[discuss] Possible approaches to solving "problem no. 1"

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Fri Feb 14 14:35:58 UTC 2014

Great message, Ian. I cannot tell you how strongly I agree with this:

>I must admit I was hoping for more than an interesting discussion here.
> I think we have been talking about this for well over a decade.
> I think we would achieve broad consensus here for Option 3 -

George, sorry if I misinterpreted your message! It is because I apparently gave your aging memory too much credit ;-) and interpreted the distortion of the options as deliberate.

George raised an important question.

>However, under your #3 option, will the GAC have any say whatsoever
>in any IANA (or son of IANA, or new-name) decisions regarding the root
>zone file, and if so, under what terms?  The devil is in such details.

I think the answer to it is quite obvious and we ought to be able to reach agreement on it quickly. The answer is: of course not.

Policy development regarding what top level domain names are acceptable, what they are, how many there should be, abuses regardng how they are run, etc. should take place within ICANN's bottom up process. Final auditing of RZF changes should not be conceived as a way for states - or anyone else - to alter, supersede or short-circuit policy decisions made via a legitimate bottom up process regarding the domain name system. The IANA function should be clerical. Nor should it ever be used as leverage for non-DNS related foreign or economic policy objectives. By the way, that basic principle will form the basis of a position paper that IGP will release for the Brazil meeting.

So the role of governments - or of GAC, assuming that we retain it (which is by no means obvious imho) - is simply to do what they are already doing, which is to provide a channel for states to participate in and/or "advise" the bottom up process. Again, I think this is obvious and am somewhat surprised that we are still discussing it.

Back to Ian:

>If we could get to Brazil with a clear forward direction, I believe there
>is a strong chance that Brazil could actually have a useful outcome -
>acceptance of a direction for solution of the IANA oversight issue.
>That would be a good achievement.


Moreover, I would add that several years ago at an IGF consultation, a representative of the Brazilian government said, in reference to what we now call the "globalization of IANA," that an option that was consistently non-governmental was acceptable, and an  option that was consistently multilateral was acceptable. It was the inconsistent "One government uber alles" position of the status quo that he found unacceptable. So I think we can make progress here.

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