ICANN sings a different tune about accountability in .xxx appeal

As we approach the deadline for filing comments on the expiration of ICANN's Joint Projects Agreement with the U.S. Commerce Department, do not forget about the .xxx Independent Review Process. In that proceeding, ICANN directly confronts issues related to its accountability.

ICANN is all for accountability and claims to be doing everything in its power to make itself accountable and responsive to YOU (it likes to use the second person). But in ICANN's official Response to the ICM's “Memorial on the Merits,” which was just posted a few days ago, ICANN sings a different tune. There seems to be a bit of a gap between what ICANN says about accountability in the abstract (it is all for it) and what it says when accountability really threatens to alter its behavior.

ICANN begins its response by warning the Review Panel that “The Panel's declaration will not be legally binding on ICANN.” It goes on to say that “The language and drafting history of the provisions governing the IRP make clear that any IRP results…are addressed to the discretion of the ICANN Board to consider.” (p. 27, para 73) Moreover, ICANN claims that the Panel should severely limit the scope of its review: “decisions of the Board are entitled to significant deference.” “The process was not intended to provide for a “Supreme Court” of ICANN that would address all aspects of ICANN's conduct.” (p. 1, para 4).

And finally, forget about that promise to conform to “relevant principles of international law” in ICANN's Articles of Incorporation . ICANN's lawyers now say that its opponent “attempts to import “international law” and assorted claims arising under international law, but the Articles and Bylaws are clear that international law does not apply here.”

As we have said before, the issue in this case is not whether you loved or hated the .xxx domain application, but whether ICANN's shifting, arbitrary and politically-influenced treatment of the applicant was acceptable. And the outcome of that decision is important, because it is the first real test of ICANN's external accountability under its Independent Review Process.

One comment

  1. Anonymous

    There is a philosophy called The Universal Paradigm. It is very simple. It proposes that a set of circumstances presented to ANY rational human, any place on planet Earth, would result in the SAME conclusion.
    As an example, take 2 piles of stones and the “concept” of greater than. Make one pile of stones clearly larger than the other. Present the
    two piles to ANY rational human and ask them,
    “which pile is larger?”.
    Now, well after the fact, and after ICANN has had
    a chance to dig the .XXX hole deeper, one can
    apply The Universal Paradigm to all of the body
    of knowledge. Any rational human that reviews
    all of the history or .XXX and the body of
    knowledge would conclude that “ICANN is broken”.
    ICANN is ethically bankrupt. ICANN should be
    dissolved and humans should be protected from
    such an evil organization.
    The Universal Paradigm provides a clear path to
    the truth. People often talk about “consensus” and
    the elusive “community”. The consensus is clear
    that the community wants ICANN to cease to exist.
    No one goes there any longer.
    Again, this has nothing to do with the specifics of
    .XXX. It has everything to do with the infamous
    “ICANN Process”. The Universal Paradigm shows
    that the process is broken and can not be fixed.
    There is no concept of half-broken, or sort of
    broken. All rational humans can see that the ICANN
    process is flawed and can not be fixed. People do
    not need to see more examples to conclude the
    same thing.