Proposed open letter to the ICANN Board:
It has come to the ALAC's attention that the GNSO Council is deadlocked on how to handle the renegotiation of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). The RAA WG, a bottom-up consensus-based working group which the ALAC has participated in, has made a set of recommendations for community observers to take part in the RAA negotiation process. These recommendations have been rejected by the GNSO Council.
Within the GNSO Council, another motion by the Non Contracted Parties to at least require periodic reports and community comment was rejected by the Contracted Parties House.
This refusal has the potential to keep the RAA negotiation process as opaque as it ever was.
The ALAC wishes to make its concern formally known that not only is the ICANN community being prevented from proper participatory process in creating Registrar policy, but that the Transparency and Accountability required by ICANN By-laws and the AoC is being abrogated by the decisions made in the GNSO Council.
The ALAC wishes to advise the Board of this critical transparency and accountability issue.
Indeed, the ALAC reminds the Board that while the RAA has the form of a contract between the registrars and ICANN, this should not mean that only the directly contracted parties should be part of the discussion: ICANN uses contracts merely as a tool to formalize what should be the result of a larger participatory process; the contract is the tool, not the framework.
This subject touches upon the fundamental understanding of what a multi-stakeholder and bottom-up institution ICANN is and the responsibility it assumes de facto as global competition authority for the secondary domain name marketplace.
We maintain that “ICANN” has a multi-stakeholder model, as described in its organizational diagram and at no moment is “ICANN” restricted to ICANN Staff.
We therefore advise the Board to examine this procedural issue and for it to act as the stewart of the process and the trustee of the multi-stakeholder principle upon which ICANN is based.