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Recommendations to Improve ICANN's Transparency

ADOPTED

12Y, 0N, 0A

Alan Greenberg

Cheryl Langdon-Orr

20 April 2017

22 April 2017

25 April 2017

01 May 2017

25 April 2017

AL-ALAC-ST-0417-01-01-EN

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FINAL VERSION TO BE SUBMITTED IF RATIFIED

The final version to be submitted, if the draft is ratified, will be placed here by upon completion of the vote. 

 


FINAL DRAFT VERSION TO BE VOTED UPON BY THE ALAC

The final draft version to be voted upon by the ALAC will be placed here before the vote is to begin.

ALAC and At-Large Members participated in the CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 Subgroup on ICANN Transparency and the ALAC supports the recommendations in their entirety.

The ALAC does have three additional comments though.

  1. The Second Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT2) report included: “Importantly, the assessments and recommendations made in this document presume the default condition of transparency as a basis for all ICANN activities.” In formally within the ATRT2, the expression that was used was that “transparency should be in the DNA of ICANN”. The relevancy here is that if this is the case, the use of tools such as the Documentary Information Disclosure Policy (DIDP) would be significantly reduced. As part of the DIDP process, ICANN must assess and publish why the information being produced had not been initially released, and this should form part of the ongoing monitoring and reporting on the DIDP. The intended result is that ICANN should move towards not needing the DIDP in the vast number of instances.

  2. During the Subgroup discussions, there was a concern raised on the possible cost of implementing the recommendations, and in particular the DIDP. The ALAC agrees with the subgroup that at a policy level, cost should not be an issue. However, the cost of the DIDP must be reported and tracked. This will ensure that the community and the ICANN Board and management understand the cost of the DIDP, and implicitly the cost of being less transparent that it might have been.

    The ALAC notes that if ICANN were to adopt a stance where transparency IS the default as recommended above, the cost of the DIDP would likely not be an issue.

  3. The ALAC questions to what extent ICANN's discussions, meetings, and draft documents with its contracted parties (Registrars, Registries and their representatives) will be deemed to be commercial interactions and therefore not be subject to routine disclosure or the DIDP. At the moment, such discussions are often held behind closed doors without other parties even knowing that the discussions are ongoing. An example is the proposed amendments to the registry agreement which was discussed in private for nearly two years before any announcement was made (https://www.icann.org/public-comments/proposed-amend-new-gtld-agreement-2016-05-31-en).

 


FIRST DRAFT SUBMITTED

The first draft submitted will be placed here before the call for comments begins.

This statement was written by Alan Greenberg with the support of Ricardo Holmquist and Cheryl Langdon-Orr.

 

ALAC and At-Large Members participated in the CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 2 Subgroup on ICANN Transparency and the ALAC supports the recommendations in their entirety.

The ALAC does have three additional comments though.

  1. The ATRT2 report included: “Importantly, the assessments and recommendations made in this document presume the default condition of transparency as a basis for all ICANN activities.” In formally within the ATRT2, the expression that was used was that “transparency should be in the DNA of ICANN”. The relevancy here is that if this is the case, the use of tools such as the DIDP would be significantly reduced. As part of the DIDP process, ICANN must assess and publish why the information being produced had not been initially released, and this should form part of the ongoing monitoring and reporting on the DIDP. The intended result is that ICANN should move towards not needing the DIDP in the vast number of instances.

  2. During the Subgroup discussions, there was a concern raised on the possible cost of implementing the recommendations, and in particular the DIDP. The ALAC agrees with the subgroup that at a policy level, cost should not be an issue. However, the cost of the DIDP must be reported and tracked. This will ensure that the community and the ICANN Board and management understand the cost of the DIDP, and implicitly the cost of being less transparent that it might have been.

    The ALAC notes that if ICANN were to adopt a stance where transparency IS the default as recommended above, the cost of the DIDP would likely not be an issue.

  3. The ALAC questions to what extent ICANN's discussions meetings and draft documents with its contracted parties (Registrars, Registries and their representatives) will be deemed to be commercial interactions and therefore not besubject to routine disclosure or the DIDP. At the moment, such discussions are often held behind closed doors without other parties even knowing that the discussions are ongoing. An example is the proposed amendments to the registry agreement which was discussed in private for nearly two years before any announcement was made (https://www.icann.org/public-comments/proposed-amend-new-gtld-agreement-2016-05-31-en).

3 Comments

  1. Having read the report, I wonder whether the discussions leading to the drafting of Registrar and Registry agreements are addressed, including the access to any recording or transcript of the discussions - since the ALAC's appeals to be able to take part as an observer in those discussions have been refused. I have concerns that we'd be told "these are commercial discussions which are off limits to DIDP".

    Same for transcripts of Contracted Party meetings with the ICANN Board and/or management during ICANN meetings and which are usually held in camera.

  2. I can't recall but did DIDP - and I'm channelling standard FOIA/AIA rules here - include deadlines for responses and an appeal process?

     

    -Carlton

  3. Modestly I dare to comment on this matter. I agree with Olivier. As to the objection that it is a matter of trade agreements, that objection may seem valid for the right to privacy in private business. But in this case, what is at stake is the public interest, because the object of the commercial agreement, is a domain name. And the public interest is above the private agreements of private individuals. It would be important to analyze whether or not the commercial agreement on a domain name affects the public interest, and in the event that it could intervene in order to avoid the damage.