[CCWG-ACCT] Ominous update on the IANA transition

Drazek, Keith kdrazek at verisign.com
Thu Apr 30 15:41:08 UTC 2015


A timely reminder of the importance of our work to improve ICANN’s Accountability.


From: accountability-cross-community-bounces at icann.org [mailto:accountability-cross-community-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Edward Morris
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2015 10:15 AM
To: Accountability Cross Community
Subject: [CCWG-ACCT] Ominous update on the IANA transition


I think this post on the NCSG list by Dr. Mueller might be of interest to those of us working on Accountability.


Ed Morris

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu<mailto:mueller at syr.edu>>
Date: Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 2:27 PM
Subject: Ominous update on the IANA transition
To: NCSG-DISCUSS at listserv.syr.edu<mailto:NCSG-DISCUSS at listserv.syr.edu>

Dear NCSG:
It’s now official: ICANN doesn’t even want to let the IETF have a choice of its IANA functions operator.

Those of you who read my blog post on ICANN’s interactions with the numbers community<http://www.internetgovernance.org/2015/04/28/icann-wants-an-iana-functions-monopoly-and-its-willing-to-wreck-the-transition-process-to-get-it/> will already know that ICANN is refusing to accept the consensus of the numbers community by recognizing its contractual right to terminate its IANA functions operator agreement with ICANN. In that blog, I referred to second-hand reports that IETF was encountering similar problems with ICANN. Those reports are now public; the chairs of the IETF, IAB and IETF Administrative Oversight Committee have sent a letter to their community<http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ianaplan/current/msg01680.html> noting that ICANN is refusing to renew their supplemental service level agreement because it includes new provisions designed to facilitate change in IANA functions operators should IETF become dissatisfied with ICANN.

These are truly shocking moves, because in effect ICANN’s legal staff is telling both the numbers and the protocols communities that they will not accept the proposals for the IANA transition that they have developed as part of the IANA Stewardship Coordination Group (ICG) process. In both cases, the proposals were consensus proposals within the affected communities, and were approved by the ICG as complete and conformant to the NTIA criteria. Thus, ICANN is in effect usurping the entire process, setting itself (rather than ICG and NTIA) as the arbiter of what is an acceptable transition proposal.

The key point of conflict here seems to be the issue of whether ICANN will have a permanent monopoly on the provision of IANA functions, or whether each of the affected communities – names, numbers and protocols – will have the right to choose the operator of their global registries. Separability is explicitly recognized by the Cross community working group on Names as a principle to guide the transition, and was also listed as a requirement by the CRISP team. And the IETF has had an agreement with ICANN giving them separability since 2000 (RFC 2860<https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2860>).  Yet despite the wishes of the community, ICANN seems to insist on a monopoly and seems to be exploiting the transition process to get one.

Of course, a severable contract for the IANA functions is the most effective and important form of accountability. If the users of IANA are locked in to a single provider, it is more difficult to keep the IANA responsive, efficient and accountable. Given the implications of these actions for the accountability CCWG, I hope someone on that list will forward this message to their list, if someone has not noted this event already.

Milton L Mueller
Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor
Syracuse University School of Information Studies
Internet Governance Project

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