[discuss] Problem definition 1, version 4

George Sadowsky george.sadowsky at gmail.com
Tue Jan 21 02:28:36 UTC 2014

Purpose of this message

To distribute version 4 of the problem statement.  Point 3 has been added, and an additional criterion for an acceptable solution, currently (4) has been added.

In addition, words have been added to make more precise some of the criteria for an acceptable solution.


This is version 4 of the problem statement.  Thanks to all who have helped to improve the original definition.

I suggest that we let this stand for about 24 hours in the event that there are further changes or objections.

At the same time, let's start thinking about how we might want to proceed to outline potential solutions.  My sense is that we might start by enumerating them, each with a very short description, and then, only after a period of enumeration, start to evaluate their advantages and disadvantages using both the criteria in paragraph 5 below and other criteria.

So, if I may, last call for comments on the problem specification .....

P1 (ver.4). US Government involvement in IANA root zone 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.  The members of the team that performs the IANA functions are 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 authorizes changes made to the root zone by verifying that ICANN abides by publicly documented policies prior to the changes being submitted for implementation.

3. It has been a requirement for the contractor providing the IANA function to be a US organization, resulting in the provision of the IANA function being subject to US law and the decisions of the US judiciary.

4. 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.

5. A solution is needed for the IANA root zone function that meets 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 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 perceived to be in the global public interest. 

6. A number of potential changes have been proposed; however, there has been no consensus that any of them are broadly acceptable.

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