[discuss] FW: [IP] GOP, Dems Clash Over Online Domain Name Oversight/reality check

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Mon Apr 14 15:58:15 UTC 2014

The point of my original forwarding of the message and of my note was to
indirectly point out that this discussion has to all intents and purposes
taken its framing from an assumption of functionalities and actions
emanating from the USG.


What the discussion has not taken into account, as is pointed to in the
article is the dysfunctionalities of the US political system and how that
might at some point (perhaps even sooner rather than later) impinge on the
global functioning of the global Internet "system".


And of particular note here I'm questioning why a (presumably) global
discussion of a global system should be taking as its basic framing
assumption the functionality and actions of one (major but still only one)
element of that global system  The implication of this of course being, that
a global discussion of a global system should be looking at contingencies
and scenarios where the dysfunctionalities prevail and the global system has
to figure out ways of routing around these.




From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf
Of joseph alhadeff
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 6:22 AM
To: Milton L Mueller; discuss at 1net.org
Subject: Re: [discuss] FW: [IP] GOP, Dems Clash Over Online Domain Name
Oversight/reality check



I guess I see these as two discussions which could be developed on parallel
and potentially/likely intersecting paths (one narrowly focused, the other,
more broadly conceptualized) but any outcome would still need to meet the
NTIA criteria.  I see no downside to discussions of a range of mechanisms of
governance, but discussing the possibility of Congressional action seems
less productive.  I am also concerned that when we speak of democratic
inclusiveness from those potentially impacted, we also keep in mind the
operational requirements of the Internet and governance mechanisms.  Even
the more symbolic oversight functions require some level of knowledge of the
ecosystem and implications of decisions on that ecosystem.  While a large
number of users may well be potentially impacted, the vast majority of them
have little knowledge of the working of DNS systems and related technology
or the nuances of principles of governance.  How do we include them?  I try
to stay away from exclusionary language, but an not sure how to accommodate
the realities of not every conversation or decision-making process being
appropriate for, or open to, all people...



On 4/14/2014 9:01 AM, Milton L Mueller wrote:



>There is a challenge on the table to develop a solution that will credibly 

> meet the NTIA conditions.  To date that is at best a work in progress.  

> You don't need to have Congressional action for a failure to meet those 

> criteria to result in the status quo.  The best path forward on these

> is to develop a truly credible  solution that protects stability,

> and unity while remaining a non-governmental, multistakeholder solution, 

> not subject to capture or subversion by those elements that would try to 

> make the Internet less open.  


Agreed, we need to focus on the IANA transition, and general discussions of
what is democracy do not contribute to that. However, it is legitimate for
people to relate specific proposals to broader governance principles.
Indeed, that is unavoidable. 


As for developing solutions, there are a number of specific plans on the
table. The IGP proposal is one, but I am still a big fan of the InternetNZ
diagrams, which parse out the various activities and functions and show how
different proposals might structure them.


I would propose this as a reference point for discussion. There is plenty of
constructive activity and discussion that can happen if we start with that. 


What is not helpful, or constructive, is for ICANN's scoping document to
tell us that any such discussion is out of scope. That gambit has completely
derailed constructive planning and proposal-making around the transition.
That is why we and many others have rejected the scoping document and
proposed a modified version here:



On 4/13/2014 9:53 AM, michael gurstein wrote:

Accepting for the moment the argument that the USG has been completely
benign and acting completely in support of the global public interest in its
stewardship of the Internet,  shouldn't someone somewhere be doing the deep
thinking involved in figuring out what to do if/when the USG/Congress says
to the world. "The Internet is ours, we paid for it, and you can't have it
or you can have it only on our terms. (or the diplomatic/technical
equivalent). and without of course, having any clear idea of what that does
(or could) mean.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dewayne Hendricks <dewayne at warpspeed.com>
Date: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] GOP, Dems Clash Over Online Domain Name Oversight
To: Multiple recipients of Dewayne-Net <dewayne-net at warpspeed.com>

Apr 10 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican opposition to Obama administration plans to
spin off U.S. oversight of the Internet's domain name system is evolving
into an election-year political fight, with GOP lawmakers using it as the
latest front in their attacks on President Barack Obama's trustworthiness.

"We've seen enough out of this administration and its imperial presidency
politics that I'm not going to just give them a blank pen and then walk
away," Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said Thursday as a House subcommittee he
chairs voted to impose a one-year delay in implementing any changes so
congressional investigators could study the issue.

The party-line 16-10 vote came as administration officials defended their
proposal at other congressional hearings. And Democratic lawmakers said
Republican warnings that the Internet could be turned over to hostile
governments were the stuff of fantasy.

"It's not a conspiracy or a digital black helicopter," Rep. Anna Eshoo,
D-Calif., said in a sarcastic reference to 1990s-era claims by some militias
and other right-wing groups about government surveillance aircraft. "It's a
plan, and I think it's time to move forward with it."

The back and forth comes during a campaign season in which Republicans have
vilified Obama as exceeding his powers by taking steps such as delaying
various deadlines set by his health care overhaul law, which they solidly

The latest dispute is over an administration announcement last month that it
wants to give up its oversight of the non-profit U.S. corporation that
manages the Internet's system of addresses, such as www.ap.org.

That entity - the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - has
allocated domain names and the numerical addresses to which they are
attached since 1998. Ever since, ICANN's work has been overseen by the
Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information

"We are not giving up our leadership role," Lawrence Strickling, who heads
the NTIA, told members of the House Judiciary Committee. "We are stepping
out of clerical functions we currently perform."

Shedding oversight of how ICANN distributes addresses is a long-planned,
logical next step, administration officials say. They say the move would
still leave the U.S. with a voice on advisory committees and other entities
that make decisions about larger questions about Internet policies.

The Obama administration and ICANN say decisions about who would take the
current U.S. oversight role will be made by companies, engineers, nonprofit
groups, governments and other Internet users - the same way many decisions
about Internet policy are currently made.

"Everyone is at the table with equal voice," ICANN's president and CEO, Fadi
Chehade, told the Judiciary panel. "The model works, and it works very

Critics say there is no way to know what new entity would take the
administration's role, or what other changes might occur should the U.S.
lose leverage with the domain assigning corporation The U.S. government has
had a series of contracts with ICANN since 1998, with the current one
expiring in September 2015 - with two two-year renewals possible.


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