[discuss] Problem statement P1
drc at virtualized.org
Sun Jan 19 21:06:17 UTC 2014
Thanks very much for this. A number of possibly pedantic quibbles in-line.
On Jan 19, 2014, at 8:59 AM, George Sadowsky <george.sadowsky at gmail.com> wrote:
> US Government involvement in IANA functions.
> 1. The Internet Assigned Names and Numbers Authority (IANA) has as one of its functions the vetting of changes in the Internet root zone file. IANA is a part of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
"IANA", a set of functions, is not a part of ICANN, rather the technical team that currently performs the IANA functions are employed by ICANN.
> 2. ICANN has a zero-cost contract with the US government to execute this IANA function.
ICANN performs the IANA functions as part of a zero-cost (to the USG) contract with the USG. ICANN pays for the performance of the IANA functions primarily through fees collected from gTLD registries and registrars. Other entities, e.g., the RIRs and a small number of ccTLDs, provide some funds to ICANN, however I believe the majority of the funding for the IANA functions comes from the gTLD registries/registrars.
> In addition, the US government formally approves IANA's recommendations for changes in the root zone file before they are distributed to root zone operators and anycast servers.
The USG authorizes changes made to the root zone as well as changes to the root zone's registration (aka "Whois") database by verifying ICANN abides by publicly documented policies prior to the changes being submitted to the Root Zone Maintainer for implementation.
> 3. Objections have been raised to US government involvement in this process on several grounds, including exclusivity and concerns of trust. Objections have equally been raised to movement of the function to several international organizations.
In addition to moving the IANA functions, it is probably important to make the distinction between the role of making the changes vs. the role of authorizing the changes as I believe the latter is what raises many (most?) of the concerns.
> 4. A solution is needed that meets several criteria: (1) protection of the root zone file from political or improper interference;
I would generalize this: protection of the IANA functions from improper interference. (I don't think the origin, political or not, matters in the context of 'improper")
> (2) integrity, stability, continuity, security and robustness of operation; (3) widespread trust by Internet users in the organization executing this function and in its administrative mechanisms;
I strongly suspect the vast majority of Internet users haven't even heard of the IANA functions, ICANN, etc., much less invest any sort of trust in those organizations. I believe Internet users, by and large, trust their Internet service providers and/or their regulators to ensure the administrivia doesn't get in the way.
> and (4) agreement regarding accountability that is broadly perceived to be in the global public interest.
This "global public interest" you speak of... what is that again? (:))
> 5. At present, no such solution appears to exist.
Rather, a number of potential solutions have been proposed, at least for the authorization role (e.g., give it to the ITU, give it to the GAC, give it to the IAB/IETF, etc). To date, there has been no consensus on any of those proposed solutions.
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