[discuss] discuss Digest, Vol 3, Issue 67

Phil Corwin psc at vlaw-dc.com
Mon Feb 17 17:27:20 UTC 2014

Well that's a conjecture that even senior ICANN officials have made publicly within the past few days---

Asked if it's practical for ICANN and the IANA functions to disentangle themselves from the U.S., [ICANN Vice President-Europe Nigel] Hickson said the U.S. Congress could probably pass legislation to change the relationship, but it would have to be done in a way that satisfies both political parties.
-- "European Commission Policy Statement Envisions Less U.S. Influence in Internet Governance"; Washington Internet Daily, February 13, 2014

Philip S. Corwin, Founding Principal
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-----Original Message-----
From: John Curran [mailto:jcurran at istaff.org] 
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2014 12:14 PM
To: Phil Corwin
Cc: discuss at 1net.org
Subject: Re: [discuss] discuss Digest, Vol 3, Issue 67

On Feb 17, 2014, at 11:13 AM, Phil Corwin <psc at vlaw-dc.com> wrote:

> On the subject of whether the IANA contract/root zone authority is US 
> government property, and whether DOC/NTIA has independent authority to 
> transfer or would require authorizing legislation, see 
> http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO/OGC-00-33R
> " (11) it is uncertain whether transferring control would also include transfer of government property to a private entity; (12) to the extent that transition of the management control to a private entity would involve the transfer of government property, it is unclear if Commerce has the requisite authority to effect such a transfer"
> While a 2000 study, DOC stated at that time that the answer would require extensive legal analysis it had not conducted -- and still has not to this day, so far as I am aware.

That was my understanding as well - based on all information available, the question remains open at this time.

> So the answer is that the IANA contract may require validating 
> legislative approval prior to transfer to any other entity, be it a 
> new multistakeholder or multilateral entity or ICANN itself,

Indeed - it _may_ require validating legislative approval, or it _may not_ require validating legislative approval.

> and that regardless of the answer to that legal inquiry NTIA might want at least informal Congressional sanctioning before embarking on what could be a very controversial divestiture.

There is a vast difference between informal congressional consultation and requiring authorizing legislation; assertions that it would require the latter are not backed in evidence, i.e. conjecture at this time.


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