[discuss] FW: USG- IANA relationship (was: Interesting article)

Pranesh Prakash pranesh at cis-india.org
Wed Jan 22 16:31:06 UTC 2014

Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> [2014-01-22 16:13:46 +0000]:
> -----Original Message-----
> >Until the USG decides to let IANA go, which will require an 
> >act of Congress 
> Surprised to see this go unchallenged. The IANA contract was not created or authorized by Congress and it is unclear whether Congress has any authority over it whatsoever. 

The idea that it requires an Act of Congress arises from a misunderstanding of the different "Sense of the House" resolutions that the US Senate and House have passed over the years.

1. The only one that explicitly mentions IANA (Sen. Res. 564, 2008) *was not* passed, as John (Curran) pointed out.
2. In the US, "Sense of" resolutions are not law and are not legally binding.  They are merely indications of the sense of the House/Senate.
3. If previous resolutions, like H. Con. Res. 268 (2005) is anything to go by, then:
"the authoritative root zone server should remain physically located in the United States", whatever that is supposed to mean.  As far as I know, the WIDE Project was not shut down by the USG in response to that Sense of the House resolution.

The US Congress could not prevent AlterNIC, the Open Root Server Network, or any of the other alternative systems that have existed over the years.  Further, the US Congress has limited jurisdiction, and other states and non-US corporations fall outside that.

There are far more pressing problems for shifting away from the current model than some Congressional resolutions.  

Pranesh Prakash
Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society
T: +91 80 40926283 | W: http://cis-india.org
Access to Knowledge Fellow, Information Society Project, Yale Law School
M: +1 520 314 7147 | W: http://yaleisp.org
PGP ID: 0x1D5C5F07 | Twitter: https://twitter.com/pranesh_prakash
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