[IANAtransition] Can we refocus the discussion? (Was re: The ONLY IANA Registry that Really Matters is the IPv4 Address Space)

Jordan Carter jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Mon Apr 21 03:23:26 UTC 2014

On 21 April 2014 02:31, Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com>wrote:

> On 21/04/2014 07:41, Milton L Mueller wrote:
> > The gigantic hole in your argument, Barry (and Mike) lies here:
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >> At this point I tend to believe IANA should just become an ICANN
> >> function with some sort of straightforwad oversight and accountability
> structure.
> >
> > Tell, me what that "oversight and accountability structure" is.
> > I guarantee you, if you think about it seriously and come up with an
> actually functioning and effective accountability structure that leaves
> IANA inside ICANN, it will not be simpler, and may be a lot more complex,
> than what IGP proposed.
> >
> > I'm expecting an answer.
> My answer would be:
> 1. A supervsiory Council of Registrars as proposed by IAHC in 1997.
> (This is not CORE as it exists today, of course.)

Would this be to replicate the sort of external oversight over what IANA
does that the various other IANA customers (other than the names bit)
already have?

To my mind, your objective here might be similar to my objective: making
sure that IANA is structured and overseen in a way that prevents it going
off the rails - in perpetuity - after the NTIA is gone. Is that a fair

My issue with your proposed approach is that I don't understand the detail
of what its role would be, and I apologise if in this very thick email
discussion I've missed the reference.

>From my experience, a clean structural separation is an easy and relatively
efficient way to achieve the same. But that's all for the stage once this
process is sorted out...

> 2. A strategy to dissolve ICANN in its present form and
> reconstitute it as an NGO in a more neutral jurisdiction
> (with transitional arrangements for existing commercial
> contracts).

Woah. This would seem to be a far bigger deal than anything which has been
proposed so far on this lists.  What would be the objective of such a

> 3. A poison pill added to the Articles of Incorporation
> of the current California corporation to ensure that the
> above two points stick or ICANN dissolves itself anyway.
> I have a question, too: if IANA was separated from ICANN,
> why would ICANN still exist? Unless I am deeply misunderstanding
> the work of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, ICANN
> is a powerless and pointless shell without it.
If IANA was separated from ICANN, the point would be to protect its
independent operation and remove the ability of ICANN to mis-direct it,
which is always possible if it's vertically integrated within ICANN.

I fear some see a separated IANA as a wandering beast, attached to and
accountable to nobody. That certainly isn't how I see it. It would be the
implementing agency for things ICANN makes policy for (in respect of
names), the RIRs/NRO etc make policy for (numbers),  and the IETF's bodies
make policy for (protocol parameters).

It would have tight contracts / MoUs etc with all those policy bodies and a
fundamentally limited scope and role: to serve them well.

ICANN would remain relevant as the overall steward of the system (which it
would be much less conflicted in doing, if it didn't operate IANA as well),
and would be the authoritative forum for doing things like:

* TLD delegations and re-delegations
* Registry contracts for gTLDs
* Registrar contracts and framework for gTLDs
* making global policy for ccTLDs
* IDN TLD delegations

etc etc ... almost everything it does now, presumably, would be on the list.

It'd be the multistakeholder steward of the DNS, and the policy space where
many of the issues relating to it are discussed and resolved.

I don't think any of those things are pointless. Do you?

Have I missed something?


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