[discuss] ICANN accountability and Internet Governance Principles

Jordan Carter jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Wed Apr 2 05:56:13 UTC 2014

Hi all,

On 2 April 2014 06:07, Shatan, Gregory S. <GShatan at reedsmith.com> wrote:

> I think the symbolic function is not so symbolic.  It's not as concrete as
> NTIA's role as "approver" in the IANA workflow, but it is real nonetheless.
>  Whether you call it the "stewardship" role, indirect oversight over
> ICANN-other-than-IANA, or something else, it is the sense that the NTIA had
> the power to do something (through both the IANA Contract and the AoC) if
> things went dangerously awry at ICANN.  This was clearly demonstrated when
> the NTIA gave only a short-term extension to the IANA Contract not so long
> ago.

Do we need to disentagle stewardship? (Probably.)

* NTIA as the steward of the DNS
* NTIA as the systematic overseer of the DNS (NTIA helped generate ICANN's
formation, and with the IANA contract has a lever to move the IANA function
to another entity
* NTIA as specifier of the IANA and RZM functions
* NTIA as contractee for the IANA and RZM functions

To me the first is most nebulous to deal with in this transition, and the
second is the most difficult to deal with. When you break the sovereign
link and nobody outside the system can fundamentally change it any more,
what happens?

Is this second point a role that needs replacing? My instinct is that
without it, things get tricky. None of the current models under discussion
quite replace it.

> My gut instinct is that this "stewardship" role should be replaced in the
> IANA transition, not merely NTIA's role as "approver."

I agree.

> I don't believe that some new body needs to be created and then imbued
> with great power.  That is both unnecessary and dangerous.  Rather, we need
> to feel assured that the new oversight process/mechanism will provide a
> similar level of accountability and "checks and balances" that the NTIA
> relationship brings now.
I don't know whether or not we need a new institution because I don't know
whether a consensus will emerge about the systemic oversight role or the
steward role. It's difficult to see how the existing ICANN/ICANA, RIR,
IETF, ccTLDs etc institutional matrix answers that challenge.

> I don't think Milton and Brendan's proposal really does any of these
> things.  First, it is "out of scope" in my opinion, because it transitions
> the IANA function out of IANA-within-ICANN, into the hands of the DNSA.  I
> think it's fair to say that the NTIA envisioned keeping IANA within ICANN.

I think that misreads Larry Strickling's comments (as discussed elsewhere
today) and the text of the NTIA media release. NTIA didn't pre-judge this
question and if ICANN wants to have any credibility in managing an open
process to develop a transition for NTIA's role, it sure shouldn't be
prejudging that question either.



Jordan Carter

Chief Executive

04 495 2118 (office) | +64 21 442 649 (mob)
jordan at internetnz.net.nz
Skype: jordancarter

*To promote the Internet's benefits and uses, and protect its potential.*
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