New IANA Contract An Important Milestone Says Milton Mueller

“The new IANA contract solicitation, which was posted by the U.S. Commerce Department November 10, represents a milestone in ICANN’s relationship to the U.S. government,” writes Milton Mueller on the Internet Governance Project blog, even allowing for their “Freudian typo” where the Commerce Department refers to the requirement that “the Contractor to promptly notify the NTIA of ‘any outrages.'”Mueller goes on to say that “Rather than loosening the ties that bind Internet names and numbers to the authority of one national state, the Commerce Department has strengthened them considerably. Despite a European Commission news release trumpeting changes that it said it had demanded, the EC – and all other governments – have been sidelined. The new approach to the IANA contract is the final nail in the coffin of any attempt to globalize or de-nationalize oversight authority over ICANN. One can praise the NTIA for its attempt to make the contract a more open bidding system, but the more salient fact is that it has institutionalized a bidding system that is permanently confined to U.S. companies and subject to detailed regulation and oversight by the U.S. government.”To read more of Milton Mueller’s views on the new IANA and the new contract for operating the IANA on the Internet Governance Project blog, see blog.internetgovernance.org/blog/_archives/2011/11/16/4940638.html.