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

manning bill bmanning at isi.edu
Sun Aug 31 19:33:08 UTC 2014

Neca eos omnes.  Deus suos agnoscet.

On 31August2014Sunday, at 11:50, John Curran <jcurran at istaff.org> wrote:

> 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.

yes and no.   we really don’t have a functional worked example of an emergent community engaging with the IANA since the previous
century, before ICANN came into existence.  In each of the three identified cases of IANA stewardship, the attributes were developed by
the (then) existent community and were vested by that community to/with the IANA (nee Postel).   He started the process of pushing the 
responsibility back to the communities - in the case of the RIRs, with the enabling of RIR control of address space.   In the case of the 
protocols, the IETF emerged from its ancestor(s) which already had agreement in place to vest the IANA (nee Postel) with the role of 
steward of agreed on protocol parameters.   

> 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

Agree with the first sentence.  Not with the second however (unless we look at the 
specific methods by which emergent new  technologies and their respective policy
development structures want to connect their systems/networks into other parts of
the Internet (the use of the word global is either redundant or misplaced)).

> (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.

Agreed that IANA accountability and ICANN accountability are wildly divergent topics.


> FYI,
> /John
> Disclaimer: my views alone.

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