[discuss] [IANAxfer] Two accountability questions - help pls- Workshop 23 - ICANN accountability

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Sun Aug 31 18:50:26 UTC 2014

On Aug 31, 2014, at 6:14 PM, manning bill <bmanning at isi.edu> wrote:

> a couple of thoughts for your consideration.
> 1)
> the IANA functions are or should be in support of any of the networks that may interconnect to form parts of the greater Internet.
> ICANN is responsible to …  those whom it selects to be accountable to.
> so IMHO, the IANA steward has a responsibility to any/all who utilize the addresses, protocols, and perhaps names that are part of 
> the Internet Protocol, regardless of any relationship (or not) with an ICANN defined group.

Bill -

That's a very problematic formulation, and one that actually makes the IANA
less accountable for correct registry operations, not more accountable.

Take the case of protocol parameters. The IETF is the entity which defines
the policies for management of the protocol parameters.  The IETF requires 
that the IANA operator follow these specifications and guidelines, and the
IANA operator is accountable for doing so faithfully. If the IANA operator
were to introduce (on behalf of "any/all who utilize the protocols") input
which was in any way contrary that specified by the IETF, then the IANA would 
be performing improperly, and in highly unaccountable and unpredictable manner.  

Accountability is where the IETF informs the IANA operator that it is not 
performing correctly (see RFC 2860, section 4) and moves to a new IANA 
registry operator after appropriate notice.  This is no different that 
terminating any other service provider that fails to perform.

The IANA operator has a responsibility to operate the registries faithfully
to the policies which are adopted and communicated to its by the various 
policy development organizations.  You seem to be conflating accountability
of these policy development organizations to the global Internet community
(specifically, to be open and transparent in their policy developments efforts)  
with accountability of the IANA operator (which is to the parties contracting
for IANA registry operation per adopted policy.)   This confusion is perhaps
understandable given that DNS policy development and the IANA services are 
both within one organization, making it very hard to establish meaningful 
contractual accountability mechanisms, but that does not mean that the 
accountability for the IANA tasks and ICANN's accountability are one and
the same topic.


Disclaimer: my views alone.

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