[governance] host country agreements considered dangerous
Michael Froomkin - U.Miami School of Law
froomkin at law.miami.edu
Tue Aug 1 12:04:41 EDT 2006
I wish someone would explain to me in simple words why on earth one would
want ICANN to have the sort of status implied by a host country agreement.
The history of ICANN is replete with examples of its misbehavior, and lack
of budget discipline. It suffers deeply from a lack of accountability.
Giving it protection from law -- which is what host country agreements
mostly do -- hardly seems like the right reaction unless we first craft an
alternate accountability mechanism.
Has everyone forgotten that until the US Government stopped it by amending
the MoU, ICANN was refusing to process zone file changes for ccTLDs that
had not signed agreements promising to obey ICANN, pay its levies, and
allowing ICANN to raise the fees by 15% per year?
Adult supervision is essential. Or at least the threat of it.
I fully understand why people might think the current arrangement is
deficient: the US has been an erratic steward at best, and the current
administration does not inspure trust. But the alterantive being proposed
does not seem any better, and in fact is worse in that if things go badly
wrong at ICANN some day there will be darn little we can do about it.
http://www.icannwatch.org Personal Blog: http://www.discourse.net
A. Michael Froomkin | Professor of Law | froomkin at law.tm
U. Miami School of Law, P.O. Box 248087, Coral Gables, FL 33124 USA
+1 (305) 284-4285 | +1 (305) 284-6506 (fax) | http://www.law.tm
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