Research paper from University of St.Gallen and Harvard accuses ICANN of transparency deficits

A research paper written in 2011 by members of the University of St.Gallen and Harvard argues that:
“occasionally, the very characteristics that define ICANN’s model act as opposing forces and result in policy decisions that are not fully supported by the global Internet community. They argue that ICANN’s organizational structure inhibits its ability to fully meet its commitments to transparency and public participation. Thus, in the September 30, 2009 Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) agreement, ICANN established new grounds to review its obligations with regard to transparency, accountability, and public participation every three years.

Using an Information Law perspective, this paper examines the findings of this most recent review, with particular focus on the role of transparency deficits on the perceived legitimacy of ICANN’s decision-making processes. From this perspective the acceptance of ICANN’s decisions could be improved by increasing the transparency of the decision making of its Board of Directors and the visibility, accessibility, and impact of its public participation processes.”

The paper concludes by saying:
“Improving the decision making of ICANN requires tailor-made solutions that take into account the specific framework of ICANN and its responsibility towards the global Internet community. From an Information Law perspective, the acceptance of ICANN’s decisions could be improved by increasing the transparency of the decision making of its Board of Directors and the visibility, accessibility, and impact of its public participation processes.”

The 32 page paper was posted on January 4, 2013 here.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

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