[discuss] A final revision of Problem Statement No. 1?

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Sat Feb 15 16:29:19 UTC 2014

Some editorial, some factual and a few substantive changes in George's last draft.
Sorry that this email forum does not permit a track changes function.

Appendix 1: Problem Statement from the 1net list

1. The Internet Assigned Names and Numbers Authority (IANA) has as one of its functions the administration of changes in the Internet DNS root zone file. The team that performs the IANA functions is employed by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

2. ICANN has a zero-cost contract with the US government to perform the IANA functions. The US government approves all changes made to the root zone.  Another contractor to the US government, Verisign, operates the authoritative root zone file and its contract requires it to implement changes approved by the US government.

3. It has been a requirement for the contractor providing the IANA function to be incorporated, maintain a physical address, and perform the IANA functions in the US, resulting in the provision of the IANA function being subject to US law and political influence.

4. Objections have been raised to US government involvement in this process on several grounds, including exclusivity and concerns of trust. Objections have also been raised to movement of the function to various intergovernmental organizations.

5. Acceptable solutions for assignment of the IANA root zone function should meet several criteria: (1) protection of root zone management from political or other improper interference; (2) integrity, stability, continuity, security and robustness of the administration of the root zone; (3) widespread trust by Internet users in the administration of this function; (4) support of a globally interoperable root zone; and (5) agreement regarding an accountability mechanism for this function.

6. A number of potential solutions have been proposed; however, there has been no consensus on any of them.

Milton Mueller
Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies
Internet Governance Project

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