Tag Archives: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority

Denmark’s Minister of Culture Remarks on the Success of ICANN’s Multistakeholder Model

ICANN58 Copenhagen logo[news release] ICANN‘s 58th public meeting, taking place from 11 to 16 March in Copenhagen, Denmark, has attracted more than 2500 registered participants. The meeting, hosted by the Danish Business Authority and the Danish Internet Forum, is being held six months after the IANA Stewardship Transition, a milestone in the history of ICANN‘s multistakeholder community.

Stakeholders from around the world, including people from businesses, governments, academia, and civil society, have convened in Denmark to discuss various topics such as the next steps after the IANA Stewardship Transition, enhancements to ICANN‘s accountability and the new generic top level domain (gTLD) program.

At the opening ceremony, Denmark’s Minister of Culture, Mette Bock, commented on the IANA Stewardship Transition and ICANN‘s multistakeholder model, stating “The IANA Stewardship Transition only happened because the whole ICANN community, and that is you, was able to work together and to develop proposals that received a very broad support. It was, indeed, a masterpiece and showcase for how the multistakeholder model can function and deliver sustainable results.”

Chairman of DIFO and DK-Hostmaster, Professor Henrik Udsen, also commented on the importance of this model. “Like ICANN, DIFO is based on a multistakeholder model, ensuring that all interest of the Danish Internet society is represented in the continuing efforts to make the .dk zone attractive and security,” said Udsen. “We believe that this multistakeholder model both at a national and international level is a vital component in creating robust solutions to the many challenges we face.”

ICANN‘s President and CEO, Göran Marby, stressed the importance of diversity with respect to the future Internet users, saying “To be able to support the next generation of Internet users, we need to be diverse enough to understand the nodes going forward.”

ICANN Board Chair, Dr. Stephen Crocker, remarked on the importance of working together globally to maintain the Internet. “We’re all different parts of one entity united by a common purpose to help maintain an amazing global network of networks,” said Crocker. “If we do our mission well, we will facilitate communication and the flow of information around the globe, but the only way that we can do that is if we work together and the work that we do together is framed by compassion and respect.”

At the ceremony, ICANN‘s Chief Technology Officer David Conrad announced the launch of a test bed for the upcoming Key Signing Key (KSK) Rollover. “On 11 October 2017, relatively soon, we are going to be changing the root key signing key. Before that time, DNS operators, who have enabled DNSSEC validation, must update their configurations. So what we’re announcing today is a test bed for DNS operators to determine the readiness to support automatic updates..”

ICANN is in the process of performing a Root Zone DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Key Signing Key (KSK) rollover. The KSK is used to cryptographically sign the Zone Signing Key (ZSK), which is used by the Root Zone Maintainer to DNSSEC-sign the root zone of the Internet’s DNS. Maintaining an up-to-date KSK is essential to ensuring DNSSEC-signed domain names continue to validate following the rollover. Internet service providers, enterprise network operators and others who operate DNSSEC validation must update their systems with the public part of the new key signing key.

Those unable to attend ICANN58 in person are highly encouraged to participate remotely. Details for remote participation in any of the sessions can be found here.

Photos of the meeting can be found here.

BACKGROUND: Held three times a year, ICANN‘s public meetings convene members of the global, multistakeholder Internet community, made up of individual users, businesses, civil society, governments, research institutions and non-government organizations, to discuss issues impacting the Domain Name System (DNS) and develop relevant policies.

This ICANN news release was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/resources/press-material/release-2017-03-13-en

Annual IANA Functions, DNSSEC Audits Validate ICANN Systems Controls

ICANN logoICANN has completed audits of the IANA registry management systems and the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) services it provides. International accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted the audits for the period of 1 December 2015 through 30 September 2016.

For the fourth consecutive year, a Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 audit of the IANA registry maintenance systems shows that ICANN has the appropriate controls in place to ensure the security, availability and processing integrity of IANA functions transactions.

For the seventh consecutive year, ICANN has achieved SOC 3 certification for its management of the DNSSEC root key signing key, which is the trust anchor of the domain name system. SOC 3 certification demonstrates that ICANN‘s root key signing key processes contain appropriate security measures, and that these processes have been executed as planned. The certificate is publicly available at http://iana.org/audits.

During the period, ICANN upgraded the physical security systems of the Key Management Facilities. “Physical security is an important line of defense to protect the root key signing key,” said Elise Gerich, ICANN‘s Vice President of IANA and Technical Operations. “The upgrade helped us stay SOC compliant and promotes the prevention and detection of unauthorized access.” Gerich also serves as President of Public Technical Identifiers, an affiliate of ICANN.

SOC audits evaluate an organization’s controls in relation to “trust services principles and criteria” managed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

About ICANN

ICANN‘s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet’s naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2017-03-02-en

ICANN Still Under US Laws But No Realistic Way Back For US Overnight

The US government does not have oversight of the IANA functions any more, but ICANN who oversees the IANA is still bound by Californian law. And Trump Commerce secretary nominee and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross said there’s “no realistic way” to walk back the transition of U.S. oversight.In an interview with ZDNet (click here for the full interview), Theresa Swinehart, ICANN’s senior vice president for multi-stakeholder strategy and strategic initiatives said ICANN remains bound by Californian laws. There also were no provisions to move ICANN under the purview of a global organisation such as the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU).Swinehart stressed in the email interview that the necessary checks and balances were in place to mitigate the risks of “a government or third-party capture” of ICANN.”While it is true that within a country, a government may exert control over its portion of the internet, that control stops at the country’s borders. Attempts to exert control beyond borders requires the cooperation of others that are to be controlled.”ICANN’s role of defining policies–by which the top level of the internet’s names, addresses, and other technical values are created and managed–does not, in any way, imply control of the internet itself. ICANN’s community helps define the various rules by which those technical values are used, but the actual use of those values requires the voluntary cooperation of internet users. There is simply no way to force all online users to do something they choose not to do.”Furthermore, ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model is designed to ensure no single entity can capture ICANN or exclude other parties from decision-making processes. The model was founded on open processes where anyone can participate, and decisions are made by consensus with established appeals mechanisms, as well as transparent and public meetings. These elements have all been reinforced and strengthened because of the transition.”The multi-stakeholder model limits the influence of governments and intergovernmental organisations to an advisory role in policy development. More than 160 governments actively participate as a single committee and must come to a consensus before policy advice can be issued.”When asked what are ICANN’s goals over the next few years, Swinehart replied:
“ICANN will continue to work towards its five strategic goals for years 2016 through to 2020. These priorities are evolving and furthering ICANN’s globalisation; supporting a healthy, stable, and resilient unique identifiers system; advancing its organisational, technical, and operational excellence; promoting ICANN’s role and multi-stakeholder approach; and developing and implementing a global public interest framework bounded by ICANN’s mission.Meanwhile Wilbur Ross said (click here for the full article) while there’s “no realistic way” back to US transition, he did express surprise about how the he sees the US as having little impact on internet governance according to Inside Sources.”As such a big market and really as the inventors of the internet, I’m a little surprised that we seem to be essentially voiceless in the governance of that activity,” Ross said during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday. “That strikes me as an intellectually incorrect solution.”But while he expressed his belief that there’s little the US could do to change things, in response to former Republican presidential candidate and opponent of the IANA transition away from US government oversight Sen Ted Cruz.”I’m not aware of what it is we can actually do right now to deal with that,” Ross said, no doubt throwing some meat to Cruz to keep him calm. “If some realistic alternative comes up, I’ll be very interested to explore it.”

Even If He Wanted To, Probably Too Late For Trump To Reverse IANA Transition

US president-elect Donald Trump has the potential to change many policies, including in the tech sector, and, as the Washington Post notes analysts believe “could eviscerate some of the most significant tech policies of the 21st century, all but erasing President Obama’s Internet agenda and undoing years of effort by lawmakers, tech companies and consumer advocates to limit the power of large, established corporations.”Scientific American spoke to Robert Atkinson, president of the non-partisan think tank Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), to better understand where Trump stands on technology and innovation policy.On the IANA transition, Scientific American asked Atkinson if the Trump administration reverse the decision to give ICANN autonomy from the U.S. Department of Commerce?Atkinson responded saying he doesn’t “know if the president has the power to change this, but even if they had the power, I don’t think they’d do it. The horse has left the barn. There would be too much outrage on the Hill and internationally. This isn’t a fight they’re going to take on. ICANN had an agreement with the U.S. government where the government had some control in the background over ICANN’s role of managing the internet’s domain name system (DNS).””That tether has been cut, but I think the Trump will monitor them to make sure ICANN lives up to what they said they would do and not allow other countries to take a larger role in internet governance.”

Indian Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Reaffirms Support of Multistakeholder Model at ICANN’s 57th Public Meeting

ICANN57 Hyderabad India Logo[news release] India’s Minister of Law & Justice and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad reiterated India’s commitment to the multistakeholder model during the Opening Ceremony of ICANN’s 57th Public Meeting today.

The meeting, also known as ICANN57, is taking place in Hyderabad, India, from 3 – 9 November and has convened thousands of the global Internet community members (both on-site and remotely) to discuss and develop policies related to the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS). It is hosted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), with support from the Government of Telangana.

“India has supported the multistakeholder model of Internet governance and we are happy to note that the IANA stewardship transition has taken place. The Internet is a great equalizer and helps to connect all. It is now time to look ahead, to build the Internet of the future with the participation of all stakeholders,” said Prasad.

To expand India’s participation in the multistakeholder model, ICANN will work with India’s stakeholders, including the Government of India, to develop a structured framework focusing on fostering the development of the DNS industry in India. The framework will concentrate on capacity building for India’s stakeholders, gearing them up for active participation in ICANN and the multistakeholder model of Internet governance.

“With the IANA stewardship transition behind us, our top priority now is to focus on our revised mission and new bylaws, and working together with the empowered community. Expanding our outreach is key to our mission. In this context, we are keen to further deepen our ongoing engagement in India. As the second largest group of Internet users globally, we welcome India’s voice and participation,” said Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO.

India currently leads the world with seven internationalized country code top-level domains delegated and eight more have successfully passed evaluation. There is also a Neo-Brahmi script panel in place that is defining the rules for the nine scripts used in India for evaluating future top-level domain applications work. This will serve communities using these scripts globally, paving the way for a multilingual and more inclusive Internet.

ICANN57 is the first post-IANA stewardship transition public meeting and also the first Annual General Meeting under the new Meetings Strategy.

ICANN Board Chair Dr. Stephen Crocker added, “The world is watching closely to see how a post-transition ICANN community handles its new found role. And much of that focus will be on those of you who are involved in enhancing ICANN’s accountability and transparency.”

Breitbart Survey On IANA Transition Shows Biased Polls Get The Result You Want

The ultra-right news website Breitbart recently conducted an opinion poll asking its equally right wing readers what they thought of the recent transition of the IANA functions from the oversight of the US government to a global multi-stakeholder group.The American right, led by former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, were and still are vociferous in their view that Obama was giving away the internet to the Chinese and Russians, and Breitbart agreed with some loaded questions to reflect this.So it’s hardly surprising a poll conducted on 3 October with loaded questions suggesting the giveaway meant the Chinese, Russians and Iranians could take over the internet, that 71 percent of respondents thought it a bad idea and seven percent a good idea.The poll question asked: “The United States will relinquish its administrative control over the Internet to a private organization where other countries, which could include China, Russia and Iran, will have influence for the first time on the management of the Internet. Do you think this is a good idea or not?”Another question asked whether “this [is] an example of America’s weakening leadership in the world,” 51% of registered voters agreed, 36% disagreed, and 13% were unsure.

After 18 Years Of Discussions, IANA Functions Transferred To Global Multi-stakeholder Group

On 1 October the US government through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) relinquished its role of overseeing the technical management of the ‘internet’s address book’, or the IANA functions, that ICANN has overseen since its inception. The role was handed over to a global multi-stakeholder group, allowing the IANA functions contract to expire.But the right of American politics did its best to thwart the transfer of powers using its usual efforts of fear and ignorance. The cheerleader of the opposition was Senator Ted Cruz who invoked fear reminiscent of the cold war opposition to the USSR, saying the transfer of powers jeopardised “free speech online and has been widely denounced by conservative and grassroots leaders and Members of Congress.”There was even a lawsuit from four US Republican state governments – Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and Nevada – that sought a temporary restraining order to prevent the IANA contract from expiring on 30 September. The states argued the handover was unconstitutional and required congressional approval. But the case failed.From Saturday the global multi-stakeholder group, which consists of a collection of academics, technical experts, private industry and government representatives, public interest advocates and individual users around the world, will oversee the IANA functions. It’s a transfer that has been planned since 1997 and in March 2014 a formal plan was announced. It had been a goal of Democratic and Republican administrations, with the odd exception, through the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama presidencies.There won’t be many noticeable changes. Speaking to IP Pro: The Internet, ICANN’s Theresa Swinehart said “nothing really changes in the context of ICANN overall, aside from some adjustments in the clerical functions and the role we play in accommodating the community proposal, and in enhancing some of the accountability processes we have in place.””It’s not changes to what we do, it’s taking on additional areas and areas of additional balances on the accountability side.”The change had near unanimous support from the global internet community, including from the Internet Society and the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF).”Today’s outcome confirms the strength of both the community and the multi-stakeholder process in tackling issues important to the continued growth and evolution of the Internet,” said Gonzalo Camarillo, Chair of the Internet Society’s Board of Trustees. “We commend the NTIA for its trust and confidence in the multi-stakeholder Internet community to achieve this important accomplishment.”The IETF noted in a blog post that “this is a good day — but also in many ways just like previous days. It is what we are already doing. The Internet will continue to work as it has before. The communities continue to work with the IANA system to make sure it responds to the needs of the users, as we have. Networks and people co-operate, voluntarily, so that they can connect over the Internet. Just like what the world has been doing since the dawn of the Internet.””Like many things on the internet, this is the result of many incremental steps by many people, Andrew Sullivan, IAB Chair, told the IETF blog. “It is incremental change that brings us the stability of the internet.””We rarely get the opportunity to witness a global consensus as broad and diverse as the one in favour of this transition,” Alissa Cooper, Chair of the IANA stewardship transition Coordination Group, who also spoke to the IETF blog. “Hundreds of people and organizations from across sectors and across the world had the courage and endurance to see this process through, and as a result the Internet is running as smoothly today as it did yesterday.”

DOJ to Cruz: .Com Price Freeze can be Extended to 2024 by Philip Corwin, Internet Commerce Association

Internet Commerce Association logoOn August 31st the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a response to the August 12th letter from Senator Ted Cruz and some Congressional colleagues to the head of the Antitrust Division. In that letter Cruz et al asserted that if the pending extension of the .Com registry Agreement (RA) was granted in combination with the consummation of the IANA transition, that DOJ could be prevented from having “meaningful input into the prices that Verisign charges for registering a domain name within the .com domain for an extended period”. Based on that assertion, Cruz and his colleagues requested DOJ “to conduct a thorough competition review of the agreement before any oversight transition is undertaken and any agreement extension is approved”.

DOJ’s response makes clear that it will retain meaningful input into .Com pricing after the occurrence of either the .Com RA extension, IANA transition, or both; and that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), in consultation with DOJ, can extend the .Com wholesale price freeze through 2024 if it chooses to do so.

The operative part of the letter states:

Philip Corwin imageAs you may know, Verisign may not extend the .com Registry Agreement without obtaining NTIA’s prior written approval. Amendment 30 of the Cooperative Agreement requires such prior approval and provides the standard for NTIA’s review. In pertinent part, Amendment 30 provides: “[t]he Department [of Commerce] shall provide such written approval if it concludes that approval will serve the public interest in (a) the continued security and stability of the Internet domain name system and the operation of the .com registry … , and (b) the provision of Registry Services … offered at reasonable prices, terms, and conditions.” We note that the current extension proposal contemplated by ICANN and Verisign does not change the price cap contained in the 2012 .com Registry Agreement, which will remain in effect through November 30, 2018. Nor does the current extension proposal alter the price cap in Amendment 32 of the Cooperative Agreement. Moreover, if NTIA were to approve an extension of the .com Registry Agreement, it would have the right in its sole discretion to extend the term of the Cooperative Agreement with the current price cap in place until 2024 at any time prior to November 30, 2018, the date on which the Cooperative Agreement is currently scheduled to expire. If this occurs, the $7.85 fee cap would be extended another six years to 2024. (Emphasis added)

The DOJ response does not commit it and NTIA to take any particular action on .Com pricing prior to the current November 2018 termination of the Cooperative Agreement (CA), but it does make clear that NTIA has the discretionary power to extend the CA and the price freeze that it contains. NTIA could undertake such an extension if the Boards of both ICANN and Verisign approve the RA extension, as the letter makes clear that the extension requires NTIA review and approval before it can take effect. However, NTIA may well decide to leave the decision on whether to extend the CA and retain or adjust the price freeze to the next Administration, and that decision will likely be based upon a full review by the Antitrust Division.

In a related development on the antitrust front, ICANN General Counsel John Jeffrey has just sent a letter to the Wall Street Journal stating:

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) does not enjoy an “antitrust exemption.” ICANN is not, and never has been exempted from antitrust laws… ICANN has not been granted an antitrust exemption by any of its contracts with NTIA. No ruling in ICANN’s favor has ever cited an antitrust exemption as the rationale.(Emphasis added)

That belts-and-suspender concession comports with the views of most antitrust experts that ICANN’s claim to an antitrust exemption was tenuous at best even when the U.S. government exercised direct oversight of the organization, was substantially diluted when the relationship loosened under the current Affirmation of Commitments, and would conclusively disappear entirely upon consummation of the IANA transition. However, that position is at complete odds with the one that ICANN took as recently as 2012, in a lawsuit brought by YouPorn owner Manwin Licensing in regard to the then-controversial .XXX gTLD, when it asserted (and when Mr. Jeffrey was likewise General Counsel):

ICANN cannot, as a matter of law, be liable under the antitrust laws with respect to the conduct alleged in the Complaint because ICANN does not engage in “trade or commerce.”…[ICANN] does not sell Internet domain names, it does not register Internet domain names, and it certainly is not an Internet pornographer. ICANN does not make or sell anything, it does not participate in any market, and its Bylaws expressly forbid it from participating in any of the markets referenced in the Complaint.(Emphasis added)

That antitrust immunity was rejected a few months later by the Federal District Court hearing the litigation, when it decisively stated:

The Court finds the transactions between ICANN and ICM described in the First Amended Complaint are commercial transactions.

ICANN established the .XXX TLD. ICANN granted ICM the sole authority to operate the .XXX TLD. In return, ICM agreed to pay ICANN money.

This is “quintessential” commercial activity and it falls within the broad scope of the Sherman Act. Even aside from collecting fees from ICM under the contract, ICANN’s activities would subject it to the antitrust laws. (Emphasis added)

Given that in the intervening four years ICANN has established more than a thousand additional gTLDs for which it collected a third of a billion dollars in application fees and receives continuing fees from, and that the impending IANA transition will sever the final tangential relationship between the U.S. government and ICANN, this week’s antitrust concession may well reflect a decision by ICANN Legal that it no longer made sense to play a losing hand – especially when assertions of weakened DOJ antitrust authority threaten to delay or scuttle the transition.

So the clear weight of these important letters is that the .Com wholesale price freeze will stay in place and can be extended by NTIA through 2024, and that ICANN has abandoned any claim to antitrust immunity.

This article by Philip Corwin from the Internet Commerce Association was sourced with permission from:
www.internetcommerce.org/doj-to-cruz-com-price-freeze-can-be-extended-to-2024/

ICANN: IANA Naming Function Agreement

IANA logoBrief Overview

This public comment proceeding seeks community input on the proposed IANA Naming Function Agreement. In order to reflect the recommendations contained in the proposal by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) as provided to the ICANN Board and transmitted to NTIA on 10 March 2016, ICANN must incorporate an affiliate referred to as PTI, and put in place an agreement between ICANN and PTI granting PTI the right to perform the IANA naming function.

Any interested party may review and provide feedback on the draft PTI Bylaws during the public comment period. The comments will be analyzed to ensure alignment with the ICG proposal and ICANN Bylaws, and incorporated for the ICANN and PTI Boards’ consideration and approval.

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

In the ICG proposal, the naming community recommended that a new legal entity referred to as PTI be formed, and an agreement is put in place between ICANN and PTI to grant PTI the right to perform the IANA naming function. The domain name community provided a draft term sheet in the ICG proposal and well as a listing of all provisions recommended to be carried over from the IANA Functions Contract. This term sheet and carry-over identification were used by ICANN as a base to draft the proposed Naming Function Agreement.

As per the requirements of the domain name community, the Agreement will contain Service Level Expectations (SLEs) for the performance of the IANA naming function. The SLEs design team within the CWG-Stewardship and ICANN have agreed on thresholds for the SLEs and they are being presented to the CWG-Stewardship for sign-off. Those interested are encouraged to participate in CWG-Stewardship discussions and provide input. Once the CWG-Stewardship signs off on the SLEs, they will be incorporated into Annex A of the Agreement.

The ICG proposal was developed through public processes, including multiple opportunities for public comment. All implementation planning efforts can be tracked at https://www.icann.org/stewardship-implementation. The proposed Naming Function Agreement incorporates the necessary recommendations from the naming community in the ICG proposal as well as the relevant provisions from the ICANN Bylaws. Because this proposed Naming Function Agreement is drafted to the publicly vetted proposal, this comment period is designed to solicit inputs from the broader community on how the proposal and ICANN Bylaws requirements were brought into the proposed Naming Function Agreement and if there are areas seen as inconsistent with the ICG proposal or ICANN Bylaws. Of note, the CWG-Stewardship and the independent counsel retained to advise the CWG-Stewardship have reviewed a draft of the Naming Function Agreement and provided feedback, which has been incorporated into this proposed Naming Function Agreement that is being published for public comment. This public comment period is not intended to be a forum for the reconsideration of the ICG proposal.

Section II: Background

The IANA Stewardship Transition

For almost two decades, ICANN has performed the IANA functions under a zero-dollar contract with the U.S. Government, implementing policies developed by the multistakeholder community. The U.S. Government always envisioned its role as steward of the IANA functions as temporary, and, in March 2014, announced its intention to transition that stewardship to the global multistakeholder community. This transition will not affect how the identifiers are coordinated nor will it affect the functionality of the Internet or our ability to access it. In fact, the transition is nothing more than the final step in an 18-year process to privatize the management of the IANA functions.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) asked ICANN to convene an inclusive, global discussion that involved the full range of stakeholders to collectively develop a proposal for the transition. NTIA stated that the transition proposal must have broad community support and meet the following criteria:

  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
  • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
  • Meet the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and,
  • Maintain the openness of the Internet.

NTIA also specified that it would not accept a proposal that replaces NTIA‘s role with a government-led or intergovernmental organization solution.

Developing the Community Proposals

Two sets of recommendations comprise the package provided to the ICANN Board for the IANA Stewardship Transition. One set of recommendations involved the proposal from the direct operational customers of the IANA functions. This proposal was prepared by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG). The ICG, comprised of thirty individuals, representing the broad range of Internet stakeholder interests, were nominated by their respective communities. The ICG assembled input from three global multistakeholder communities with direct operational relationships with the IANA functions to develop a proposal to transition NTIA‘s stewardship of the IANA functions.

  • Read the final ICG proposal here [PDF, 2.31 MB].

The other set of recommendations related to enhancing ICANN Accountability in relation to the IANA Stewardship Transition. This proposal was prepared by the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability), made up of members from ICANN‘s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, and over 200 participants, developed a separate proposal for enhancing ICANN‘s accountability in light of the changing historical relationship with the U.S. Government. Together with ICANN‘s existing structures, the group recommended mechanisms to ensure ICANN remains accountable to the global Internet community.

  • Read the final CCWG-Accountability proposal here [PDF, 6.02 MB].

Proposals Delivery and NTIA’s Report

On March 10, 2016, the ICANN Board of Directors transmitted the IANA Stewardship Transition and Accountability Proposals to NTIA for its review and approval.
On 9 June, NTIA announced “that the proposal developed by the global Internet multistakeholder community meets the criteria NTIA outlined in March 2014 when it stated its intent to transition the U.S. Government’s stewardship role for the Internet domain name system (DNS) technical functions, known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.”

Other related materials

ICANN’s implementation planning efforts based on requirements of the ICG and CCWG-Accountability proposals can be tracked at https://www.icann.org/stewardship-implementation.

Section III: Relevant Resources

Section IV: Additional Information

Open Date: 10 Aug 2016 23:59 UTC

Close Date: 9 Sep 2016 23:59 UTC

Staff Report Due: 16 Sep 2016 23:59 UTC

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/iana-naming-function-agreement-2016-08-10-en

Governing the Internet by Kal Raustiala

Social Science Research Network logoAbstract: This essay explores why the United States is relinquishing an important source of power over the Internet, and what this means for both users of the Internet and scholars of global governance. The Internet began as a niche tool of engineers and academics, funded by the Department of Defense. Governance was loosely exercised by an insular group of enthusiasts and experts.

By the 1990s, as the Internet grew rapidly, control was asserted more directly by the US government. Significant power was delegated to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California non-profit. In June 2016, the Obama administration approved ICANN’s proposal for independent management of the critical “naming and numbering” function of the Internet. ICANN — governed by a complex multistakeholder structure that incorporates many non state actors — will directly control what is essentially the address book of the Internet.

By delegating more autonomy to ICANN, the US will strengthen multistakeholderism, not just for ICANN, but as a broader principle of global governance. The Internet has been, over the past two decades, a central site of struggle between multistakeholderism and multilateralism.

By relinquishing its role as primus inter pares among states, the US seemingly will lose an important source of power over the Internet. And yet even as its power is diminished, the achievement of its preferences will be strengthened. This somewhat paradoxical story has important lessons not only for the exercise of state power over the Internet but also for the evolution of global governance in a time when increasing numbers of nonstate actors across a range of international issues have achieved substantial participatory roles.

This paper by Kal Raustiala from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) – School of Law was originally published in the American Journal of International Law / UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-33 and is available for download from:
http://ssrn.com/abstract=2814777