No other issue unites the Internet community quite like ICANN’s accountability deficit. Governments, contracted parties, commercial interests, NGOs, and ordinary Internet users—all have expressed their shared frustration that ICANN continues to evade real accountability.
The problem is partly explained by the complexity of ICANN’s structure and powers. It is both the overall global manager for the Internet DNS and a California nonprofit corporation. Its unique marriage of public power and private corporate form obscures familiar lines of thinking about how organizations work and how to improve their accountability.
But its unique form cannot alter ICANN’s legal character as a nonprofit corporation organized under, and therefore bound by, California law.