European Commission backpedals? Restating the obvious.

“Clearly an organization like ICANN, which has been conferred with important responsibilities with clear public policy impacts should meet the highest standards of transparency, accountability, and independence.”

These are the words of Jonathan Todd, a public spokesman for the European Union, reported by Kieren McCarthy.

It is undeniable and unarguable that ICANN Board decisions have public policy implications and impacts around the world.

So that is why bodies with responsbility for public policy, such as national and territorial governments, the European Union, the Council of Europe and even the Olympic Committee must be important voices in the ICANN process.

And so are the figures we love to hate, the intellectual property lawyers.

And civil society and human rights advocates as well.

It has been said to me, by way of negotiation theory, that sometimes the indicator of the best deal is that each party is equally UN-happy.

The words of Mr Todd are a statement of the obvious. But we need to be reminded of them.

I am sure that neither TLD Holdings plc nor Peter Dengate Thrush envisaged the furore that the announcement of the former ICANN Chairman’s new job would provoke.

That omelette can’t be turned back into eggs, but ICANN’s role must now be to produce even-handed, workable guidelines for the future that pass the balancing act test of being fair on the employee or former officeholder, as well as upholding not only the absence, but the appearance of absence of conflict of interest.

I wonder, is everyone equally unhappy with ICANN yet?

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