Guidelines for Proposed ICANN Policies and Activities

The ICANN Board will look to the following guidelines in the consideration of its own conduct and proposed policies and actions arising from supporting organizations. Accordingly, the Board expects that the supporting organizations will include consideration of these guidelines as part of their policy development and evaluation processes. These guidelines are not intended to be rigid. Rather, they seek to establish a culture of institutional openness and accountability, and promote policies that are intrinsically limited in their scope, but rigorous and uniform in their application.

  1. Policies should be adopted on the basis of technical merit; policies should not discriminate on the basis of expressive content.
  2. With respect to proposed policies, consensus positions and recommendations should be accompanied by minority opinions and dissenting views, if any. The consensus position or recommendation should address and respond to minority concerns.
  3. Activities and policies should be rigorous in defining and enforcing the scope of their activity. Where appropriate, sunset clauses, expiration dates, and expectations regarding the revisiting of a policy or activity should expressly stated.
  4. Criteria of success should be expressly stated and used a basis for criticism and improvement.
  5. Proposed policies must be shown to be in the best interests of the Internet community and should demonstrate strong evidence that such policies can be implemented. Where appropriate, the Board encourages the testing of proposed policies on a smaller scale. The implementation and operational use of a technical policy demonstrates an interest and ability to deploy the policy at large.
  6. Policies must be applied in a consistent, well founded, and uniform manner. Policies should be designed so as to minimize the risk of selective enforcement or abuse.
  7. The Board encourages policy development processes characterized by openness, transparency, decentralization, bottom-up coordination and constructive competition among small groups and communities.

Joseph Reagle 03/08/99 11:44 AM
This proposal is my own and does not necessarily express the views of W3C, MIT, Harvard, or the Berkman Center.