CCWG Report – Issues of interest to the numbers community

By on 19 May 2015

Category: Policy

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The Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG) has published a Draft Report that contains its initial Draft Proposal. The Draft Report can be found here:

The ASO representatives encourage the numbers community to review and give feedback on any specific points in the Draft Report, and reply to the questions listed in the document.

At the same time we would like to draw the numbers community’s attention to the following matters, as we believe that they are of interest to the numbers community and we would appreciate the community’s feedback:

1. Revised Mission

The CCWG suggests clarifications on the description of ICANN’s mission (more details in section 3.1 of the Draft Report). During the drafting process the ASO representatives provided a tentative description of ICANN’s mission in regard to the coordination of policy development for Internet number resources (page 20, paragraph 57). The tentative description reads as follows:

“In this role, with respect to IP addresses and AS numbers, ICANN’s Mission is described in the ASO MoU between ICANN and RIRs.”

Do you feel that this description is accurate?

2. Revised Commitments and Core Values

The CCWG proposes an amendment to one of the core values of the Bylaws (page 25, paragraph 89). The proposed amendment reads as follows:

“Employ open, transparent and bottom-up, [private sector led multistakeholder] policy development processes that (i) seeks input from the public, for whose benefit ICANN shall in all events act, (ii) promote well- informed decisions based on expert advice, and (iii) ensure that those entities most affected can assist in the policy development process;”

Given that the RIR global policies are described as open, transparent and bottom-up, the ASO representatives have a concern on the inclusion of the notion of ‘private sector led multistakeholder’, which is put in square brackets. The addition of this notion may lead to uncertainty on whether ICANN’s core values include the employment of RIR global policies.

Do you agree with the removal of the notion ‘private sector led multistakeholder’?

3. US Headquarters as part of the Fundamental Bylaws

The CCWG incorporated some provisions from the Affirmation of Commitments relevant to ICANN accountability into the Bylaws (in particular regarding ICANN’s Mission and Core Values). The CCWG has suggested defining these provisions as “Fundamental Bylaws”. The concept of Fundamental Bylaws is described in section 3.2 (pp 27-31) of the Draft Report. The main difference with the common Bylaws provisions is that while the Board could propose a change to this Bylaws provision, SO/ACs could block the proposed change (by a 75% vote). On the other hand any change to Fundamental Bylaws would require approval by SO/ACs (75% vote).

One of these provisions requires that ICANN “remains headquartered in the United States of America”. The CCWG noted that this provision exists already in current ICANN Bylaws, at Article XVIII Section 1: “OFFICES. The principal office for the transaction of the business of ICANN shall be in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America. ICANN may also have an additional office or offices within or outside the United States of America as it may from time to time establish.”

As the rest of Affirmation of Commitments provisions are suggested to be incorporated in the Fundamental Bylaws, the CCWG considered whether this provision should also be listed as a Fundamental Bylaw. The comment by the ASO Representatives was that while the rest of the Affirmation of Commitments provisions incorporated can indeed be seen as fundamental principles, the notion of US Headquarters is an administrative issue, which would not be considered as fundamental.

Do you agree with the ASO representatives approach?

4. Appealing Mechanisms

The CCWG has proposed enhancements to the two appealing mechanisms described in ICANN Bylaws, i.e. the Independent Review Panel and the Reconsideration process. The ASO representatives commented that, even though the ICANN Board approves its global policies, the processes and forums for bottom-up policy development relating to number resources is
outside of ICANN, and there are separate appealing procedures for disputes relating to Internet number resources. In particular there is:

i) an arbitration process described in the ASO MoU for disputes relevant to the Global Policy development process

ii) an arbitration process described in the draft Service Level Agreement between the five RIRs and IANA Numbering Services Operator for disputes relevant to the IANA numbering services.

iii) a bottom-up process for any concerns that a third party may have relating to Internet number resources issues.

Additionally the ASO representatives noted that it was requested by the CWG that decisions regarding ccTLD delegations or revocations would be excluded from standing, until relevant appeal mechanisms have been developed by the ccTLD community, in coordination with other parties.

Considering the above, the ASO representatives would propose that any appeal mechanism developed by the CCWG should not cover disputes relating to Internet number resources.

5. Powers

The CCWG suggested that the following powers would ensure community

  • Reconsider/reject budget or strategy/operating plans (section 5.2 of the Draft Report, pp 47-48). We would like to note that this power was listed as one of the expected accountability mechanisms by the CWG.
  • Reconsider/reject changes to ICANN Standard Bylaws (section 5.3 of the Draft Report pp 48-49
  • Approve changes to Fundamental Bylaws (section 5.4 of the Draft Report pp 49-50)
  • Remove individual ICANN Directors (section 5.5 of the Draft Report pp 50-52
  • Recall the entire ICANN Board (section 5.6 of the Draft Report pp 52- 53)

These powers would be exercised by changing ICANN’s structure into a membership-based organisation, of which the SO/ACs would be the members. Details of this structure can be found in section 5.1.1 of the proposal (pp 42-45).

Do you have any concerns or comments on any of these powers or the suggested structure?


Izumi Okutani is the Chair of the CRISP team, and performs Policy Liaison at JPNIC, a National Internet Registry (NIR) managing IP address space in Japan.

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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