Home / Blogs

A Modest Proposal for ICANN

Jonathan Zuck

When it comes to accountability, ICANN would rather be compared to other U.S. nonprofit companies than to the regulatory bodies it more closely resembles. If they truly wish to be treated like a nonprofit, rather than a regulator, there is a very simple solution: make all contributions strictly voluntary.

The ever-disappointed Accountability and Transparency Review Team for ICANN met with the ICANN board yesterday, and were told their expectations for real accountability mechanisms were simply TOO high. Instead of attempting to model accountability mechanisms after the global regulatory bodies ICANN most resembles, an ICANN Board member suggested that new accountability measures should be based on those of US-based nonprofits. I think this is a BRILLIANT idea.

American-based nonprofits like International Red Cross and the Sierra Club have the ultimate accountability mechanism. If they stop serving the needs of their constituents, their constituents can simply end their support.

With such a simple, effective mechanism in place, comprehensive and redundant systems of checks and balances really aren't necessary. Nonprofits know that they live and die on the trust and commitment of their supporters, and they act accordingly.

So if ICANN wants the community to get off its back about improving its accountability processes, the solution is simple. Instead of extracting a forced donation from every domain name registrant in the world, ICANN should make that donation optional.

On every registrar's checkout page, ICANN could include a simple checkbox with the caption "click here if you'd like to donate a dollar to support DNS management." If that change causes a minor drop off in ICANN's funding, ICANN could supplement its income with a global pledge drive in which it highlighted its achievements and asked users for their support.

Some of ICANN's executives may have to take pay cuts, and our beloved global meetings may have to be held in less exotic locations, but the accountability problem would be solved once and for all, and ICANN could have its wish of being compared not to regulators, but to other U.S. nonprofits.

Alternatively, ICANN's board and staff can abandon the utterly spurious argument that it should be treated like other nonprofits, and set about trying to correct the serious accountability flaws that have plagued the organization since its inception.

By Jonathan Zuck, President of Association for Competitive Technology (ACT). More blog posts from Jonathan Zuck can also be read here.

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, ICANN, Internet Governance, Law, Policy & Regulation, Top-Level Domains

 
   

Don't miss a thing – get the Weekly Wrap delivered to your inbox.

Comments

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Dig Deeper

Verisign

Cybersecurity

Sponsored by Verisign
Afilias Mobile & Web Services

Mobile Internet

Sponsored by Afilias Mobile & Web Services
Afilias

DNS Security

Sponsored by Afilias

Promoted Posts

Now Is the Time for .eco

.eco launches globally at 16:00 UTC on April 25, 2017, when domains will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. .eco is for businesses, non-profits and people committed to positive change for the planet. See list of registrars offering .eco more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 330.6 Million, 1.3 Million Growth in First Quarter of 2017

.TECH Gets Its Big Hollywood Break

Why the Record Number of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking UDRP Filings in 2016?

UDRP: Better Late than Never - ICA Applauds WIPO for Removing Misguided 'Retroactive Bad Faith'

The Rise and Fall of the UDRP Theory of 'Retroactive Bad Faith'

.PRESS Supports Press Freedom Day for 3rd Consecutive Year

Leading Internet Associations Strengthen Cooperation

5 Afilias Top Level Domains Now Licensed for Sale in China

Radix Announces Largest New gTLD Sale with Casino.Online

2016 Year in Review: The Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Domain Registrations

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 329.3 Million, 2.3 Million Growth in Last Quarter of 2016

i2Coalition to Present Tucows CEO Elliot Noss With Internet Community Leadership Award

A Look at How the New .SPACE TLD Has Performed Over the Past 2 Years

Michele Neylon Appointed Chair Elect of i2Coalition

Neustar to be Acquired by Private Investment Group Led by Golden Gate Capital

Startup League Reports from WebSummit, Lisbon

2016 U.S. Election: An Internet Forecast

.SPACE Becomes the Choice of the First Ever Space Nation Asgardia

Afilias Chairman Jonathan Robinson Wins ICANN's 2016 Leadership Award at ICANN 57

MarkMonitor Supports Brand Holders' Efforts Regarding .Feedback Registry