Centre for Internet & Society

The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) followed up on the implementation of the NETmundial Principles that ICANN has been endorsing by sending them a second request under their Documentary Information Disclosure Policy. This request and their response have been described in this blog post.

22 July 2015


Mr. Fadi Chehade, CEO and President

Mr. Steve Crocker, Chairman of the Board

Mr. Cherine Chalaby, Chair, Finance Committee of the Board

Mr. Xavier Calvez, Chief Financial Officer

Sub: Details of documents within ICANN regarding implementation of NETmundial Principles and documents modified within ICANN as a result of the same

It  is  our  understanding  that  ICANN  is  one  of  the founding  members  of  the  NETmundial Initiative. And hence, it has been credited in the public forum for championing the Initiative.[1]

Mr.  Fadi  Chehade,  CEO  and  President  of  ICANN,  has  maintained  that  it  is  time  for  the  global community to act and implement the Principles set forth in the initiative.[2]

ICANN itself, in response to one of our earlier requests, has acknowledged that "NETmundial Principles are high-level statements that permeate through the work of any entity –particularly a multistakeholder entity like ICANN."[3]

We,  therefore,  request  for  all  existing  documents  within  ICANN  which  represent  its  efforts  to implement  the  NETmundial  Principles  within  its  working.  Additionally, we would  also  want  to request  for  all  the  documents  which  were  modified  as  the  result  of  ICANN’s support of the NETmundial Initiave, highlighting the modification so made.

We look forward to the receipt of this information within the stipulated period of 30 days. Please feel free to contact us in the event of any doubts regarding our queries.

Thank you very much.

Warm regards,
Aditya Garg,
1st Year, National Law University, Delhi for Centre for Internet & Society

ICANN Response

ICANN in their response pointed to an earlier DIDP request that we had sent in, and they replied along the same lines. They brought to our attention that ICANN was not responsible for the implementation of the NETMundial Principles, despite it being one of the founding members of the Initiative. They reiterated their earlier statement of ICANN not being the “…home for implementation of the NETmundial Principles or the evolution of multistakeholder participation in Internet governance.”  They have failed to provide us with documentary proof of the implementation of these principles, and have only pointed to statements which indicate a potential prospective adoption of said the initiative [4]; the responses have been near identical to those for the earlier DIDP request, which you can find here.

Further, ICANN claims that the information we seek falls within the scope of the exceptions to disclosure they lay down, as it is not within their operational activities, an explanation that fails to satisfy us. As always, they have used the wide scope of their non-disclosure policy to avoid providing us with the requisite information.

The request can be found here, and ICANN’s response has been linked here.

[1]. See McCarthy, I’m Begging You To Join, The Register (12 December 2014), http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/12/im_begging_you_to_join_netmundial_initiative_gets_desperate/

[2]. See NETmundial Initiative Goes Live, Gobal Internet Community Invited to Participate (Press Release), https://www.netmundial.org/press-release-1

[3]. See Response to Documentary Information Disclosure Policy Request No. 20141228-1-NETmundial, https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/cis-netmundial-response-27jan15-en.pdf

[4]. Such as Objective 4.3 of their Strategic Five Year Plan. “Demonstrate leadership by implementing best practices in multistakeholder mechanisms within the distributed Internet governance ecosystem while encouraging all stakeholders to implement the principles endorsed at NETmundial” at https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/strategic-plan-2016-2020-10oct14-en.pdf

Filed under: ,
The views and opinions expressed on this page are those of their individual authors. Unless the opposite is explicitly stated, or unless the opposite may be reasonably inferred, CIS does not subscribe to these views and opinions which belong to their individual authors. CIS does not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for the views and opinions of these individual authors. For an official statement from CIS on a particular issue, please contact us directly.