[CWG-Stewardship] Fwd: [CCWG-ACCT] Ominous update on the IANA transition

Greg Shatan gregshatanipc at gmail.com
Thu Apr 30 14:29:30 UTC 2015

I am forwarding the email below, as it will be of interest to this group as
well.  It would also be of interest to hear the views of those who are
involved in the process (to the extent that is possible given ongoing

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Edward Morris <egmorris1 at toast.net>
Date: Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 10:14 AM
Subject: [CCWG-ACCT] Ominous update on the IANA transition
To: Accountability Cross Community <accountability-cross-community at icann.org


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>
Date: Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 2:27 PM
Subject: Ominous update on the IANA transition
To: 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
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
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

Milton L Mueller

Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor

Syracuse University School of Information Studies


Internet Governance Project


Accountability-Cross-Community mailing list
Accountability-Cross-Community at icann.org
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