Tag Archives: Department of Commerce

ICANN: Consultation on Internet Number Resources Performance Standards

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): A consultation on developing performance standards for Internet Number Resources management

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions contract (SA1301-12-CN-0035) between ICANN and the United States Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) to maintain the continuity and stability of services related to certain interdependent Internet technical management functions, known collectively as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority calls for a public consultation from all interested and affected parties to help satisfy the following objective:

C.2.8 Performance Standards — Within six (6) months of award, the Contractor shall develop performance standards, in collaboration with all interested and affected parties as enumerated in Section C.1.3, for each of the IANA functions as set forth at C.2.9 to C.2.9.4 and post via a website.

This consultation involves the allocation of Internet numbering resources described in the IANA functions contact as the following:

C.2.9.3 Allocate Internet Numbering Resources — The Contractor shall have responsibility for allocated and unallocated IPv4 and IPv6 address space and Autonomous System Number (ASN) space based on established guidelines and policies as developed by interested and affected parties as enumerated in Section C.1.3. The Contractor shall delegate IP address blocks to Regional Internet Registries for routine allocation typically through downstream providers to Internet end-users within the regions served by those registries.

Section II: Background

This is one of a series of consultations to establish performance standards for the delivery of the IANA functions, as described in contract SA1301-12-CN-0035.

Section III: Document and Resource Links

Comment Open: 20 November 2012
Comment Close: 11 December 2012
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 UTC  – Public Comment Announcement
Reply Open: 12 December 2012 – To Submit Your Comments (Forum)
Reply Close: 7 January 2012 – View Comments Submitted

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/iana-kpis-20nov12-en.htm

ICANN Proposal to Perform IANA Functions Now Posted

IANA logoICANN posted a redacted version of its 31 May 2012 proposal to provide the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions. The U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration awarded the contract to ICANN on 2 July 2012. The contract incorporates by reference the ICANN proposal and two responses to requests for additional information.

The original proposal is organized into two volumes: Volume I includes the technical and management approaches, information on past performance and documentation demonstrating fulfillment of mandatory factors spelled out in the solicitation. Because of its size, Volume I has been saved into three separate PDFs:

Volume II [PDF, 2.98 MB] includes financial information and project funding strategy. Also posted are two responses to requests for additional information:

ICANN staff made three redactions. First, we redacted from the security section confidential information about ICANN‘s internal networks. Second, we redacted Appendix D “IANA Data Classification Standards” from Volume I, as it is still in draft form and proceeding through internal review. Finally, in our response to a request for additional information, we redacted the portion of the subject line of the letter that stated, “Confidential and Business Proprietary” as this statement is no longer applicable.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-2-09jul12-en.htm

US Government Reissues IANA Tender

The Department of Commerce has reissued the Request for Proposal (RFP) a new Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions contract.In the announcement regarding the re-issue of the contract, it is stated that the contract is awarded to maintain the continuity and stability of services related to certain interdependent internet technical management functions, known collectively as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).The anticipated period of performance of this contract is October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2015.The continued performance of these functions is critical to preserving the stability and security of the Internet’s Domain Name System.The original tender was abandoned in March with the no proposals meeting the requirements, although the NTIA did not say if they received any bids, even from ICANN. ICANN’s CEO and president, Rod Beckstrom, also refused to say if ICANN had submitted a bid at their meeting in Costa Rica at the time.For details on the reissued RFP see:
www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2012/request-proposal-iana-functions-contract

US Govt Cancels RFP For ICANN’s IANA Contract

The US Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has cancelled the Request For Proposal (RFP) into the role of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), that being the key technical functions supporting the Domain Name System, because they received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community.In their announcement, while noting no proposals met requirements, the NTIA does not say if they received any bids, even from ICANN. ICANN’s CEO and president, Rod Beckstrom, also refused to comment on if ICANN had submitted a bid at their meeting currently underway in Costa Rica.The Department says they intend to reissue the RFP at a future date to be determined so that the requirements of the global internet community can be served.There are some that believe the announcement sends a wake-up call to ICANN that they need to get their house in order. And in particular criticisms have come from those groups that ignored the top level domain consultation process that was ongoing for over five years. These groups such as the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) are now using any available method to lobby the US government to stop the TLD process. And if this means getting their two cents worth of lobbying on unrelated issues to discredit ICANN, then so be it.”This RFP cancellation, announced as ICANN convenes its March 11 – 16, 2012 meeting in Costa Rica, can only be seen as a clear message to ICANN that it must seriously address concerns by NTIA and multiple global stakeholders. These include federal policymakers, the ANA, Internet security experts, the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO) and other stakeholders that have criticized ICANN’s expansion of the domain name system with hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of new generic top-level domains,” said Douglas J. Wood, General Counsel to the ANA, and a partner with Reed Smith LLP.However despite the lobbying and browbeating of those such as the ANA, “one of the key sticking points is the NTIA’s demand that the IANA contractor – ICANN – must document that all new gTLD delegations are in ‘the global public interest,” reported Domain Incite.”This demand is a way to prevent another controversy such as the approval of .xxx a year ago, which the Governmental Advisory Committee objected to on the grounds that it was not the ‘the global public interest.'””Coupled with newly strengthened Applicant Guidebook powers for the GAC to object to new gTLD application,” Domain Incite continued, “the IANA language could be described as ‘if the GAC objects, you must reject.'””NTIA’s cancellation is even more telling because ICANN changed its conflict of interest policy subsequent to Thrush’s departure and the issuance of the RFP. Many people believe the changes ICANN made to its conflict of interest policy were entirely inadequate in addressing NTIA’s legitimate concerns,” Wood went on to say in a statement. “With sixteen directors accountable through no independent oversight, their powers are unrestrained and, as recent decisions illustrate, ignore what the stakeholders want or, more importantly, need.”For now, the NTIA has reached an agreement with ICANN to continue performing the IANA functions until 30 September 2012.

ICANN Faces Test of Confidence As US Govt Considers IANA Contract

ICANN is facing a real test of confidence as the Commerce Department weighs whether to renew the contract under which it performs technical functions that help make the Web run smoothly, says a report on NextGov.”This contract, under which ICANN runs the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, expires at the end of March. The contract covers such tasks as doling out the pool of Internet protocol numbers connecting computers to the Web. But on a more basic level, the IANA contract is the only concrete leverage the U.S. government still has over ICANN, which it picked in 1998 to take over management of the Internet’s domain-name system.””It is the one clear area that the Department of Commerce, without question, has authority in regard to ICANN,” Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of government relations for the Association of National Advertisers, told NextGov.The controversy is accentuated by those who have been pushing for the new generic top level domain programme to be scrapped, such as Jaffe and his organisation that began lobbying against new gTLDs after ICANN approved the applicant guidebook at its June 2011 meeting in Singapore.Despite this, NextGov reports most ICANN-watchers say they expect that Commerce will once again give ICANN the IANA contract, given that few, if any, other organisations would be in a position to take on the no-pay job.”I can predict ICANN will get the contract,” said Josh Bourne, president of the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse.Bourne and others say, according to the report, that the bigger question is how long any ICANN contract will last and what requirements Commerce will impose. ICANN has been pushing for a longer contract, but many groups have urged the department to impose a short-term renewal to allow for closer monitoring as ICANN implements the new domain program and other policies.To read this NextGov report in full, see:
www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20120229_8464.php

Q. What Unites Esther Dyson And YMCA? A. Opposition To New gTLDs

A representative of the Young Men’s Christian Association of the United States of America (YMCA) and Esther Dyson will appear before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation a full committee hearing on ICANN’s expansion of top level domains today (Thursday).Others who will be appearing include ICANN’s Kurt Pritz, Fiona Alexander from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Dan Jaffe from the Association of National Advertisers and the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight.While it is predictable that Jaffe will rant against the introduction of new gTLDs, it is to be hoped the committee will ask why the organisation has only belatedly come to the party in opposing new gTLDs.The proposal for new gTLDs has been around since the mid-2000s and the ANA has even submitted comments on the proposal around 2008. Something Robert Liodice, the organisation’s president and CEO, forgot when writing his ill-informed letter to ICANN’s CEO and president in August 2011. Embarrassingly for the ANA and Liodice, Beckstrom refuted many of the issues noted in their letter and outlined how comments including the ANA’s had been taken into account when formulating new gTLD policy.Esther Dyson is an oddity. She was ICANN’s inaugural chair and has become a vocal opponent of new gTLDs, in an article she wrote for the Project Syndicate in August that new gTLDs do not “actually create any new value.””The value is in people’s heads – in the meanings of the words and the brand associations – not in the expanded namespace. In fact, the new approach carves up the namespace: the value formerly associated with Apple could now be divided into Apple.computers, apple.phone, ipod.apple, and so on.”Dyson believes “this sounds confusing [and] that is because it is.”Possibly, on the face of it, strangest appearance will be from Angela Williams, the General Counsel of the YMCA in the US. Kieren McCarthy on his dotNXT blog has dug a little deeper. McCarthy notes that the reason they are appearing is solely because of the intellectual property lobby.”The YMCA turned up for the first time at an ICANN meeting at the most recent meeting in Dakar just over a month ago,” wrote McCarthy. “Incredibly its representative, Michael Carson, immediately became the person in charge of both communication and membership for the newly formed Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns Constituency (NPOC).””Michael’s sudden elevation is thanks to the NPOC’s chair, Debra Hughes. Debra represents the Red Cross but is viewed by some in the ICANN constituency she represents – the non-commercial stakeholders group – as a Trojan Horse for intellectual property interests.”

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.

Almost Free: An Analysis of ICANN's 'Affirmation of Commitments' by A. Michael Froomkin

Introduction: On September 30, 2009, the United States Department of Commerce (“DOC”) and ICANN signed an “Affirmation of Commitments” (“Affirmation”) that purports to recast the public-private relationship at the heart of the management of the domain name system (“DNS”). ICANN trumpeted this document as a culmination of the move from public to private control of the DNS, one that ICANN said “completes a transition that started 11 years ago” and “places beyond doubt that the ICANN model is best equipped to coordinate” the DNS. ICANN’s CEO Rod Beckstrom summarized ICANN’s commitments in the Affirmation as follows: “It commits ICANN to remaining a private not for profit organization. It declares ICANN is independent and is not controlled by any one entity. It commits ICANN to reviews performed BY THE COMMUNITY — a further recognition that the multi-stakeholder model is robust enough to review itself.” Continue reading Almost Free: An Analysis of ICANN's 'Affirmation of Commitments' by A. Michael Froomkin

Almost Free: An Analysis of ICANN’s ‘Affirmation of Commitments’ by A. Michael Froomkin

Introduction: On September 30, 2009, the United States Department of Commerce (“DOC”) and ICANN signed an “Affirmation of Commitments” (“Affirmation”) that purports to recast the public-private relationship at the heart of the management of the domain name system (“DNS”). ICANN trumpeted this document as a culmination of the move from public to private control of the DNS, one that ICANN said “completes a transition that started 11 years ago” and “places beyond doubt that the ICANN model is best equipped to coordinate” the DNS.ICANN’s CEO Rod Beckstrom summarized ICANN’s commitments in the Affirmation as follows: “It commits ICANN to remaining a private not for profit organization. It declares ICANN is independent and is not controlled by any one entity. It commits ICANN to reviews performed BY THE COMMUNITY — a further recognition that the multi-stakeholder model is robust enough to review itself.”This article examines the legal and political effects of the Affirmation. It begins by asking what the Affirmation actually changes in light of the pre-existing ICANN-DOC relationship. It then asks what these changes tell us about ICANN’s current legal status and about its future. It concludes that even though the Affirmation has been overhyped, the agreement is nonetheless a significant milestone in the evolution of the management of the DNS — but more for its political than its legal import. As a legal matter, the DOC allowed one of its main agreements with ICANN to lapse, thus surrendering the most formal and visible legal control the DOC had over ICANN. In so doing, the DOC gave up its reversionary interests in contracts ICANN had with third parties — the DOC’s right to require ICANN to assign those contracts to someone else were the DOC ever to lose faith in ICANN. In exchange, ICANN promised to remain located in the U.S., thus remaining subject to U.S. jurisdiction. ICANN also committed itself to a lengthy round of accountability exercises, although whether these will amount to anything substantive is not obvious. Furthermore, ICANN again expanded the role of its Government Advisory Committee (“GAC”), a committee of government representatives open to every nation, which has a direct channel to the ICANN Board as well some agenda-setting powers.If these changes are less legally earthshaking than the parties might have sought to make them seem, their political import is nonetheless real. By allowing its most visible agreement with ICANN to expire, the DOC made a tangible — if still incomplete — response to growing international pressure for the U.S. to abandon the control over ICANN that other nations feared gave the U.S. a dominant role over the DNS. ICANN enjoys significantly more independence after the Affirmation than it had before. And the GAC, the only direct means by which non-U.S. governments can influence ICANN, emerges from the Affirmation stronger as well.The article then revisits two underlying issues that the Affirmation papers over: what standby or fail-safe control the United States retains over the DNS, and to what extent that (or any) control over the DNS matters. Here the picture is less clear, but some of the answers are surprising: the U.S. retains a lessened, but still real, degree of control over the DNS — but it may not matter as much as many of us think. The possible risks of having a body — be it public or private — in charge of the DNS can be grouped into four categories: (1) primarily economic issues involving market power over DNS service providers (registrars and registries), (2) economic power exercised over registrants and other third parties, (3) more general political power over speech or other uses of the Internet, and (4) geo-strategic. Some of these, notably the economic risks, the article argues, are much more real dangers than others. In particular, the article asserts, the geo-strategic risk has been greatly exaggerated.Readers are assumed to understand the technical basis of the DNS.This research paper in full, along with the sourced of this introduction, can be downloaded from the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law at:
www.jthtl.org/content/articles/V9I1/JTHTLv9i1_Froomkin.PDF

US Government Reviews IANA And Flags Issues For Possible Change

The US government is seeking public comment to enhance the performance of the IANA functions in the development and award of a new IANA functions contract.The call comes via a Request for Comments from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, part of the Department of Commerce. The NTIA notes “this is the first time NTIA has undertaken a comprehensive review of the IANA functions contract since the award of the first contract in 2000.”The RFC flags some interesting changes to IANA, including the possible break-up of the IANA functions, saying that “in light of technology changes and market developments, should the IANA functions continue to be treated as interdependent?”Other issues considered important are the stability and security of the DNS and whether “the current metrics and reporting requirements sufficient?”The IANA functions have historically included the following:

  1. The coordination of the assignment of technical Internet protocol parameters
  2. the administration of certain responsibilities associated with Internet DNS root zone management
  3. the allocation of Internet numbering resources
  4. other services related to the management of the .ARPA and .INT top-level domains.

ICANN currently performs these IANA roles on behalf of the United States Government through a contract with NTIA. The contract between the US government and ICANN expires on 30 September 2011 so the NTIA is seeking public comment to enhance the performance of the IANA functions in the development and award of a new IANA functions contract.Comments are due on or before March 31, 2011.More information can be found at www.ntia.doc.gov/frnotices/2011/fr_ianafunctionsnoi_02252011.pdf