07 May 2014

ICANN Now Says It Wants to "Enhance ICANN Accountability"

Looks like the US Department of Commerce and ICANN may have put the cart before the horse. Now, almost 2 months after the US Department of Commerce's NTIA made its IANA transition announcement, ICANN yesterday announced its intention to enhance its own accountability by engaging in a process parallel to, but simultaneous with the IANA transition process:

In a blog post yesterday, Steve Crocker, Chairman of the ICANN Board of Directors, wrote: "Ever since the NTIA announced its intention to transition the stewardship of the IANA functions, the ICANN Community, our Board, and ICANN’s leadership all have been in agreement that a process on ICANN’s overall accountability is needed. This process should look at from an organizational perspective, whether and how ICANN’s broader accountability mechanisms should be strengthened to address the absence of its historical contractual relationship to the U.S. Government....I can say that the framing of this process and how it relates to the other, recently- launched process on the transition of IANA stewardship itself, are top priorities for the Board and me. As Fadi noted in Sao Paulo, the two are closely interrelated and will run in parallel. Our handling of these processes will be closely scrutinized. Enhancing ICANN’s accountability is key to the success of the IANA functions stewardship transition process. We must be accountable to the global community beyond our role as the administrator of the IANA functions....The two processes, however, will run on separate tracks. Though open to all, the accountability process will take place mainly within the ICANN community, whereas the process on the transition of the IANA functions stewardship will occur across multiple fora. ICANN’s role in the latter is also limited to that of a convener and facilitator...."

The full announcement on the accountability process can be found here.

The public comment period is open and the deadline for input is 27 May 2014 (23:59 UTC).

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