willing to spill blood (especially IETF
> blood) to make sure that the proposals from the names and addresses
> groups are adopted, but we can still support them as consistent and
> non-harmful.
> I don't see why you consider such a pair of statements, in that form or
> another one, a problem.
> Now, whether the IETF actually believes in those statements is another
> matter.  I've concluded personally that I do not, but I think it is
> quite likely that I'm "in the rough" on these issues.  In particular:
> (1) ICANN and its many non-IANA roles (some of which I agree with,
> others I don't) have become extremely large and complex.
> Consequently, I think it is important to distinguish provisions in this
> proposal (and elsewhere) that are directly related to IANA, the US
> Government role under the current arrangements, and the transition of
> that role (either eliminating it or replacing it with some other
> arrangement) from provisions whose purpose is to improve those other
> ICANN functions.  Those other provisions might change how those ICANN
> functions are carried out, controlled, or managed,  or protect against
> abuse of or due to those functions.  I personally wish that the
> proposal would be rejected by the ICG and the various communities until
> the extraneous "let's fix ICANN" elements --including all reflections
> of desires to make ICANN the focus of questions about how to "govern"
> the Internet or to use ICANN or the Internet more generally to test
> assorted interesting sociopolitical or organizational theories -- were
> removed.
> (2) I think the broader Internet community, or at least the IETF,
> should be working to insure that IANA operations are adequately
> responsible to the relevant customer groups _and_ that the IANA
> function is accountable to the Internet community.
> I've expressed this concern earlier but gotten no improvements as a
> result, however, I see the PTI model as potentially (but only
> potentially) improving accountability for a small number of
> communities, some of them with significant vested economic or
> equivalent interests, at the price of reducing accountability to the
> Internet at large and maybe even the other customer groups.
> I don't see that as an improvement, regardless of its other real or
> imaginary organizational benefits (see comment about theory-testing
> above).
> (3) Whatever one might say about the NTIA role (and that of the US
> Government more generally), how it has been applied, and, perhaps most
> important in practice, the horrible optics associated with it, the fact
> remains that it has provided an important independent mechanism for
> both moderating possible bad behavior on ICANN's part and for appeals
> that lie completely outside ICANN's ability to design and define the
> procedures and to appoint those who will consider the specifics of
> particular cases.  Sometimes just having such external mechanisms is
> important.  They inhibit bad behavior because of the possibility of
> intervention if things get bad enough.  Equally or more important, if
> one were worried about capture by a collection of stakeholders who are
> not fully representative of the Internet community, the odds that NTIA
> could be captured by that same collection of stakeholders are
> vanishingly small.
> A key part of the issue here is that "multistakeholder" has, many times
> in this context, come to mean "anyone with an opinion, regardless of
> knowledge or actual material concern and involvement with the
> substantive issues".  That is very much different from IETF values and
> traditions: we tend (and try) to value knowledge, experience, and
> actual involvement with the subject matter over what we evaluate as
> wild theorizing.  That particular version of "multistakeholder",
> especially in its ICANN incarnation, tends to give great power to
> factions with the interest and resources to make seemingly-unlimited
> investments in the process.  That doesn't require malfeasance, only the
> ability to create many committees, meetings, and long and complex
> documents until no one other than those particular interested and
> invested parties (and those subsidized by ICANN) can afford to
> participate in practice.
> To transition away from having the US Government in the oversight and
> appeal (whether from the broad community or from governments via
> diplomatic channels) role described above requires that one either have
> a separate oversight and appeal mechanism that is similar to the NTIA
> one in not being under control of ICANN or any constituency that might
> capture or dominate ICANN decision making... or one must have complete
> trust that ICANN cannot be captured, has conflict of interest policies
> that protect against decisions being dominated by a single self-
> interested party or cluster of them, and that it will always (now and
> in the future) act in the best interests of the Internet, even when
> those interests conflict with the organizational best interests of
> ICANN as an organization.
> Absent that level of trust, "independent" review mechanisms created by
> ICANN don't do the job because ICANN can control the criteria for
> appointments, the working procedures, and, ultimately, the membership
> of those bodies whether the criteria
> are satisfied or not.   Sadly, I don't have that level of trust,
> if only because ICANN has, even in the last few years, repeatedly
> provided examples that contradict it.
> It seems clear to me that most of that latter group of concerns are out
> of scope for IANAPlan, although not necessarily so for
> the IETF and IAB.   I hope that various of us who do have them
> will comment more generally on the process and situation and, if
> necessary, on any public call for comment that NTIA and other
> institutions may produce in the future.
> best,
>     john
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