Tag Archives: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority

NTIA Revs up Rhetoric as IANA Transition Looms by Philip S. Corwin, Internet Commerce Association

Internet Commerce Association logoIt’s been almost six weeks since the 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”, and thereby signaled the start of the last lap of the IANA transition marathon.

In the interim since that announcement ICANN held a well-regarded, policy focused mid-year meeting in Helsinki that saw the ICANN community begin to engage on multiple Work Stream (WS) 2 accountability measures that, while deemed not to require resolution prior to the transition, are nonetheless very important matters – including remaining legal jurisdiction questions, heightened transparency tools and powers, human rights, and ICANN staff accountability.

Also, several DC think tanks recently held programs on the transition, at which some speakers advocated the “test drive” approach first broached at a May Senate Commerce Committee hearing. That soft transition concept would somehow provide for a period in which both the transition of IANA functions control and new community accountability powers could be tried out, but with the U.S positioned to intervene if significant problems arose or if the WS2 issues were not resolved satisfactorily.  But advocates have yet to advocate a practical means by which this setting ICANN free while retaining residual control could be accomplished, and the clock is steadily ticking down to the September 30th expiration of the current and likely last IANA contract between NTIA and ICANN.

NTIA had already rebuffed the soft transition concept as unnecessary, impractical, and counterproductive, but last week it upped the pressure for transition completion. In remarks delivered last Thursday at the IGF-USA conference in Washington, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling delivered a rousing defense of moving forward with the IANA transition, combined with a strong rebuke of transition critics, declaring:

I come here today to speak out for freedom. Specifically, Internet freedom. I come here to speak out for free speech and civil liberties. I come here to speak out in favor of the transition of the U.S. government’s stewardship of the domain name system to the global multistakeholder community. And I come here to speak out against what former NTIA Administrator John Kneuer has so aptly called the “hyperventilating hyperbole” that has emerged since ICANN transmitted the consensus transition plan to us last March…

Extending the contract, as some have asked us to do, could actually lead to the loss of Internet freedom we all want to maintain. The potential for serious consequences from extending the contract beyond the time necessary for ICANN to complete implementation of the transition plan is very real and has implications for ICANN, the multistakeholder model and the credibility of the United States in the global community…

Among the most persistent misconceptions is that we are giving away the Internet… Even more extreme (and wrong) is the claim that we are giving the Internet away to Russia, China, and other authoritarian governments that want to censor content on the Internet….

Another false claim is the fear that ICANN will move its headquarters abroad once the transition is complete and “flee” the reach of U.S. law. However, this ignores the fact that the stakeholder community has spent the last two years building an accountability regime for ICANN that at its core relies on California law and on ICANN to remain a California corporation.

ICANN’s own bylaws confirm that “the principal office for the transaction of the business of ICANN shall be in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America.” ICANN’s Board cannot change this bylaw over the objection of the stakeholder community…

Other claims keep popping up and I do not have time today to correct every misstatement being made about the transition. For example, after living for two years under an appropriations restriction that prohibits us from using appropriated funds to relinquish our responsibility for the domain name system, it is now asserted that this restriction prevents us even from reviewing the transition plan. Yet this claim ignores the fact that at the same time Congress approved the restriction, it also directed NTIA “to conduct a thorough review and analysis of any proposed transition” and to provide quarterly reports on the process to Congress.

In the last couple of weeks, I have heard new concerns about the possible antitrust liability of a post-transition ICANN. However, this concern ignores the fact that ICANN in its policymaking activities has always been and will continue to be subject to antitrust laws…

I could go on but let me close with some observations on the multistakeholder process. There is no question that within ICANN, the last two years have strengthened the multistakeholder model as it is practiced there. Moreover, the accomplishments of the process at ICANN are serving as a powerful example to governments and other stakeholders of how to use the process to reach consensus on the solutions to complex and difficult issues. However, as we work toward completing the transition, we must recognize that the multistakeholder model will continue to face challenges. It is important that we remain dedicated to demonstrating our support and respect for the multistakeholder approach in all the venues where it is used.

To some extent Secretary Strickling was downplaying unresolved questions that could evolve into significant problems.  For example, there are clearly portions of the ICANN community who do not see the transition and accountability plans as a final resolution, but merely as a waystation to moving ICANN out of U.S. jurisdiction. When I advocated in Helsinki that ICANN’s U.S. incorporation be enshrined in a Fundamental Bylaw during the course of WS2 there was vigorous pushback from some quarters. As I wrote back in May:

[E]ven as the transition draws closer, ICANN’s continued status as a non-profit corporation subject to U.S. law — its jurisdictional locus — is rapidly replacing the IANA contract as the new focus for displeasure by those who would have ICANN relocate to another jurisdiction — or even be transformed into a multilateral international intergovernmental organization (IGO), an outcome specifically prohibited under NTIA’s approval criteria. The resolution of this extended debate will have profound ramifications for the future viability of the MSM of Internet Governance (IG), as well as for Internet speech free from governmental interference exercised from the top level of the domain name system (DNS). Until this matter is resolved with finality it will remain a scab to be constantly picked at, always threatening to become a festering sore on the body politic of IG.

Indeed, during the panel discussion that followed Secretary Strickling’s remarks, one speaker opined that if the IANA transition marked ICANN’s “Constitutional moment”, the unresolved corporate jurisdictional question could become for it what the unresolved issue of slavery became for the United States – a cause of eventual civil war.

Nonetheless, with the goal line is sight, NTIA is clearly pressing for transition completion on October 1st. The strong language of Secretary Strickling’s remarks may also be motivated by a sense that NTIA now has the upper hand, given that the likelihood of an extended appropriations freeze preventing a transition in fall 2016 is increasingly doubtful. Last week the Washington Post reported:

Any chance Congress had this year of smoothly completing work on its annual spending bills is now all but dead, leaving Republican leaders to grapple with how to avoid a contentious fight in the weeks before the election over how to avoid the threat of a government shutdown… Republicans are now debating how long a stop-gap spending bill they need to move before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 should last. Congress goes on a seven week recess after this week and will return after Labor Day.

That view was buttressed by a story in the Wall Street Journal:

Heading into this election year, Republican leaders pledged the GOP-controlled Congress would aim to do at least one thing: pass spending bills on time, without a lot of drama…But as Congress enters its last week in session before a seven-week break through Labor Day, the two chambers have yet to pass a single spending bill through both chambers….Congress will still have a few weeks in September to try to pass spending bills before the government’s current funding expires on Oct. 1. Most likely, lawmakers will be forced to pass a short-term spending bill keeping the government running through the election, likely until the end of the year or the first quarter of 2017.

This Congressional spending impasse is directly related to the fate of the IANA transition. The statutory language preventing NTIA from completing the transition expires at the end of FY 2016, which is one second before midnight on September 30th. One second later, at midnight on October 1st, NTIA will be free to hand off the IANA functions to ICANN, assuming that ICANN has completed its remaining pre-transfer obligations.

Prior to the summer recess the House passed a Department of Commerce appropriations bill extending the transition freeze for a year, but the Senate has not followed suit and the prospects for stand-alone DOC funding legislation now appear slim to none. In addition, the language of the FY 2016 freeze was written in a way that a simple FY 17 Continuing Resolution will not carry the freeze language forward into the new fiscal year; it would take an additional explicit provision being grafted on to the C.R. for the transition freeze to be extended. While that’s not impossible, it would be a heavier lift in a hyper-partisan Presidential election year.

Speaking of partisan politics, on July 12th it was reported that the 2016 draft GOP Platform blasts the Administration’s transition plans, stating,

The survival of the Internet as we know it is at risk… [President Obama] unilaterally announced America’s abandonment of the international Internet by surrendering U.S. control of the root zone of web names and addresses. He threw the Internet to the wolves, and they—Russia, China, Iran, and others—are ready to devour it… [Republicans] will therefore resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations

The breakdown of the appropriations process and the failure of “test drive” proponents to provide a detailed blueprint for accomplishing a soft transition argue in favor of the IANA transition proceeding on October 1st. But when members of Congress return in September political passions will be running high, and opponents of the transition may well attempt a Hail Mary play — with NTIA ready to go all out to break it up and push the transition across the finish line. We’ll find out who prevails in late September.

This article by Philip Corwin from the Internet Commerce Association was sourced with permission from:
http://www.internetcommerce.org/ntia-revs-up-transition-rhetoric/

ICANN: 90-day Root Zone Management System “Parallel Testing” Period Ends Successfully

ICANN logoICANN and Verisign today announce the successful completion of a 90-day parallel testing period of the Root Zone Management System (RZMS), which concluded on 6 July 2016.

During the testing period, zero unexplained differences were found between the production RZMS and the parallel test version of the RZMS, which has the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) authorization step removed. This result confirms that the production RZMS and parallel test system produce an identical output for every root zone file published, which was a key step to ensuring the continued security and stability of the Internet’s root zone post transition.

Daily comparison reports created during the testing period are available on Verisign’s website. Additionally, monthly progress reports for the testing period are available on ICANN‘s designated Root Zone Management System Parallel Testing webpage.

The authorization process step performed by NTIA will be removed upon the successful completion of the IANA Stewardship Transition, currently projected for 30 September 2016. Until then, the authoritative root zone file will continue to be produced by the production RZMS that contains the authorization step performed by NTIA.

For more information on ICANN‘s broader IANA Stewardship Transition implementation planning efforts, visit: https://www.icann.org/stewardship-implementation.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2016-07-14-en

ICANN: Draft PTI Bylaws

ICANN logoBrief Overview

This public comment proceeding period seeks community input on the Draft PTI Bylaws. In order to reflect the recommendations contained in the proposals 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, for the performance of the naming-related IANA functions. ICANN also intends to subcontract the performance of the numbering- and protocol parameter-related IANA functions to PTI.

The draft PTI Articles of Incorporation, required for the incorporation of PTI is published for public comments at https://www.icann.org/public-comments/draft-pti-articles-incorporation-2016-07-01-en.

Once adopted, PTI’s governance requirements will be set out in its Bylaws, including issues such as the composition of the Board, conduct of Board meetings, the powers of the Board and PTI officers, and budgeting, planning and record keeping requirements. The Bylaws do not set out the detailed operational requirements of PTI. Those details will be set out in the contracts that ICANN will enter into with PTI, including the ICANN-PTI Naming Functions Agreement, and the subcontracts for the performance of the protocol parameters- and numbering-related IANA functions.

The draft PTI Bylaws were developed to meet the recommendations of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) proposal and to be consistent with the requirements in the revised ICANN Bylaws (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/adopted-bylaws-27may16-en.pdf [PDF, 1.42 MB]).

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 PTI Board’s consideration and approval.

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The draft PTI Bylaws were drafted in order to reflect the recommendations of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) proposal as provided to the ICANN Board and transmitted to NTIA on 10 March 2016. As part of that work, ICANN is required to incorporate an affiliate that will perform the naming-related IANA functions under contract with ICANN. That affiliate is currently referred to as PTI. ICANN also intends to subcontract the performance of the numbering- and protocol parameter-related IANA functions to PTI.

The proposed PTI Bylaws are one of the governance-related documents developed to put PTI into operation once incorporated. Other governance-related documents are the PTI Conflict of Interest Policy, Board Code of Conduct, and Expected Standard of Behavior, which are also out for 30-day public comment at https://www.icann.org/public-comments/pti-governance-documents-2016-07-08-en.

The PTI Bylaws will house the highest-level of governance requirements for PTI, such as the composition of the Board, conduct of Board meetings, the powers of the Board and PTI officers, and budgeting, planning and record keeping requirements. The Bylaws do not set out the detailed operational requirements of PTI.

The specific operational details will be set out in the contracts that ICANN will enter into with PTI. Those include a contract between ICANN and PTI for PTI’s performance of the naming functions, and subcontracting agreements for PTI’s performance of the number and protocol parameter functions. In the coming weeks, ICANN will post for public comment a draft of the naming function contract.

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 draft PTI Bylaws are incorporates the necessary recommendations in the ICG proposal as well as the relevant provisions from the ICANN Bylaws. Because this proposed PTI Bylaws are 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 PTI Bylaws 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 have reviewed the PTI Bylaws and provided feedback, which has been incorporated into these draft Bylaws that are being published for public comment. This public comment period is not intended to be a forum for the reconsideration of those transition-related proposals.

The proposed PTI Bylaws posted today reflect inputs from the CWG-Stewardship addressing areas where the ICG Proposal did not include specific detail, some of which have impacts on PTI’s governance structure. Participants in the comment forum may wish to address some of these specific items in their comments:

  1. The CWG-Stewardship recommended that the Chair of the PTI Board should be selected from among the two Nominating Committee-nominated Directors elected to the PTI Board. The provision is supposed to be a suggestion of limitation of who can serve in the Chair role, though not a mandate. Concerns have been raised about the impact of this suggestion, and how searching for Director candidates that also have the skill set to chair a Board may impact the Nominating Committee process.
  2. The CWG-Stewardship also recommended that meetings of the PTI Board require that at least one of the ICANN-nominated Directors and one of the Nominating Committee-nominated Directors each be present, in addition to the requirement of a majority of Directors being present. This recommendation appears to strengthen the perceived legitimacy of any action of the PTI Board.
  3. The proposed PTI Bylaws specify a group of certain actions that require a higher threshold of Board approval (4/5) as opposed to the simple majority threshold that accompanies regular decisions. The CWG-Stewardship suggested that for these higher threshold decisions, that both of the Nominating Committee-nominated Directors on the PTI Board should have to approve. Because this suggested governance structure – where a single Director could hold up PTI from acting even where all other PTI Directors believed an action to be appropriate – was not included in the ICG Proposal or subjected to governance analysis, the proposed Bylaws rely only on the 4/5 threshold. Under any circumstance, that would require at least one of the Nominating Committee-nominated Directors to support the action.

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 PTI related materials

On 01 July, ICANN published the proposed PTI Articles of Incorporations for a 30-day public comment period.

On 08 July, ICANN published the proposed PTI Conflict of Interest Policy, PTI Board Code of Conduct, and PTI Expected Standard of Behavior for a 30-day public comment period.

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

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/draft-pti-bylaws-2016-07-12-en

ICANN: Draft PTI Articles of Incorporation

Brief Overview

ICANN logoThis public comment proceeding seeks community input on the Draft PTI Articles of Incorporation. In order to reflect the recommendations contained in the proposals 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, for the performance of the naming-related IANA functions. ICANN also intends to subcontract the performance of the numbering- and protocol parameter-related IANA functions to PTI.

In order to incorporate an affiliate, which is a necessary step in ICANN‘s planning efforts for the implementation of the ICG Proposal, a first step is to file articles of incorporation. There are legal requirements for the content of articles of incorporation.

Keeping these requirements in mind, the proposed draft of the PTI Articles of Incorporation was developed to meet the recommendations of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) proposal that a new legal entity be formed to perform the three IANA functions.

Any interested party may review and provide feedback on the draft PTI Articles during the public comment period. The comments will be analyzed against the legal requirements and incorporated for the ICANN Board consideration and approval of ICANN proceeding with the incorporation of PTI.

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The draft PTI Articles of Incorporation were drafted in order to reflect the recommendations of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) proposal as provided to the ICANN Board and transmitted to NTIA on 10 March 2016. As part of that work, ICANN is required to incorporate an affiliate that will perform the naming-related IANA functions under contract with ICANN. That affiliate is currently referred to as PTI. ICANN also intends to subcontract the performance of the numbering- and protocol parameter-related IANA functions to PTI.

In order to incorporate an affiliate, which is a necessary step in ICANN‘s planning efforts for the implementation of the ICG Proposal, a first step is to file articles of incorporation. There are legal requirements for the content of articles of incorporation. Keeping these requirements in mind, the proposed draft of the PTI Articles of Incorporation was developed to meet the recommendations of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) proposal that a new legal entity be formed to perform the three IANA functions.

The proposed Articles of Incorporation are the first of few governance documents that will be necessary for PTI to be put into operation. In the coming weeks, ICANN will also be posting for public comment proposed Bylaws for PTI, as well as a proposed PTI Conflict of Interest Policy and a PTI Board Code of Conduct. There will also be a contract between ICANN and PTI for PTI’s performance of the naming functions. A draft of that contract will be posted for comment after it is reviewed and considered with the Cross-Community Working Group to develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions and the independent legal counsel engaged to assist the Working Group.

The ICG proposal was developed through public processes, including multiple opportunities for public comment. The draft PTI Articles are required to meet one of the recommendations in the ICG proposal: the formation of a new legal entity to perform the three IANA functions. All implementation planning efforts can be tracked at https://www.icann.org/stewardship-implementation.

Because these draft PTI Articles are drafted to the publicly vetted proposal, this comment period is designed to solicit inputs from the broader community on how the proposal requirements were brought into the Articles and if there are areas seen as inconsistent with the ICG proposal. Of note, the CWG-Stewardship and its counsel have reviewed these Articles and provided feedback, which has been incorporated into these draft Articles that are being published for public comment. This public comment period is not intended to be a forum for the reconsideration of those transition-related proposals.

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, 2.32 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, 6.03 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.”

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

Open Date: 1 Jul 2016 23:59 UTC

Close Date: 31 Jul 2016 23:59 UTC

Staff Report Due: 5 Aug 2016 23:59 UTC

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/draft-pti-articles-incorporation-2016-07-01-en

Reflections on Internet Governance and Regulation with Special Consideration of the ICANN by Luís de Lima Pinheiro [Cyberlaw by CIJIC]

IANA logoAbstract: This article is focused on very general issues of Internet governance and regulation and on the potentialities of the adopted general conceptions with respect to the ICANN evolution. It advocates for an autonomous governance of the Internet, based upon a model of multistakeholder and globalized organizations.

This autonomous governance is connected with a co-regulation of the Internet, through a combination of the principle of autonomous regulation with public regulation in all areas where autonomous regulation is insufficient. This public regulation should be fundamentally of international source.

Regarding the evolution of ICANN, it is considered the very recent Proposal to Transition the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to the Global Multistakeholder Community and suggested the assumption by ICANN of the political role of a Non-Governmental Organization and the conclusion with the interested States and international organizations of standard quasi-treaties containing appropriate arbitration clauses.

This article is available for download from:
http://ssrn.com/abstract=2796402

ICANN: Draft Root Zone Evolution Review Committee Charter

ICANN logoBrief Overview

Purpose: As part of the IANA stewardship transition implementation planning efforts, ICANN is seeking community input on the Draft Root Zone Evolution Review Committee (RZERC) Charter developed to reflect the recommendations contained in the proposals by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) provided to the ICANN Board and transmitted to NTIA on 10 March 2016.

(See Resolutions 2016.03.10.12-15 and 2016.03.10.16-19).

Current Status: The Draft RZERC Charter has been developed in collaboration with the Implementation Oversight Task Force (IOTF) and includes reviews by the CWG-Stewardship.

Next Steps: The Draft RZERC Charter is out for a 30-day public comment from 03 June – 03 July to allow any interested party to review and provide feedback. Once the RZERC Charter has been adopted, ICANN will take the steps necessary to form the committee, which will become operational upon the successful completion of the transition.

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The Draft RZERC Charter reflects the recommendations contained in the proposals by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) as provided to the ICANN Board and transmitted to NTIA on 10 March 2016.

The ICG proposal was developed through public processes, including multiple opportunities for public comment. The Draft RZERC Charter is one part of how ICANN is planning to implement the publicly-supported ICG proposal. The full scope of implementation planning efforts can be tracked at https://www.icann.org/stewardship-implementation.

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 IANAservices; 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 theIANA Stewardship Transition. One set of recommendations involved the proposal from the direct operational customers of the IANA functions. This proposal was prepared by the IANAStewardship 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, 2.32 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, 6.03 MB].

Delivering the Proposals

On March 10, 2016, the ICANN Board of Directors transmitted the IANA Stewardship Transition and Accountability Proposals to NTIA for its review and approval. NTIA has stated that the U.S. Government need to see adoption of any changes to ICANN‘s Bylaws before they can complete their anticipated 90-day review of the proposals.

Over the next several months, Congress will also carefully review the proposals. Once these reviews are completed and with NTIA approval, ICANN will implement the community-developed proposals.

For further information on the process, please see: https://www.icann.org/stewardship-accountability

Section III: Relevant Resources

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/draft-rzerc-charter-2016-06-10-en

ICANN: IANA Functions, DNSSEC Audits: ICANN Systems Have Appropriate Controls

IANA logoICANN has completed annual, third-party audits of the IANA Registry Management Systems and DNSSEC services it provides.

For the sixth consecutive year, ICANN has achieved Service Organization Control (SOC) 3 certification for its management of the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Root Key Signing Key. This certification demonstrates that the processes used to modify the root key signing key, which acts as the trust anchor of the DNS, contain appropriate security measures, and that these processes have been executed as planned. The certificate is publicly available at: http://iana.org/audits.

For the third consecutive year, a SOC 2 audit of the IANA registry maintenance systems confirms that ICANN has the appropriate controls in place to ensure the security, availability and processing integrity of these systems. ICANN began undergoing SOC 2 audits in 2013.

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted the audits using the Service Organization Control framework managed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The framework measures an organization’s systems against a set of “trust services principles and criteria.” Learn more: http://iana.org/audits.

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-2-2016-04-22-en

Ted Cruz Sees More Reds Under The Beds At ICANN

US wannabe Republican candidate Senator Ted Cruz and his crazy co-conspirators, all Republicans of course, have sent another letter to ICANN accusing them of stonewalling Congress over a series of unanswered questions that remain from previous congressional oversight letters concerning ICANN’s relationship with the Chinese government and the planned transition away from U.S. government oversight of the internet.Poor Ted and his conspiracy theorists James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah). They wrote:
“On March 3, 2016, we sent you a letter requesting information to gain a better understanding of the potential implications of ICANN’s relationship with the Chinese government and its impact on the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) transition. Since then, ICANN has submitted to the U.S. government an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal that seeks to end U.S. government oversight of the IANA functions. Given this recent development and congressional concerns over ICANN’s transparency, accountability, and relationship with the Chinese government, it is imperative that we receive a response to our letter.””After sending our initial request 32 days ago, your staff indicated that you would be unable to respond before March 18. Two weeks has passed since your own self-extended deadline, and ICANN has not only failed to provide a response, but has been unable or unwilling to provide an exact date for when we can expect a complete response to our March 3 letter.”This series of events comes on the heels of ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé’s failure to respond to all of the questions in our February 4, 2016 letter addressed to him. We would note that not only did Mr. Chehadé fail to respond to our questions in full, but he disparaged the oversight request during a February 5 question-and-answer session in Los Angeles, California with members of ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organization Non-Contracted Party House.”The senators continued: “To our dismay, ICANN has failed to respond in full to questions posed in two oversight letters. We are therefore resending our questions and ask that you and Mr. Chehadé provide a response to all unanswered questions (provided below) from our February 4 and March 3 letters as soon as possible, but no later than 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 7, 2016.”Cruz is apoplectic. One would have thought his attention would he’d be more interested in his bid to become the US Republican candidate for the upcoming election. But no. He’s busy castigating ICANN for tardy responses to his bizarre, conspiracy-laden fantasies. His belief that former President and CEO Fadi Chehadé has some links to the Chinese government. And his opposition to anything that can be remotely linked to the Democrats and President Obama.The full letter is available on Cruz’s website at www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2622.

IANA Stewardship Transition Almost There

A plan developed by the international internet community that would see global stewardship of the key technical internet functions performed by the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) transitioned to the global multistakeholder community has been submitted to the US government for its approval, ICANN announced Thursday at the 55th ICANN public meeting being held in Marrakech, Morocco.”This plan is a testament to the hard work of the global internet community and the strength of the multistakeholder model,” said Board Chair Dr. Stephen D. Crocker, who transmitted the plan on behalf of the global community. “The plan has now been sent to the U.S. Government for its review, and assuming it meets the necessary criteria, we will have reached an historic moment in the history of the internet.”The plan provides a comprehensive package to transition the U.S. Government’s stewardship of these technical functions, called the IANA, which are critical to the internet’s smooth operation. It also proposes ways to enhance ICANN’s accountability as a fully independent organisation. The transition is the final step in the long-anticipated privatisation of the internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), first outlined when ICANN was incorporated in 1998.The ICANN Board received the package from the community during its 55th public meeting in Morocco, and today transmitted it to the U.S. National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA).On 14 March 2014, NTIA announced its desire to transition its stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community. The package is the result of an inclusive, global discussion amongst representatives from government, large and small business, technical experts, civil society, researchers, academics and end users.”The internet community has exhibited remarkable dedication to the IANA stewardship transition because we know just how important it is to complete,” said Alissa Cooper, Chair of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) that coordinated the development of the transition proposal. “Internet users the world over stand to benefit from its stability, security, and accountability enhancements to internet governance once the proposal takes effect.”The global internet community has worked tirelessly to develop a plan that meets NTIA’s criteria, logging more than 600 meetings and calls, more than 32,000 mailing list exchanges and more than 800 working hours.It is expected it will take the US government around three months to evaluate the plan, and, if approved, “the transition of the IANA functions to the Internet community should occur on 30 September 2016,” writes Paul Wilson, APNIC Director General, on the APNIC blog.The only real stumbling block is that some conservative Republican senators including presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz are not happy with the proposal.The package combines the technical requirements of a transition coordinated by the IANA Stewardship Transition Group (ICG) and enhancements to ICANN’s accountability identified by the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability). The two groups were composed of volunteers representing a broad range of interests from the wider multistakeholder internet community.”This plan enjoys the broadest possible support from this very diverse community and I’m confident it will meet NTIA’s criteria,” said Thomas Rickert, one of the CCWG-Accountability co-Chairs. “The work of this group shows just how well the inclusive multistakeholder approach is working.”The U.S. Government will now review the package to ensure that it meets NTIA’s criteria. If approved, implementation of the plan is expected to be completed prior to the expiration of the contract between NTIA and ICANN in September 2016.

Ted Cruz Still Believes In Reds Under The Beds At ICANN

Poor US Senator Ted Cruz. Fresh from getting pummelled by Donald Trump to see who can be the Republican candidate for the upcoming US election, he’s found time to shine a spotlight under the bed of ICANN and found there are reds under that bed coming all the way from China.Poor Ted. He’s raised concerns and requested information regarding ICANN CEO and President Fadi Chehadé’s involvement with the World Internet Conference, which is organised by the Chinese government.In a statement on the Senator’s website that does wonders for grammar and the English language, Cruz has said in one long paragraph that:
Either the World Internet Conference and the People’s Republic of China have misreported the events that took place during their own conference or Fadi Chehade isn’t being completely honest with the United States Senate,” said Sen. Cruz. “While Chehade continues to state that his first meeting won’t take place until later this year, the Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of the People’s Republic of China, reported on December 17, 2015 that, ‘The advisory committee held its first meeting on the sidelines of the second World Internet Conference in Wuzhen of east China’s Zhejiang Province. Jack Ma, founder of China’s Internet giant Alibaba, and Fadi Chehade, president and CEO of ICANN, act as co-chairman of the advisory committee.’ It should also be noted that Chehade has admitted that he has entered into an arrangement while still serving as the CEO of ICANN and performing under a contract with the United States government, through which his future travel costs to the Chinese government’s state-sponsored World Internet Conference will be compensated. Travel compensation from the Chinese government can be a form of personal conflict of interest, which could impair Chehade’s ability to act impartially and in the best interest of the government when performing under the contract. As such, Chehade should recuse himself from all ICANN decisions that could impact the Chinese government, which include all negotiations and discussions pertaining to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) transition.Defending his and ICANN’s participation in the Chinese conference, Chehadé writes, not to be outdone, in another long paragraph that:
Attending conferences such as the Wuzhen World Internet Conference is just one way that ICANN does the outreach that has enabled a global shift towards preserving a globally interoperable Internet. ICANN participates in many other international conferences, such as the Internet Governance Forum, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, as well as regional Internet Governance Forum events and technical events across the world. In 2014, I participated in the World Internet Conference’s opening ceremony in my role as ICANN’s President and CEO. My return to the 2015 meeting as ICANN’s President and CEO was a natural continuation of ICANN’s work. Of course, ICANN’s attendance at a conference does not represent an endorsement of every viewpoint expressed at that conference. In this fragile time, ICANN cannot ignore potential challenges to the values of multistakeholderism and to ICANN’s mission. It is even more important to be present for those tough conversations, perform outreach, and maintain a supportive environment for the secure, unified operation of the Internet. Contrary to what is suggested in your letter, staying away from the World Internet Conference, particularly to make a political statement on issues outside of ICANN’s mission, would not have served the global Internet community.It has also been announced that Chehadé “will serve as a co-chair of a high level advisory committee to the World Internet Conference’s organizing committee.” Chehadé notes this will be in his personal capacity and that he will be joined by executives from well-known Chinese communist sympathisers such as “Microsoft, Nokia, Brookings Institution, as well as Bruce McConnell, former U.S. Department of Homeland Security Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity, among others.”Chehadé notes he has “not received any form of gift, reimbursement, compensation, or any other form of personal enrichment, direct or indirect, for this post-ICANN effort, though I understand that travel costs to the World Internet Conference will be covered while I serve on the high level advisory committee. I do not have any plans to seek any form of employment with the Chinese government.”Poor Ted. Those reds under the beds are really eating away at him. Frankly, you’d think he’d have more important things to worry about at the moment.