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FINISHED COPY

NINTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM 2014
ISTANBUL, TURKEY
"CONNECTING CONTINENTS FOR ENHANCED
MULTI‑STAKEHOLDER INTERNET GOVERNANCE"

03 SEPTEMBER 2014
11:00 a.m.‑12:30 p.m.
WS 185
ICANN GLOBLISATION AND THE AFFIRMATION OF COMMITMENTS

 


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The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
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>> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Okay.  Connectivity not working.  Is anybody else having connectivity problems?  Is B better?  Connectivity problems?  B is better?  Yes.  B is better.
All right.  Is the remote participation rolling and the video going and all that?  Okay.  If that's the case, then we should probably start reasonably on time.  Good morning, everyone.  Oh, I've got a nice echo.  Sounds very profound.  
My name is William Drake and I teach at the University of Zurich and I am the Chair of the Noncommercial Users Constituency in ICANN which proposed this workshop.  NCUC is a network of 350 Civil Society actors involved in ICANN policies, policymaking processes for global Top Level Domains.  And if anybody is interested to know more about us, we have little brochures at the front of the table that you could pick up.
The focus of this workshop is on ICANN Globalization and the Affirmation of Commitments.  There was just previously another workshop on ICANN and accountability that was run by my colleague Robin Gross.  And I think some of the people, including one of the speakers, is just making his way over from that other discussion.  So this is a continuation of that discussion.
There was also yesterday morning an ICANN town hall about ICANN's current efforts to enhance accountability.  And so basically this panel is building on several discussions that have already happened here at the IGF around ICANN accountability.  And it's taking one particular part of the accountability matrix, and that is the Affirmation of Commitments.  
The Affirmation of Commitments is an agreement that was entered into by ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2009 to promote ICANN's accountability to the global Internet community through a system of multistakeholder reviews of its performance in accordance with various public interest criteria.  It moderated rather than ended the long‑standing relationship between ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce and affirmed ICANN's commitment to remain a nonprofit corporation headquartered in the U.S. with offices around the world.
The review processes that were mandated in the Affirmation of Commitments make it a very interesting document from the standpoint of governance.
You know, usually when you think about global governance of some international communication space, particularly by, say, a treaty or something like that, you have governments or other actors setting a fixed set of rules and then it's sort of self‑enforcing.  Somebody finds out later that a partner that they interact with is not conforming to the rules and complains to some central mechanism bilaterally and they bring how do you bring your behavior into alignment and so on.
Here you have an agreement that is basically two parties making commitments to each other verifiable and could be traced, measured on an ongoing basis and also commitments to the wider global community.  So it's very innovative sort of approach.  And it involves, you know, reviews of both ICANN's general accountability and transparency, also of its ability to preserve the security, stability and resilience of the Internet, to promote competition, consumer trust and consumer choice, and to unfortunately enforce its existing policy regarding the ‑‑ (no audio) ‑‑ of ‑‑ the Top Level Domain ‑‑ players in the ‑‑ they would participate in these.  So it's an area of great interest to me.
Now, with the accelerating globalization of ‑‑ and the Department of Commerce ‑‑ desire to transition ‑‑ the IANA functions multi ‑‑ there are a lot of ‑‑ to be asked about ‑‑ Affirmation of Commitments as agreement between the United States and that's it?  Do we adapt it to strengthen it ‑‑ within the ICANN, how could we take on board directly, if necessary, the interests in the global community is a very rich area that ‑‑ some length and we ‑‑ speakers ‑‑
Two of our speakers involved in writing the AoC.  I will lead off.  Fiona Alexander -- National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce -- hidden in her closet.  She doesn't.  I'm just kidding.  She doesn't do that.  [Inaudible] Australia intellectual ventures executive office of ICANN.  Heading up ICANN's -- and was usual as well in writing.
Then we will have Vint, Chief Internet Google and grandfathers or others relation to the founding of and last year for strategic panel that entails ‑‑ mechanism for acting with the global community essentially relationships with other as well in ‑‑ he has some interesting ‑‑ and then we'll turn to.
Benedicto Fonseca Filho.  Benedicto is the Ambassador, Department of Scientific Affairs for the Minister of External Relations and he's been very involved with these issues in the NETMundial.  
And finally we finish with ‑‑ largest in the global Internet ‑‑ the association of communication.
So, for the discussion will go ‑‑ the AoC, what are some of the main ‑‑ (no audio)
Moving from I guess that would be left to right?  Fiona?
>> FIONA ALEXANDER:  Thanks.  -- the microphone just a little bit.  My understanding ‑‑ and there's ‑‑ yesterday and even – accountability, but we're going to focus on this session and the Affirmation of Commitments -- in this room that have been even longer than me in DNS pre‑ICANN -- form not living and breathing ICANN -- remote participation -- will provide some background and participate in the conversation just all of those attend meetings like some of us.
So back in the late 1990s, the Clinton Administration issued something called the Framework for Electronic Commerce.  And it included a variety of things.  But the one specific to this was a direction to the Secretary of Commerce to privatize and internationalise the Domain Name System.  This was the result of a historical set of relationships that the Department of Defense and others had with respect to the DNS, things that Vint was involved and others at the time in that regard.
So the Department of Commerce, NTIA took on this task and charge, and we did what we normally do, which is we went out for public input and comment and we had a public meeting and solicited a lot of input from stakeholders with the creation of a green paper where we proposed a policy on how to do this and culminating in a white paper.  And in that white paper ‑‑ and all this is available online on our website if you're a glutton for punishment and want to read all this material -- all the comments are there as well as the thought processes behind all of this.
So as a result of that white paper, NTIA asked for a partner in this process.  Stakeholders created ICANN.  The U.S. Government did not create ICANN.  This is one of those historical fallacies.  People like Vint and others got together and decided this was the best way to do this and created ICANN.  At which point the Department of Commerce via NTIA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding or cooperative agreement.  The purpose of that agreement was for us to work together as partners in the process and for the Department to give advice and help guide the development of a new organisation.
If you look at the MOU as it progressed from the original MOU in 1998 to the last one in 2005, I think?  The last MOU, you'll see the sort of shifting changes of the relationship and shifting focus of the MOU.
The original MOU sort of gave some broad guidance about structures and budgets.  And then as things progressed, you'd see tasks coming off the MOU as the system was being built.  
So as we got sort of closer to the last MOU, we also added in something that we hadn't done before, which is midterm review of the system to assess where we were.  
So in 2007, NTIA did another call for public comments.  We had a public meeting and did a midterm review of the system to see where we were going.  And, again, if you look at the history of this and the trajectory of all these relationships and agreements, you'll see some common trends and themes where ‑‑ notable building sustainable systems were the focus of this.
 So when we got to the culmination and end of MOU, we talked through and the comments we had gotten, the stakeholders, worked closely with ICANN.  Paul was the counterpart of ICANN at the time that was involved directly in putting the solution together and came up with the idea that we needed to have a concluding document to sort of institutionalize and formalize some of these commitments but deal with some of the lingering issues that needed to be dealt with.
And one of the things that was, I think, a main inspiration for us at NTIA was these public comment processes that we had had and provided input into sort of how we went into the discussion about the MOUs really gave an opportunity for public input and -- oversight's not the exact right word but sort of, you know, direction setting and evaluation of where things were.  So key for us in the sort of culmination with our relationship, which the affirmation was, was finding a way to continue that prose, continue in a creative way for there to be at that examination of ICANN's execution of tasks, recommendations on improvements and continuously doing that.
The innovation and the affirmation and one of the things that I think has made it most effective: It was no longer the U.S. Government facilitating that or doing that role through our public comment processes but, instead, it was an ICANN community process where each of the review teams that are created are made up of ICANN community members and run through public processes.  Each of these review teams does extensive consultation, does its own set of comments, meets with ICANN community members at ICANN meetings and puts its comments or recommendations out for public comment then.  This again goes to the Board and the Board also puts it out for public comment before actually implementing the recommendations and going forward.
Again, I think the important part of this is building trust and accountability and transparency in the system is constant communication with stakeholders and provide change and recommendations.  
It's been really interesting to watch the conversation and the experience unfold.  We were involved Paul and I in negotiating and drafting this in 2009.  I'll say I wasn't 100 percent sure it was going to work out as effectively as it has, but I think it's been reassuring.  And that's because people take it very seriously and participate in the process.  But, again, the affirmation has been an interesting evolution in the ICANN system.  Again, as all things in ICANN experiment.  We're seeing great process. This is working.
To date, since we signed this in 2009, we have three review -- four review teams.  We had two accountability and transparency review teams.  We've had a security and stability review team and there's been a -- review team.  The fourth of the review teams that's called for under the affirmation of the new programme has not yet started because the detailed programme sort of rolled out in full force starting this year with delegation.  So that should be moving forward, I would think relatively soon, or at least the next steps in that.
And again from our perspective at NTIA, the head of NTIA is on the accountability and transparency review team as a part of our agreement, as an agency and as Clara Shipling as part of the agency very dedicated and involved.  And it's been a very rewarding experience from my perspective to see this work and to see there be change made in ICANN.  
If you're not familiar with the review team processes, everything is also in the ICANN website.  Each of the review teams will do a call for public comments.  They'll sort of put together hypothesis of what they think the accountability problems are.  They do a bunch of analysis and research to confirm that, in fact, what are the existing processes in ICANN that deal with this?
What I found over the years in ICANN is sometimes there's a lot of process that people aren't aware of, and sometimes it's execution of process that can be different challenges.  But an evaluation of that, feedback of that and proposed recommendation to improve and make things better.  
And maybe with that I'll leave it and turn it over to Paul.
>> WILLIAM DRAKE: Thank you very much, Fiona.  
Paul, do you want to build on that?
>> PAUL LEVINS:  Thanks, Bill, and thanks, Fiona.  Hello to former colleagues and friends.  I'm glad it came out like it did, rather than saying former friends and colleagues, although that might be true.
So context is everything.  And I'm really pleased that Fiona has given that short but pretty eloquent description of the process going back now almost 15 years.  
So one of the things I wanted to remind people of is some of the precise words that we used back 15 years ago.
So as Fiona correctly pointed out, the idea to transition the DNS management as a white paper put together by the USG and in that white paper back in '99, the U.S. Government said this,  "The U.S. Government is committed to a transition that will allow the private sector to take leadership for DNS management.  The U.S. Government would prefer that this transition be complete before the year 2000 to the extent that the new corporation is established and operationally established. September 30, 2000, is intended to be and remains the outside date."
So here we are 15 years on; and as Fiona also pointed out, there was also, I think, about 13 different reports on nine NOUs over the period from '99 through to 2009.  So you can see all this is laid out on the ICANN website but also on the DOC website.  You can follow the progress of the organisation over that time.  And you can see in the reports the things that it has done to try to become more stable and accountable.
So I want to go straight to the question which is – so, therefore, here we are 15 years on.  We've had this sort of period from 2009 to now where there's been this new device for accountability by the community in place.  So with this new era that the organisation is finding itself in, is it still relevant?  And I would argue uncategorically, I say yes.  One, it recognizes the organisation as the organisation that will perform this function, not only historically but going forward.  So that's an important endorsement.  It's almost diplomatic in its endorsement.  And I want to come back to that later on in the conversation.
So that's the first thing.  It recognizes that the organisation will do certain things.  And, in turn, the U.S. Government is committing to the organisation to form those functions.  And that's an important point, as well.  
But in addition to that, these reviews that are resident in the government, I think, I posit, hold the community accountable.  Because the way they are set up, the community members have to participate in them and have to work hard in order to hold the organisation accountable.
So there's a terrific reciprocity in this.  And so for that reason I think ‑‑ and I won't go on about this, I'll give the other panelists an opportunity to talk a little bit about this ‑‑ but for that reason, I think going directly to the overarching question that's before the panel, it's an uncategorical yes for me.  Sounds a little bit like the X factor.  
I want to make one other point which goes to what Fiona was saying about the conversation that apparently took place – unfortunately, I was unable to make it -- but apparently took place a little earlier.  And I was really -- in the session before this, I was really interested to hear that people were saying that the organisation is not ready.  And what more could it do in order to be ready and speculating about what else it could do to be ready.
One of the things that marked out the JPA process was these Notices of Inquiry that Fiona referenced.  These were processes where she said that -- she said DOC and NTIA went out to the community and asked questions about whether or not the organisation was ready.  What more could it do to be ready?  In the first ‑‑ I'm sorry -- the second-to-last response to one of these NOI processes that the ICANN Board put together in response, they addressed that question directly, which is:  Could ICANN do more?  Because that's what the question, the community was being asked.  
And I also want to read the letter the Board sent in response, which basically says significant progress has been made against all of the relevant measures during the period of the JPA.  And they refer to, in the document, the things that have been done.  And outlined in an attached table. "For each of the 13 reports so far, that's always been the case.  The focus of the organisation and its innovative model, a multistakeholder participation, always been and always will be progress and evolution.  That's the model's great value.  It's in constant improvement." So security and stability is a never ending pursuit.  Operational excellence is a never ending pursuit.  Transparency and accountability is a never ending pursuit.  
The conclusion that there is always work to be done can be made of each of the 10 responsibilities that the Board referred to in this document.  And this is the real money quote for me.  This is the real important quote.  "To ask, 'could more be done by ICANN?' is a question that will always lead those to say yes, ICANN can do more.  But ICANN believes that there should always be more done.  To conclude that it can do no more is the antithesis of what ICANN needs to be and aspires to be, as a flexible, responsive private sector entity with global stakeholders, it must always do more."
And so I want to put that on the table as a reflection that might migrate us from the conversation that we've just had to the one that we're having here or might just reinvigorate the conversations that took place in the last session, I understand.
So I think with those two reflections, I'll leave it there, Bill, and pass on to Vint.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Thank you very much.  Before we move on to Vint, I'd actually like to ask a quick follow-up to you because I think it will set up a larger question.  When you had the draft of the text you did a magical mystery tour to meet with governments, I believe, and talk with some and get their input on it; is that correct?  And if so, what kind of feedback did you get from other governments about this new mechanism and how would this really work?  And how does it stand in relation to a traditional kind of governance instrument?  Was there interesting stuff there that could be said?
>> FIONA ALEXANDER:  Yes, I think what Bill is referring to is before we announced the Affirmation of Commitments, NTIA did a little bit of outreach to some of our key allies and partners around the world and went to four or five different countries.  We didn't actually put text on the table and say, ”Hey, what do you think?  Will you sign off on this?”  We did have a conversation about the evolution of the system and where things were with the dialogue post the system where we were and explain what we were trying to do as a concept, which was providing a way for the global community through the ICANN community process to actually evaluate and provide -- basically grade ICANN's progress.  Yeah, there was a lot of support for that.  
When we did actually finally release the Affirmation of Commitments at NTIA and ICANN on that day, we got sort of universal endorsement and support of this as an approach, not just for around the world, the other people, the economists and news articles and things like that, but also in Washington and Capitol Hill and a lot of stakeholders around the world.  So the idea and the concept and the model of what we were putting forward as sort of a collective governance system and empowering people, Paul's point, the cycle.  
Being on a review team is a lot of work.  I think people get on these review teams sometimes and don't fully appreciate what's coming at them.  But ICANN staff can't summarize documents for you because you're viewing the work of ICANN.
Your point you just made, which is an excellent one, which is a constant way to involve everybody and constant way to make oversight.  But we do get sort of support.
I will say that when we talk to people, this is in 2009, and we said this is where we think we're going, and some people were like, “Yeah, that's great, but what about that IANA functions contract?”  So even then that was the response we got from people.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  I do apologize for the terrible auditory situation in this room.  I hope people do hear us well.  It's a little maddening to hear all the roar from outside at the same time.
So against this backdrop, then, we're now moving into an era where ICANN seeks to be a more globalised entity, where we're looking to loosening the relationship in some ways with the U.S., stepping back from its historic stewardship function of the IANA, and we're thinking about how ICANN can establish more of a credible, strong global presence.  They have been opening up hubs in a couple of cities and representative offices various places trying to globalise the staff, do other kinds of things, et cetera.  The question remains, though, how, if at all, does the AoC need to evolve in light of that globalization effort?  Can we maintain it just in the same way?  Should it be altered in any manner?  Can it be built on?  Et cetera.
So that's where I wanted to try and get some new discussion going.  And somebody who has already done some thinking on this is Vint Cerf.  So, Vint, if you could share your thoughts?
>> VINT CERT:  There we are.  Thank you very much, Bill.  Well, I think I will try to reflect on the output of one of the high level panels that were created by ICANN, specifically this one was on looking at the ecosystem of the Internet.  So it looked well beyond just ICANN.  It looked at the, literally, dozens, if not hundreds of organizations that are a part of the Internet ecosystem.  And that includes the private sector.  It includes governments.  It includes civil society, academic and technical community and the like.
The question that this committee tried to address is:  What kinds of documentation would be helpful to understand what was going on in this ecosystem?
And in the interest of transparency, what kinds of commitments had the various actors in the ecosystem made with each other?
The Affirmation of Commitments was a very good example of a mutual recognition of obligation and responsibility between, in this case ICANN and the U.S. Government.  So the committee seized on the idea of commitment, mutual commitment or maybe even a group commitment, that would be able to document who had responsibility for what actions.  And if there were a disagreement between the parties who had made this recognition of mutual responsibility, was there a mechanism for resolving those disagreements or those disputes?
And so this is not only an assertion of responsibility and acceptance of obligation and recognition of authority, but it was also a mechanism for documenting how disagreements would be resolved.
The existing Affirmation of Commitment between ICANN and the U.S. Government is not symmetric relative to all the other governments in the world because it singled out the United States Government as having this relationship.  No other documented relationships between ICANN and other governments existed.  
The committee concluded that there were probably two kinds of commitment. Affirmations of Commitment that might be considered.  If there were to be replicated commitments between ICANN and other governments, including the U.S. Government, they should probably be uniform.  And the reason for this is that they should be symmetric, that no government should have any special authority or responsibility above and beyond any other.  This would remove the current asymmetry between the U.S. Government and all other governments in relationship to ICANN.  So we could imagine a kind of common Affirmation of Commitment between ICANN and any government wishing to establish that documented relationship.  
But ICANN also has relationships with other parties that are very specific to responsibility.  So as an example, with regard to IP address allocation, there is a very specific set of agreements between ICANN and the five Regional Internet Registries and their umbrella organizations and number of resource organizations which documents what the expectations are of ICANN and the expectations of the AIRs and the relationships they have between them.
For example, the Regional Internet Registries are responsible for managing the further allocation of IP address space to third parties like the Internet Service Providers, but they're also responsible to ICANN for developing a global policy which ICANN's IANA function would adopt and use, assuming that the Board of ICANN approves it.  So that's a very specific kind of relationship.
Similarly, ICANN has all kinds of relationships with Generic Top Level Domain operators.  It has other kinds of relationships with CCTLD operators.  The committee concluded that documentation of all these various relationships and assumptions that were made about obligations and responsibility would actually be very useful for all of us because the community would become much more -- the commitments among the parts of the community would become much more visible.
So the conclusion is that maintaining this notion of Affirmation of Commitment and extending to it a variety of other parties that are part of the ecosystem, many of whom might have relationships quite independent of ICANN, would be a good thing for the Internet as a whole.
And so I sit on the side of continuing to use these mechanisms, the Affirmation of Commitments, as a way of documenting the relationships and making them transparent.  And I'll stop there, Mr. Chairman.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  It's a very provocative and interesting way of reducing the asymmetry, as you put it.  Was there much discussion of the transaction costs detailed in developing the web of commitments as opposed to some more streamlined approach?
>> VINT CERT:  The first observation is that a lot of these commitments already exist and they are documented.  There are RFCs that document the IETF relationship with IANA and ICANN.  There already exists documents relating ICANN to the ARA's, or documents about the ARA's relationship to each other.  
So the honest answer is that many of these kinds of relationships already have nascent documentation.  And so the value of this sort of documentation, particularly the value of deciding ahead of time while you're still in a cooperative mode about what you will do when you are not cooperating because you're in disagreement, that's really valuable.  Any lawyer will tell you that whenever you have a contractual relationship, the best time to figure out how you will deal with a dispute is while you're still friends.  So, in fact, this is a very important element of this notion of Affirmation of Commitments.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE: Okay.  So essentially standardising things already in place in a lot of cases.  Wonderful. Thank you.
Benedicto, what do you think about all this?
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA FILHO:  Thank you, Bill.  Well, I will try to reflect a little bit from a somewhat different angle, being from government which normally does not participate particularly in those discussions. I'd like to reiterate our understanding that government should, at least from the part of my government, we see our participation of what we see as the community.  So we are very comfortable in working together with all other stakeholders towards trying to make our best and to improve the existing system.
We have applauded the U.S. announcement of March 14th.  We think this indeed is something that we our national position we have been asking for a long time.  So it was a very welcome decision.  And we don't see that those somewhat conditions that were spelled out, we don't see those as something that were arbitrarily imposed by the U.S. but, rather, these are parameters; and those are assumptions that have guided us through, so we are very comfortable in working that context.
We from -- being from government and having maybe a more political perspective on this transition process, I would comment that we think it would be a missed opportunity if, as an outcome of this transition exercise we are all engaged in, where the proposal for transition would be limited to the issue of replacing the contracting arrangements or the administered operation and not touch on accountability and transparency.  So we think that should go as a single undertaking.  
The package should include this because looking from the political angle, it is important that this exercise will enhance the legitimacy ICANN has, not only in regard to those insiders, the inner participant, but to the larger community, larger community involving countries that are not usually so much involved in this operation.  And some of those are completely outside.  And of larger populations that also do not participate.  
So we think it is important that ICANN should be seen by the larger community.  And I think it's very important that we are having this discussion here by IGF, which embodies this concept.  I think indeed that will be a missed opportunity if we don't take this opportunity to include elements that will add to the legitimacy.  
And in that sense, I will only highlight the understanding that ICANN is completely different from other organizations.  We have been listening that ICANN has already in place accountability mechanism that in can even be assumed to be more important than other organizations, those exist in others.  But ICANN is completely different case.  ICANN is organisation which each manages resources that maybe could be global commerce that impact on everyone's lives around the globe.  So I think the kind of accountability required from ICANN is in its nature different from one that would be required from other organizations.  
So from that sense, clearly there is a clear perception that what is in place now is insufficient.  It needs to be reinforced, adding some external kind of oversight of -- by the instruments.  I would not be in a position to elaborate too much on this.  We look forward to the discussion on those aspects.  
But I would put the emphasis on this notion of the perception from the outside world of what is taking place here.  And this clearly has reinforced.  As I said, I do not have answers, I do not have any preconceived ideas on this.  
In regard to the Affirmation of Commitments, we have been hearing some interesting ideas should some of those elements be built in in the ICANN bylaws.  Should those be as it was stated just before somewhat be replicated and form a web of ‑‑ I don't have an answer for this.  I look forward to participating in dialogue around those.  
But in regard to the accountability and transparency elements that we think are important to be included, I think there might also be ‑‑ it is important to decide on the scope of this.  We would, of course, be very much interested, that the process would not be delayed too much, that it would not take years for us to maybe reflect on so many detailed aspects that maybe in the end will be very difficult to solve.  But at the least, I think there must be some consensus on those elements where key elements that will help to build that idea of that perception of accountability.  So I think this is.  
But from the starting principle, I think no topic should be seen off-limits for the discussion because in some sense we are now in a founding moment.  I think we have clearly a perception that the U.S. decision has put for all of us the challenge to look at what we have put in place and developed over the years.  And there are -- we acknowledge the many successes that have been achieved through the operation -- there is recognition and on the part of my country a very robust participation from stakeholders in this operation.  So we are very much committed to the operation and not to derail in any way its functioning; but at the same time, we think there is an opportunity to improve.  And we would very much contribute to that.
Probably what we need ‑‑ and I refer to something mentioning a number of times in the previous panel that we need something in between.  I think we have extremes, some saying that we don't need much, that what is in place and the mechanism is already sufficient can be improved but should be detached from the transition process.  And some would maybe have a very ambitious targeting looking into all the aspects.  Maybe we need something in between and come up to consensus on what elements should be there.  But clearly it should not be limited.  
And due to Affirmation of Commitment, each of these, again, I think there are a number of ideas.  I think in principle it would be beneficial for and even consistent with the decision taken by the U.S. that Affirmation of Commitments would be replaced by some global arrangement, as well.  But again, I do not have an answer for that.  I look forward to the discussion that would follow.  Thank you.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Thank you, Benedicto.  It's clear that the AoC is an internal mechanism for accountability before the external part, to those not involved, there remains an issue there.
Okay.  Anriette Esterhuysen, what do you think?
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Bill invited me as the person that knows very little about ICANN.  My reflections will really be not on IANA transition but more broadly, kind of the story of ICANN from somebody who has been involved in the Internet for a very long time.  
You know it started in the U.S.  There was a consultative process.  Not a very global process.  And we were a little bit peeved.  I lived in South Africa, but we thought if something needs to happen, we'll go with it.  And it strengthened and it worked.  And since then a lot has happened.  The Affirmation on Commitments, a major initiative that changed a lot and set into motion the accountability and transparency review, again, a major process, lots of engagement with the community, recommendations coming before ICANN, ICANN Board.
Since then even more.  ICANN constantly has changed.  The Internet has changed.  And then we've had, for example, the panel that Vint talked about also has come with recommendations, the ideas of Affirmation of Commitments used with specific communities or interest groups and, in general, just increasing investment, expansion but also accountability in participation, in transparency.
But what amazes me is that in all this time, the ICANN corporate governance structure has not changed.  And there's just something illogical.  To my knowledge, it hasn't changed in that in the sense that structure is there to serve function.  And it seems to me that the step that now should be taken is to really review that structure in the context of all the effort that has been put into participation, transparency and accountability and all the community feedback, positive and negative, critical, the recommendations and review that and really look at how the current ICANN incorporated in the U.S.  
And I know there will be concerns about that.  But I think even if that has to be addressed at another level or at a different stage, I think just investing in adapting and modifying and amending the current structure to make it a neater fit and a more accountable fit to what ICANN is doing and ICANN's role in the Internet community seems to me very logical.
And I won't go into much detail about that, but essentially what I think I find problematic of the current structure is that you currently have a board and a CEO and that's it.  Now, that board is constituted in a bottom‑up way, supposedly.  But once it's there, its accountability is to ICANN, the institution.  And what happens, then, in relation to those board members' accountability to their constituency is actually how does that really work?  They need to be accountable to them.  They need to fulfill the mandate they might be getting officially or unofficially.  But it is not a very structured form of accountability.
So I think using Affirmation of Commitments in the way that Vint is suggesting is a very creative idea, but I think even that will not be enough.  If that is then not reflected at a structural level in the corporate governance structure of the organisation and through creating members, membership layer as one example, or different membership layers.
Because what I think you need in ICANN, you do need a board that plays a role in supervising the CEO, managing and making sure the staff fulfills the mandate of the organization; but you also need at a structural level a role for the community and the interest groups, be they governments, civil society, business stakeholders.  There are many different specific ones in the ICANN community that have a formal, official, legislative role in terms of the corporate governance structure in setting the organizational policy and direction and accountability procedures.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Thank you very much.  
Let me ask before we go to the audience, if anybody on the panel would like to respond to anything that each other said.  I thought you might, Vint.
>> VINT CERT:  I have three specific observations, assuming I can read my own handwriting.  
First of all, I think mechanisms for recourse may be central to all of this.  If somebody feels that they haven't been properly treated, there have to be mechanisms for responding to that.  And it could very well be that ICANN needs to improve its range of available recourse mechanisms.  So that's one observation to make.
And by the way, Anriette, I am trying to lay the groundwork for an argument that says we don't necessarily need structural change.  So this might be part of our further discussion.
The second thing is that ICANN has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to adapt in response to self‑examination by the sectors that make up the multi‑sector, multistakeholder model.  And I think it deserves a good deal of credit for that.  Not all organizations will take input that says "you should change" and actually do that.  And there have been some pretty massive changes of organizational structure, Anriette, I'm sure you must recall the period around 2003 or so when there was a very significant change in the way in which the organisation was managed and structured.  And there have been subsequent ATRT responses, as well.  And so I think that's an important factor.
And, finally, I have this discomfort with the level of scrutiny that we're giving just to ICANN.  Now, it's not that I'm going to argue that every element of the Internet ecosystem should be placed under the microscope.  I just want to remind you that every single one of you relies on an enormous number of organizations to make the Internet work.  And we don't have this level of microscopic examination on every one of them.  The resolver that you happen to connect to because your ISP provides that is not subject to a multistakeholder Affirmation of Commitments.  And we're not asking for that.
So it's just possible that we are perseverating excessively on one piece of the Internet ecosystem and perhaps not necessarily so.  I'll let that be a provocative piece of the debate.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Thank you, Vint.  It is certainly true that many people have advocated doing more to promote transparency and inclusive and accountability across the ecosystem, but the point that this one takes particular energy is undeniable.
Fiona, yes?
>> FIONA ALEXANDER:  Maybe just to comment or respond to one thing Anriette said.  It's not my place or NTIA's place to say whether corporate governance and the corporal structure needs to be changed.  I think this will be a theme of the conversation and enhance accountability of the process.  
From our perspective, we have always seen the role of the board to endorse the process that comes from the community process.  I think Jonathan Zuck is in the room.  I think what we have seen is community failing to come to consensus and sending it to the ICANN Board to resolve.  That needs to be something that folks need to take a look at.  
When we talk about enhancing ICANN and the ICANN system, we need to be looking at not just the board or the staff.  ICANN is much more than that.  Maybe it's a look at all the structure of ICANN.  NTIA does represent the U.S. inside the Governmental Advisory Committee as well and there's a fair amount of churn of getting governments more involved in the process earlier as opposed to how things have worked.  
So there's a lot of parts of this to take a look at.  But at the end of the day, the role of the Board has been to reflect and sort of confirm that consensus that has been achieved from the bottom‑up process.  Maybe we should be looking at what's happening in that bottom‑up process, as well.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Fair enough.  By the way, I should remind us to speak clearly and slowly for the translators and the people who are not native English speakers.
Benedicto?
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA FILHO:  Two very brief comments.  Just repeating things I had said before.  I think ICANN has unique characteristics that require and for that reason maybe unique also methods for accountability, transparency and the reflection should be required.  And not forgetting that ICANN is committed to fulfill the public interest, to serve the public interest which in itself differentiates together with the aspect of managing a global common.  So I think those aspects lead to very different requirements from its operations.
The second comment, and again referring to something else I said, in principle our best recommendation, our best understanding of this situation is that nothing at this juncture should be off limits, even the issue regarding the governance, the structure.  Why not discuss, since we are engaged in a new era, why shouldn't we take a fresh look at what we have and collectively try to figure out what would be -- serve best the system, what would serve the multistakeholder way of doing things?  And ICANN is one of the best examples for that.  
I think we very much appreciate if we could have a very open discussion, not controlled by anyone.  I think some of the interventions that have been made in the process, if they were coming from a government, ICANN easily assume that there would be an outcry and people would be really exasperated about that and some participants have really concrete interventions in the process; and they are, in a way, incorporated.  
So we would like to see a very honest, frank discussion.  I don't think anything should be left out of the table unless there is a collective decision to do so.  Thank you.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  You want that discussion to be happening before the IANA transfer was completed?  You would?  Challenges?
>> BENEDICTO FONSECA FILHO:  Maybe to limit the scope for the discussion.  But as I said before, there are so many elements to be included that maybe we should decide what are the crucial elements that should be included.
>> ANRIETTE:  I would agree with that.  Just to come back a little bit to what I'm advocating.  But I'm actually not advocating, Vint, not anything terribly dramatic.  It's maybe intermediate.  Companies change their governance structure.  All institutions change their governance structure.  It's a very usual thing.  You do that as your context changes.  So I'm actually not advocating anything terribly dramatic.  
I think my concern that more mechanisms, more appeals procedures, for example, were mentioned in an earlier workshop.  Actually just increase the burden on the existing governance structure, maintaining the required level of accountability, because the more mechanisms you introduce, the more you have to maintain accountability and transparency around.  
So that's why I think:  Ease the burden.  Look at separation between structure and then the functions and processes of public participation and transparency and accountability lives in both dimensions, obviously.
I mean, simply just looking at something like a two‑tier structure where at the moment you have all these constituencies in ICANN and they are ‑‑ the only real influence, if I understand it correctly at the moment, is by electing board members.  But create another structure where they are actually that structure and that would also change how that structure, that second tier structure, you can call it a member layer or a constituency layer, but it's inside the governance layer of the organization, would immediately make a difference because you could -- would separation between the executive function and the governance function.  And you can play around with that and the policy and procedure function and the oversight of the executive function.  So the oversight of the executive could sit with the Board as it does in most corporations, and the oversight of the policy procedures could sit with the members.
But just to say why I think this is important, because I think ICANN is trying very hard to solve problems and to respond to concerns from the community.  But often that has unintended consequences.  Check the GAC, for example.  In ICANN's many years now the response to government's concern about not having enough oversight or control, the role of GAC has been expanded.  The prominence of GAC has been expanded.  And I went to ICANN.  I don't go to ICANN very often.  The room where you couldn't find a seat was the GAC room.  And so my fear is that in this attempt to deal with the concerns that governments hold, you actually end up weakening the influence of other stakeholders, such as civil society, for example.  You deal with a problem with it in a way that actually creates new problems.  I think there's a whole integrated set of problems, and governments' concerns is one of them.  I think they need to be looked at as a whole and then looked at how the structure, then, as a whole can change to respond to those problems.
Just to be very clear about that, my government does not see that the participation of governments and the kind of input governments can instill in the process would be to the detriment of any other stakeholder.  I want to make it very clear.  We think -- we have been working in Brazil in the context of Brazilian community reach, all sectors sit around the same table, all discuss, all bring their inputs; and the final decision, we think, is improved by that.  
And that's the kind of, I think, governance or structure maybe ultimately maybe not at this point in time that we would like to see.  
I'll give a very concrete example.  We are not concerned about the inputs coming from the IETF or IAB.  That's not part of the concern of government in this process.  But I think the kind of process that our government would have would have to be more influential and to the extent that the advocacy of our positions could be better made in the context of some decisions that are taken by the board.  
For example, in the GAC program -- I should speak for my government, not as GAC, I do not have the mandate -- that the process itself should have been much more improved if governments could have a role to indicate some safeguards that might be necessary before the programme was approved, not trying to address some of those problems that are happening now.  So that's the kind of thing that maybe is part of the concern.  I want to be very specific about that.  Not to the detriment of others but, rather, trying to improve on the mechanism.  
Thank you.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Just real quick from Vint and Paula, then I went over to the floor.  I see a large number of Internet Governance and ICANN mavens here, so I want to give everybody a chance to talk.
>> VINT CERT:  This is short.  A couple of observations.  The first thing is, the more pieces you have that have interaction with each other, the more complicated things get and the more brittle things become.  So if there is structural change, we need to be very thoughtful about the nature of that change and whether or not it actually creates a better system or one which is potentially completely locked up in the complexity.  So I'm sure Anriette would not be asking us to create a more complicated and more brittle organisation.
>> And in real quick in an attempt to bring us back to that word "affirmation" again.  The point that Vint made, I thought, was an excellent one:  Scrutiny on the other organizations.  Scrutiny that occurs toward ICANN perhaps to other organizations and is even more reason why you perhaps need an affirmation‑like document with some of those organizations.  So the community itself can be assured that they are holding those organizations to account and there's a recognition that's mutual between ICANN and those organizations.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  I think that's of a very interesting point.  
Let's go to the floor.  I know there are there are a number of interesting people here.  There was a Chairman of the Board.  He was around when the affirmations happened.  Where is a mic?  Could you perhaps take it to people?  Let's start with Peter.  Who else had their hand up?  Steve and the gentleman over here.  We'll start with you three and then -- and then four.
>> PETER DENGATE THRUSH:  Thanks, Bill.  This is Peter Dengate Thrush, as you said, the former Chairman.  I just wanted to pick up a couple of quick points and then, I think, come back to the theme of the affirmation and perhaps to start with Anriette and agree with Vint there have been many corporate reorganizations.  
And I can recall leading one in particular where we took the ccTLDs out of the DSO; and as a result, we performed the major policy development engines in ICANN the -- for CC Policy and the GLTDs.  There's been a paper suggesting quite a change to the formation of the nominating committee and there are various others.  I don't think there's any unwillingness to grapple with these issues, and it's done in the way Benedicto argues for they should be open.
I think it's extraordinary on the point to say that the government should been involved in the new GLTD process before it was approved.  The GAC, of course, was the very first body in ICANN to file submissions and produced a very comprehensive set of GAC principles on GLTD.  I think in 2007, 2008 was constantly involved in all of the discussions; and in the end, we convened a special out-of-session meeting in Brussels to deal explicitly before the programme was launched with the concerns of governments.  So there's no unwillingness, again, to grapple with those issues.
But if I could come back to the theme of today, which I think is the Affirmation of Commitments.  I've led the Board at the time in refusing to sign an extension or continuation of the Joint Project Agreement.  It was that that led to the formation of a different mechanism, and it's delightful to see Fiona here still contributing.  And it was done in a very open spirit.  And I want to congratulate NTIA, particularly, and Larry and Fiona in particular to advancing this in a positive way.  And, of course, nice to see Paul, who actually drafted, I think, that letter that I signed that you quoted from, Paul.
The reason why we wanted to change that was that the previous arrangement continued to treat ICANN as an experiment, that it was a trial run.  And it required ICANN to report regularly to the NTIA on how it was doing against a set of standards that the NTIA set.  And the NTIA would occasionally go out and ask the community to tell it how we were doing.  
And that was broken and needed replacing.  And so we replaced it with a set of affirmations mutually.
From my perspective, I always saw Affirmation of Commitment as a transition step, that ICANN was making those comments and those commitments to the entire global community.  It was doing it through a bilateral mechanism.  But those are commitments that ICANN made to the world, not necessarily to the U.S. Department of Commerce.  
And it was never seen as only the U.S. Government could affirm.  There was no privity of contract issue.  And, in fact, we've seen in the ICANN community ever since then the community using the Affirmation of Commitments to argue its points.  We've seen it appearing in reconsideration requests.  It's become very much part of the fabric.  So the fact that it appears in a bilateral agreement has been not inhibitory in any way and people have used those principles.  
What should we do with it next?  Which I think is what this session is trying to grapple with.  My suggestion is that the ICANN community should take upon itself to review the commitments and decide which of those they want to continue.  Some of those have expired through national attrition.  Some may be up for review, such as maintaining headquarters in the United States.  But the community should take those that they wish it to continue and include those in its declaratory constitutional documents.  There is many opportunities for -- and some of the work that Vint's group has done is helpful there.  It could be a unilateral declaration could be included in the bylaws or any other mechanisms.  The form is not actually that important.  It's the taking of them and committing to them, I think, is important.
What we should not do?  We should not set it up as an agreement and invite other governments to sign on, partly because some of it is expired, partly because some of it reflects the unique relationship with the U.S. Government, but most of all because it would be a rabbit hole down which we would go with endless negotiations and words from my brothers in the legal profession forever.  That's to be avoided.
We could have a web page where governments could sign up.  What's better than documents is actions.  What we want people to show up at the GAC and ICANN and contribute to the actual discussions.  
So I think that's how we gradually take the Affirmation of Commitments and pass it into the current situation rather than trying to maintain it as an extra document.  Thanks.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Peter, just to clarify the last point I didn't catch.  Are you saying that you could have a standard thing that other governments could adhere to?
>> PETER:  Yes.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  In a straight way.
>> PETER:  If you wanted to put a page up somewhere that said the Government of Country X agree with these principles, that would be fine.  What I suggest you do is have them come along rather than to sign up to documents.  Maybe you can do both.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  All right.  Interesting.  Thank you.  
Steve?
>> STEVE DELBIANCO:  Steve DelBianco with NetChoice.  Just to follow up on Peter's question.  In keeping with the title of this session, poor Bill has to report out at the end of the week as to what the answer was to the question of what happens to the affirmation?  So I'd be interested how each of the panelists suggest to what do we do with this wonderful document?  Do we leave it alone?  Do we ask a bunch of other governments to sign?  Or do we import it into the bylaws?  Let's see if we come up with a concise sense of consensus among the five experts up there so that Bill knows what to tell the general session.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Okay.  Provocation to the panel.  Would you like to give me one bullet point each on the way forward to address concerns of organisation?
>> VINT CERT:  Speaking just for myself, and I think I am able to reflect the panel that will report about the web of commitments, we've concluded that the existing Affirmation of Commitments probably had some elements that were very specific to the U.S. Government and would probably not be appropriate if you wanted to use a similar document to establish an affirmation, bilateral Affirmation of Commitments between ICANN and other governments.
And so one thing to be done to the document would be to revise it to the point where it would be a useful document for confirming recognition of obligation between ICANN and any government that chose to enter into that transparent relationship.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  All right.  
Peter?  Sorry.  Paul.  I get them all confused.
>> PAUL:  Where's Mary?
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  That's right.
>> PAUL LEVINS:  I'll take those comments.  But coming behind Peter on that point that there are some elements that are clearly not relevant now.  So, for example, at the beginning of the document it says something to the effect of the U.S. Government doesn't ‑‑ nothing in this document endorses UGFLDs.  I'm not sure you can use that more.  That can be removed.  There's some references to who he is.  Plus a few other things that are peculiar to the relationship that is historic that can probably be taken out.
But I always thought and always envisaged -- and I must say not in the leadup, not during the drafting process, so much as once the drafting was done, looking at it and thinking actually this could work as a kind of diplomatic recognition for the organization, a set of principles that governments and others sign up to and say, yes, we agree that ICANN does these certain things, and we commit to them doing those things as long as they commit to doing them.  And I think that could be a very effective device.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  That would take what form?
>> PAUL LEVINS:  I think something of the like of this document but with some of the particularities taken out.  Something that says ICANN commits to a range of things.  And some of the peculiarities that are historic in some respects to the JPA process.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Would that be closer to Vint's negotiating bilaterals with each?  Or Peter's one thing and fixes?
>> PAUL LEVINS:  I think Vint's point was that you have a bifurcated arrangement, which I initially had my doubts about, but having heard him talk about it, I agree entirely with.  So you would have something which was, I think, a stark standard is the wrong set of words, but a group of governments and others can ‑‑ the ITU -- can agree to sign up to and say, yes, we recognize this organisation as doing these things.  And this agreement is of long‑standing.  And you also have a set of agreements that would be more tailored to the other organizations that ICANN interacts with.  And as Vint says, a lot of that stuff is already written down.  It's not a huge net additional amount of work.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Okay.  I got a lot of people waving at me from the audience.  So I will try to go quickly.  
Fiona, your one point.
>> FIONA ALEXANDER:  If you want a precise answer, you have to ask a precise question.  I'm hearing a couple different things here.  The question is what purpose that's in the Affirmation of Commitments are you trying to sustain?  I would argue that the Affirmation has a couple of different purposes.  One, it was the conclusion of the MOU process.  That is the first operative part of the document.  It is a very short document, by the way, what ICANN commits to and what NTIA commits to.  That's one part of the exercise.
The other part of the exercise is the actual setting up of the review teams that's called for.  And these are ongoing and continuous and supposed to always be happening and be impaneled by multistakeholder community in providing that review.  So I think the question you need to figure out how to ask is what should happen with the Affirmation of Commitments, but what part of the Affirmation of Commitments are you looking at?  If you're looking at getting governments and stakeholders to commit to ICANN being the global coordinator of the DNS, which is what the parts do, that's one exercise.  
The other exercise is the review process themselves.  And I would say, again, when we drafted this document and issued it jointly, it was a statement of where we were in time from our perspective.  This document doesn't have an expiration date.  But the current structure and process doesn't allow you to actually amend the review process, which, after having gone through two cycles of ATRT now and seeing the “who is” and the security one, there might need be to an discussion about what improvements need to be made into the review processes.
For example, I could remember when we were discussing and negotiating the time cycle, Paul raising a lot of concerns about the time cycle we were insisting upon.  That probably needs to be considered in the context of the issues themselves but also the ICANN community fatigue and other issues going on.  
This has four reviews that are topically specific.  I can't imagine you're ever going to get rid of an accountability and transparency review, especially in the context of an institution that will always be improving; but there could be new issues to add.  Hopefully there won't need to be a gTLD review.  Who knows what will happen in the future.  That kind of conversation needs to happen, as well.  
It's a much longer answer than I give and a longer answer to your question, but I think you need to be more precise in terms of what part of the operation of the affirmation are you asking about.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Okay.  A differentiated point.  But the fundamental part is the globalization and the ways in which other governments or actors might connect themselves formally or informally to the mechanism.
>> PAUL LEVINS:  It's always fun to disagree, so I'll disagree.  The one thing I would say about that, though, is if you just have a vanilla document that governments can click "I agree," that's sort of a pointless exercise.  What you actually want is governments agreeing to a set of commitments but certainly agreeing that they will only agree to those commitments if the organisation is accountable through a set of reviews to the community.  So I do see those two things as linked.  I don't think you would have those two separated or a government document be a bland statement of things that it recognizes.  
>> I think you two have already kind of indicated a preference, so can I go to other -- is it okay?
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Very quickly.
>> ANRIETTE:  To Steve's question.
In regard to this issue at hand, now I think as we have been saying maybe we need to be ‑‑ not just thinking about just by replicating or making amendments the existing way of doing things.  I think the ideal situation would be for these -- the Affirmation of Commitment to be replaced by a kind of global pact.  But I think that would not be realistic to think about.  Negotiate something that could be endorsed by everyone.  That would be in unprecedented exercise.  
When we are working within government, which is not the case here, we know how to do things, to set an agreement, spell out dispute settlements and all the other rules.  But the ideal thing to be done in a multistakeholder fashion, but I don't think that would be feasible.  So we are maybe trying to look into more practical way of doing things.
One thing, if I could just respond.  When I was mentioning the concern about GTLD, I don't ignore the fact that GAC participate in making inputs.  My point was that the decision‑making process was one in which GAC did not participate, not with veto power, which is not the case, but we had strong advocacy of its points which were to some extent ignored.  And to my understanding, that led to problems later on that are being addressed now.  
And I was mentioning the example we have in Brazil.  The decision-making process involves everyone, so everyone can make input, defend its position on an equal basis and make a decision.  I think that serves better the whole system and this would entail that kind of structural change, which I don't think is the one thing we are focusing now.  I was just saying it has, let's say the ideal world in which if we could have 10 years to discuss but I don't think it is an hour interest to engage in that conversation now.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  You're not thinking of the T-word, the treaty word?
>> FIONA ALEXANDER:  Quick response to Steve, I think.  I think the previous idea of reviewing the AoCs makes complete sense to me.  I think assessing whether there are immediate changes indicated to the bylaws, make them.  If not, if it's more complex, a point structural governance reform review team to come up with recommendations around that.  And then use the mechanism of AoCs.  
I would not ‑‑ I'm personally concerned in actually putting this out as a question.  Bilateral Affirmations of Commitments with governments I am not convinced by.  I think Vint and I, we've had this discussion before.  I'd like to actually put it out to the panel and the room whether the idea of then Affirmations of Commitments with other institutions?  And particularly intergovernmental institutions might not be a more sustainable way to go.  Difficult but more sustainable.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  All right.  I have the gentleman with here who has been waiting very patiently.  I have Stefano.  I have David.  I have Adam.  I have Chris.  So let's please try to be reasonably concise because I'm sorry, we're not managing time.  I'm not managing time well.  So thank you.
>> I'm Ashland from Indonesia.  I have two points actually.  Point one is the U.S. Government through NTIA have announced that the transfer of IANA should be through multistakeholders organisation, institutional, something like that.  The problem is until now we do not have yet what a multistakeholder organisation looks like.  The U.S., Saudi Arabia, Indonesia are other countries may have different idea as how a multistakeholder platform should look like.  
If by ICANN 51 next October you do not have consensus as to how multistakeholder that will receive and run IANA looks, like what will happen?  Will the NTIA delay that from transferring IANA from 2015 to 2016?  From 2016 to 2017 and so on until we have a global consensus?  Or we just run like what we have today.  Run by NTIA with a contract to ICANN?  And if somebody and if some countries don't want it, they can make their own Internet.  
Just like the similarity we can see at a GPS system.  When the US run the GPS, everybody use the GPS for our mobile phone.  Finding our area.  But when you don't have, you are not happy with the GPS, [Inaudible] and everybody would like once who doesn't want to use GPS just send another 20 or 30 satellites up there and you have another GPS.  And it has happened in a GPS system.  So what makes me worry, will it also happen in the Internet system?  Thank you.
>> WILLIAM J. DRAKE:  Certainly a provocative question.  Thank you very much.  And then we have Stefano.  We will come back and answer them collectively when we get the questions on the table.
>> Okay.  I will be brief.  First of all, ICANN was born as an experiment, someone say that is good.  Of a multistakeholder organisation with a private-sector leadership to the present CEO and President likes to call multi-equal-stakeholder organisation.  Just in order to give it the idea that there is more, let's say, listening to everybody before deciding.  But ICANN needs a decisionmaking capability.  That's very important.  That's a little bit about the government.  
It is true that recently the government in the GAC has improved a lot.  If we look at the Affirmation of Commitments and the four review panels to judge the behavior of ICANN, then the Chair of the GAC is always (loss of audio).
>> Government that made it bilaterally.  Not about content that much.  It's your starting point.  Let's review it.  Let's make it better and let's keep ICANN to it by keeping these reviews in place.  And for sure let's not make the mistakes of just asking other government to sign up.  Let's as the community to condone this.
>> Thank you, Martin.  Let's go to the panel for quick responses.  We had questions from the gentleman in front about what does multistakeholderism look like from the standpoint of Indonesia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, etc.  It might be different and what happens then if there is a desire for a separate system.  I saw Fiona looking interested by that one.  Stefano, about that GAC becoming more operational, etc.  David's question about review teams and the extent to which the US was really the focus of that.  Adam's question on the ability of governments to come into relations with the California nonprofit.  Reconciling the IANA step back with something new in the AOC.  Pat's question on the exit and speed and putting things in the bylaws.  Martin's question just there.  Who would like to take any of those points?  I just -- pick and choose as you want, respond to what you want, starting with Fiona.
>> So maybe I'll start with the gentleman from Indonesia and the question on timing.  So the current INF functions contract, if all the options are extended, is a seven years contract.  So this is the way we do contracting in the US government.  We do a base period and then we had automatic extensions should we choose to actually extend it.  So the base period of the current contract expires September of 2015.  That's a statement of fact and it is part of the process.  
The US government, should the process and community need time, we can automatically extend the contract for two years and then two years after that.  Again, I know there's been a lot of conversation about it all got to be done by next year.  Next year is a milestone in the contracting process and the date is a statement of fact, but should the community and people need more time to get this done correctly, September 30 is not the end-all be-all for next year.  Just clarify that for you.  
Maybe some of the other questions.  I think to Dave's point, the fact that people participate in the review teams never saw this as about the US government is great and great to hear.  I think that's the part of this which is, again, the review teams -- we as the US government have nothing to do with selection of the review teams.  We participate in the accountability and transparency one.  We provide comments to all the other ones as part of the ICANN community.  So again everyone is participating in the process and that something to keep in mind.  I agree with Matthew actually.  
I think part of this is the conflation of the broader ICANN enhanced accountability conversation that's happening due to us saying we're willing to take on the idea of transitioning our role within the IANA stewardship and build questions which was globalization of ICANN and will governments signed the affirmation do that.  But I think it's a fair point.  If we're looking at broader globalization of ICANN and where looking at the multistakeholder model, does having governments as governments signed agreements undermine that multistakeholder model is a great question and something that needs to be considered.  
I think Pat's question, it's actually three months.  It's actually 120 days, I think, that's in the agreement under the current Affirmation of Commitments either ICANN or NTIA could terminate the agreement.  For our part, NTIA has no current plans to terminate the Affirmation of Commitments.  
But again as we look at going forward, as we look at effectuating in a transition, once proposals are developed that enjoy consensus and have all these issues addressed, we do have to do the stress testing -- I think then I'll call this the DelBianco stress test.  So Steve gets a full credit for that -- to make sure the system is protected and preserved.  This is something I would expect the enhanced accountability group, once it gets going, takes up to.  What's in the information?  What needs to be maintained?  What if it expired?  What would you do?  These are all great questions people should take up and address and talk through and things we need to understand as we go for.
>> The point about whether it could undermine the multistakeholder model to do this is one that would require some thinking through, I think.  That's a fair point.  Paul?
>> I think that does require something through; however, to the point that David was making, absolutely.  There should not have been any reflection moment in the review process where people said oh, I'm doing this because the US government told me I need to do it and I've got a set of accountabilities as a community member to the US government.  
In fact, we hit on this point earlier, and it's good to hear that this is what your experience was.  In fact, those reviews are all about being accountable to the community and not about being accountable to the US government.  I'll just come back to that point I made earlier which is the affirmation says we will recognize you and commit to you as long as you do these things.  And it's those things on behalf of -- and remaining accountable to the community is I think a really crucial, important points.  So I'm not sure you necessarily need a separate agreement with the community to call that out.
>> Thank you.  Pat -- Paul?  I need coffee.  Vint, I know who you are here.
>> VINT CERF:  Sometimes I don't know who I am so that's okay.  You're forgiven.  I'm not going to try to respond to all of the questions.  I did want to make one simple observation.  
An institution has to have a legal home somewhere and so it's actually pretty important for that legal home to be well-defined.  Because if there are issues arising with such an institution, you want to know in which jurisdiction you can raise concerns.  
So the fact that ICANN happens to be incorporated in California I think is no worse than if it was incorporated into Geneva or Cape Town or something else.  At least it's a well-defined answer to the question, what's the jurisdiction that controls the institutional interaction.  I think I'll just stop there because there's so little time for others.
>> Thank you.  I'd like very humbly to say I have more questions.  And I'll go out of the room with more questions than the ones I had when I came in.  I appreciate I've been learning a lot from you.
>> So it worked.
>> I think one of the things was maybe that the Affirmation of Commitment model could be replicated.  I don't -- I'm not sure that could be feasible because the Affirmation of Commitment has some unique features.  Maybe the most prominent of which exactly is the notion that ICANN should remain a US-based according to the California legislation.  I think we are working on the assumption that this will remain and I think maybe from a realistic perspective, this is something we should not touch.  
I don't think we should initiate a discussion that could not politically the changed.  
But if we were in an ideal world, then I think the Affirmation of Commitment should be replaced by a global pact in which the global community sit down and revise everything.  Nothing should be off-limits.  This address is what Adam was explaining.  If it remains under the California law, I don't think there would be room for government to be sitting on the board.  But an ideal world, if you could rethink and re-found the system, nothing should be off-limits.
[Inaudible] not be entangled by this consolation of processes, review teams, and to be under pressure to be so quickly moving in making decisions that will be guiding the process for traffic.  We should make sure that the decision we make is consistently sound that will address the concerns of the multistakeholder community at large, and that includes a governments in these community.  I think sometimes governments are not seen as.  But I would say governments are also part of the community.  
Take into account that ICANN is intended to serve the public interest.  I can agree that governments maybe do not have a monopoly to identify -- but they have a role.  It is kind of strange that in the decision-making process, there is no significant input from governments since the organization is intended to serve the public interest.  
So there are a number of issues that should be may be further discussed.  I think -- we share the purpose to work in this timeframe, not a deadline but a timeframe, an indicative timeframe.  So we think we should restrict ourselves the maximum of the scope of discussion that is feasible and will be looking very much to work with all of you in that regard.  Thank you.
>> Maybe next year I'll organize a workshop on the ideal world.  What could be done in the ideal world?  Wouldn't that be an interesting workshop?
>> You won't be allowed to because the idea is becoming more outcome-oriented.  Just quickly, I do think that bilateral Affirmations of Commitment will undermine the multistakeholder model so I'm concerned about that, which is why I draw the agreements with groups of governments.  
I agree with Vint.  I think legal home is important.  I think there are short-term reforms and longer-term reforms.  As a short-term reform, I think a consultation, a review, can be done.  I think changing and amending bylaws, there's so much information.  There's so much information on which to base such a review I think can be done.  And I think in reviewing that, not just the AOC should be taken into account, but some of his other work.  
Vint's panel in my opinion did some really significant work.  It introduced the idea of the public interest.  ICANN being there to promote an Internet that serves the public interest that also introduces the idea of stewardship.  I think these are really significant concepts and I would like to see the ICANN governance structure reflect all of that input more transparently and more effectively than I feel it does at present.
>> By the way, just to be fair to Vint's panel, they did recommend also not only bilateral agreements with governments but also a nongovernmental actors.  And he set about making the point that the RAR's and others would also be signatories.  So whether that would in fact be undermining multi-stakeholders is something I think is worth debating.  It's a larger and interesting question.  
This has been an interesting discussion.  I know we went 10 minutes overtime.  I thank those of you who are able to stay.  It was just the beginning of the conversation obviously.  We'll be thinking about this much more.  
The NCUC also has a workshop tomorrow if you're interested at 2:30 on institutionalization of the clearinghouse function which has been something that is discussed with regards to the so-called NETMundial initiative and other things.  So we would welcome your participation there.  Thank you very much everyone and enjoy the rest of the day.

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The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
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