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

Ian Peter ian.peter at ianpeter.com
Thu Feb 20 07:56:51 UTC 2014

Hi Mike,

You make some good points below and I think your wording as regards 
dimensions of an acceptable solution are good and worth utilising. I am 
wondering if we should attempt some sort of submission to the Brazil meeting 
on a roadmap for this issue. Your words, and Georges, are a good start.

But I wonder if a coherent statement is possible here or whether there is a 
better chance of some statement emanating from some other forum. As you 
mention, there are elements within the ICANN structure (and indeed 
elsewhere) who will resist any change. Some will change their mind if there 
is a better proposition, but some simply will not. They have power to lose.

Some of these elements are upfront and honest about their resistance to any 
change. Others however, will just dig in and resist while not declaring that 
their actions are designed to preserve a status quo. We have a bit of each 
here. Those resisting may have the power to delay any action for a very long 
time - as evidenced by this issue being on the books for over a decade.

The choice here is ICANN's. From the Montevideo statement, I read 
willingness to change. If ICANN wants to be part of the solution, it will 
have to find a way to ensure that it is able to act in an efficient and 
timely manner. If it can't, other solutions will be sought and advanced.

Ian Peter

-----Original Message----- 
From: Mike Roberts
Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2014 2:23 PM
To: discuss at 1net.org List
Subject: [discuss] Possible approaches to solving "problem no. 1"

Some weeks ago, George set us on our current course with an excellent 
problem statement, which included a list of criteria or attributes of the 
new "place," that IANA might occupy.

"5. Acceptable solutions for assignment of the IANA root zone function 
should meet several criteria: (1) protection of the root zone from political 
or other improper interference; (2) integrity, stability, continuity, 
security and robustness of the administration of the root zone; (3) 
widespread [international] trust by Internet users in the administration of 
this function; (4) support of a single unified root zone; and (5) agreement 
regarding an accountability mechanism for this function that is broadly 
accepted as being in the global public interest."

Subsequently, there has been good progress on addressing the substance of 
his memo, and related issues.  With occasional forays into dead ends, which 
I think have been adroitly dealt with in the last day or two via the 
"conflated" notes.

As we near the dates for the Sao Paulo meeting, it is my impression that we 
have made more progress on the manner and process of IANA traveling from 
Point A - the status quo- to Point B - the new geotechnical niche, than we 
have in outlining the dimensions of the new home.  To push the metaphor, we 
have a street address, but at that location currently there is a pile of 

At the risk of (a) violating George's dictum to deal with issues in chewable 
bites, and (b) hazarding solutions to problems that have not been defined, 
or at the least not adequately vetted, I draw your attention to Patrik's 
post of today on the recent position statements of Swedish government 
officials on the matter before us.


To state the obvious, these are carefully constructed, diplomatically 
nuanced, statements by individuals who know what they are talking about.

I draw two conclusions from what I read here.

- the solution space for IANA, and IG generally, very definitely involves 
governments.  To those who might prefer something else, I offer three 
words,"Get Over It."  Years ago, Jon Postel said, "Governments do count." 
Some things don't change.

- the destination space for IANA and ICANN, assuming they continue to be 
conjoined, must be superior in several respects to the status quo in order 
to gain the support of the IG stakeholders who hold veto power for one 
reason or another.  In particular, it must:

   - offer a legal structure that is no less robust against rogue litigation 
attacks than is the current arrangement, where the USG provides a solid 

   - be aligned with the Internet technical infrastructure in a way that 
supports innovative, technology based evolution of the DNS as good as or 
better than currently exists.

   - be a political "safe harbor" or "neutral corner" that convinces 
governments, with good motives and bad, to leave it alone to do its 
important job.

Finally, we should not underestimate the extent to which ICANN has, under 
recent management, solidified its support among important stakeholder 
groups.  As evidenced by submissions to this list, among other things, a 
number of them do not yet see a persuasive rationale for moving from Point A 
to Point B.  Until they do, not much is going to happen.


- Mike


discuss mailing list
discuss at 1net.org

More information about the discuss mailing list