[bestbits] IANA transition - BR Gov comments on the CCWG-Accountability Draft Proposal

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sun Jun 7 07:10:37 EDT 2015

Dear Carlos

I very much agree with Brazil's position and congratulate it for it.
BTW, India has also made somewhat similar comments. The key points of
agreement are on what are two most important issues - need for
international jurisdiction, and accountability to the larger global
public rather than just the groups which are currently closely engaged
with ICANN, which can be called as 'external accountability' as against
'internal accountability'.

Having agreed with Brazil's position, I must state that the issues that
Brazil is raising now have always been clear, and are the basic ones in
the oversight transition process. It has been equally obvious, almost
right from the start, but at least very soon after, that these key
issues will be ignored. It was therefore important to push these issues
right to the front, and make it clear that these are non negotiable, and
also gather support among other groups for this position.

What I find strange among the key groups/ orgs that can be expected to
come from a 'progressive' standpoint - key governments, including I
would have hoped the EU, but certainly the larger developing ones, and
key civil society groups, is that they have been so shy to say upfront
what is indeed non negotiable that an impression is allowed to go around
that while there is indeed some limited discontent, and any such process
would have some, there is a level of general agreement being built going
forward. Such shyness or reticence among 'progressive' actors does the
cause a lot of harm. How else could the process, after having been
listening (or perhaps not)  to all key actors during the WG process,
still come up with the current proposal. One advisor to the process has
publicly claimed that most advisers considered 'jurisdiction' as a key
issue, and one can be sure that the countries that are now making
statements on this issue would have done the same in the WG process. How
then does the proposal put up for comments make no mention of
jurisdiction issue at all, nor of external accountability?

The answer is simple: the process is rigged to produce outcomes that
satisfy US government (even beyond the 4 initial conditions that it laid
- do note, continued US jurisdiction is not one of them) and, as a
secondary complicit group, the ICANN plus insiders, who have varying
shades of loyalty to the ICANN system, but when push comes to shove they
are excepted to all agree on structural issues and work as one. There
simply can be no other outcome. One does not need to wait till September
to know this.

There is no question that the issue of US jurisdictional immunity (only
possible through incorporation of ICANN under international law) will be
considered in the right earnest. In fact, I dont see even opening up of
the issue of 'external accountability'. So, the die is more or less cast.

Somewhat oddly, while clearly asking for immunity from US jurisdiction
at several places in their response document, Brazil government is still
shy to say the obvious, that this is possible only under international
law, which can only be written by a due international process. Or do the
Brazilians know of some other manner in which immunity from jurisdiction
from country of incorporation can be obtained? One can well take a broad
multi-stakeholder approach to evolve a basic charter for the ICANN, but
to make it international law it has to follow due process. In default,
it can never provide what Brazil government seeks in numerous places in
the document. Of course they know it, but the shyness and reticence -
maybe still a NetMundial hangover - in inexplicable. I hope Brazil gov
clarifies its position in this regard, or anyone else who understands
their current thinking might do it.

This thing has to go to WSIS plus 10, whose negotiations start this
month. It is no use to bungle once again and wait too long till after
the WSIS plus 10 opportunity is also lost. One has to gather support
from key nations, including the EU... While some progress could perhaps
be forced at WSIS plus, it may not be so easy, for so long have various
actors been all over the place that putting the act together in this
short period can be extremely difficult.

In any case, US would not give way easily, especially since it has begun
believing for quite some time now, certainly over the last year, that it
has got itself into a good position and successfully divided the
opposition, into a hopeless mess. So while one must try to get what one
can at WSIS plus 10, the rest would need to be forced through developing
coalitions of digital economic and political power which alone can make
US come to the global negotiation table. Currently, it simply does not
have enough incentive to do it.


On Sunday 07 June 2015 04:18 AM, Carlos A. Afonso wrote:
> For the ones who are following the IANA transition process: attached
> please find the comments posted by the government of Brazil on June 03,
> 2015, in response to the call for public comments on the
> CCWG-Accountability Initial Draft Proposal.
> I generally agree with the comments.
> fraternal regards
> --c.a.
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