[IANAtransition] IANA transition discussions at Netmundial

Jordan Carter jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Thu Apr 24 11:55:51 UTC 2014

Thanks Milton for this summary - Seun, there was no transcript as it was an
informal technical community - civil society discussion organised by the
BestBits coalition civil society gathering (someone correct me if I am

Thinking on the top of my head here...

If the "accountability" side of the issue is to be run in the second track,
separate from the direct IANA functions transition, then the plan that
deals with the latter has to be integrated with the outcomes of the former.

It would seem simpler to do that in one place. If it's on parallel tracks,
in the IANA transition process, there would need to be explicit
cross-checks made with the other track, and the conclusions of that other
track would need to be

a) referenced in the transition plan
b) complete before the transition plan is finalised

I didn't feel the discussion on Tuesday was pointed in respect of my
contribution or that of Chris Disspain. This whole discussion so far has
been more civil than I feared it would be.


On Thursday, 24 April 2014, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:

>  Important discussions regarding the IANA transition and the scoping
> document were held Tuesday at the Netmundial meeting. In discussions with
> civil society groups, the technical community and governments, there were
> pointed exchanges between me, Fadi Chehade and US Commerce Dept Asst
> Secretary Lawrence Strickling, and Jordan Carter.
> On the one hand, Strickling did not disavow the scoping document and
> seemed to imply that the IANA transition discussion would be more focused
> on the NTIA role.  However, both he and Fadi claimed that the transition
> discussions are taking two tracks: one is devoted narrowly to transitioning
> the IANA functions to ICANN, the other is devoted to ICANN accountability.
> Importantly, Strickling explicitly said that of course it was possible for
> the community to decide to separate the IANA functions from ICANN if it
> thought that was necessary to guarantee accountability. Indeed, he actually
> endorsed the idea of separating the policy making currently done by ICANN
> from the operational aspects currently executed by IANA. Mr. Strickling
> replied that NTIA would not end its supervisory role if the community was
> not convinced that adequate accountability measures were in place. Ergo, we
> have to discuss accountability as part of the IANA transition discussions.
> So the answer to the riddle seems to be that structural separation is on
> the table and not out of scope. But it is to be discussed and pursued
> primarily as part of the accountability track rather than the IANA
> transition track.
> There are still ambiguities created by the existence of these two tracks,
> however. Under no circumstances should it be allowed that the IANA
> functions are fully transferred to ICANN first, and the accountability
> issues solved later. We made it clear to Mr. Strickling that IANA
> transition and ICANN accountability must go together. Once ICANN is fully
> in control of IANA, neither NTIA nor the community would have any leverage
> to require it to adopt accountability measures.
> The discussion really should be an integrated one. It is about how to
> replace, or compensate for, the absence of, the NTIA role. The NTIA's role
> is now to:
> a) write the terms of the IANA contract
> b) decide who to give the contract to (which implies the abiity to
> withdraw it)
> c) review & authorize root zone changes before they are sent on to
> Verisign for publication.
> ICANN and its supporters on this list seem to be arguing that all we can
> discuss here is c)
> However, the USG, and the community as a whole, all agree that we also
> need to discuss a) and b)
> If all we are discussing here is c), then there is very little to discuss;
> it is true that in any transition, that role will simply go away. But
> adequate changes in b) and c) have to take place BEFORE c) can happen. So
> the accountability discussion really has to precede the discussion about c)

Jordan Carter
Chief Executive, InternetNZ

+64-21-442-649 | jordan at internetnz.net.nz

Sent on the run, apologies for brevity
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