[governance] Burr & Cade: proposal for introducing multi-lateral oversight of the root

Adam Peake (ajp@glocom.ac.jp) apeake at gmail.com
Thu Jul 20 10:12:25 EDT 2006

Thanks to Brenden Kuerbis and IGP for pointing to an interesting
proposal from Becky Burr and Marilyn Cade on oversight of the root.
Brenden's comment
<http://internetgovernance.org/news.html#burrproposal_071806> and a
link to the Burr/Cade paper

Burr/Cade suggest a working group -- modeled on the UN Security
Council? --  to replace the US govt. as authority over the root.
Working group would be  made up of senior level government
representatives (senior so they have authority to act without delay
reporting back to capitals.)

Changes to the root recommended by ICANN/IANA would be approved (or
not) by this working group within 15 days.  There would be an appeals

A sensible proposal, could be a great step forward.

Problem will be in populating this new "security council".  Have to
start somewhere, and who gets a seat obviously going to be
contentious.  And I think this the weakest part of Burr and Cade's
proposal, they suggest members of the governments that made
significant contributions to the 1998 White Paper, and "Based on the
recollections of the authors, the principal governmental contributors
to the White Paper included Australia, Canada, the European
Commission, Japan, New Zealand, and the UK".  Burr should know, she
was with NTIA at the time and responsible for the transition process.

I do not recall the govt of New Zealand making any significant
contribution (Internet NZ, ISOC NZ and the NZ ccTLD operator were very
involved.)  And, while someone has to start naming names, I can see
zero merit in either New Zealand or Australia being involved. IDNs and
population (and ability to derail just about anything!) suggest China
a much more deserving member.  Probably also India.

Other seats would be allocated 3 to Africa, 3 Latin America, 1 from
Europe (selected by some means determined by governments) and GAC
chair as ex officio.  15 members plus 1, i.e.

3 Europe region - UK, EC plus 1
2 N. America - US, Canada
4 Asia/Pacific - Australia, Japan, New Zealand, plus 1
3 Africa region
3 Latin America region
1 GAC Chair - ex officio

I suggest Asia/Pacific looks much more sensible, and reflects relevant
root issues as well as geography and politics as:

Asia/Pacific - China, India, Japan, plus 1

I just don't see Australia and New Zealand as stakeholders of notable

Burr and Cade also echo CIRA in recommending ICANN conduct and
independent evaluation of its transparency and accountability

Please look at the proposal, it's good stuff and knowing the authors,
I doubt they'd be pushing this now without pretty significant support.

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