[discuss] shifts in IANA/accountability discussion: your thoughts?

Mike Roberts mmr at darwin.ptvy.ca.us
Sat Jun 21 15:21:06 UTC 2014

Milton’s points are well taken.

I think the distance between commentators on this point is one of solid and dotted lines.  Actually, two sets of them.

It has always been the case that IANA staff have looked to the individual sponsors of their several support activities for guidance.  And, with very few exceptions, ICANN Board and staff have deferred to that guidance.  So, a solid line for policy, subject to dotted line concurrence by ICANN Board.

But, in operational reality, there are disagreements which involve the law and lawyers (and diplomats and governments).  For both convenience and pragmatic reasons, as well as the NTIA contract, ICANN has exercised legal force where necessary - a seldom used power.  In this case, a solid line for dispute resolution, subject to dotted line advice and concurrence by the affected technical community.

- Mike

On Jun 21, 2014, at 8:00 AM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:

>> -----Original Message-----
>>> Insofar, the AoC Review Team model is not just a blueprint, it is a source of
>> inspiration which has to be further enhanced with regard to the specific
>> needs of the function or - as an achitect would argue - form follows function.
> I could not disagree more strongly. The AoC review team model is a perfect example of how not to create an accountable organization. It is ICANN reviewing itself. It's recommendations are voluntary. The procedure was bilaterally negotiated between the USG and ICANN. 
>> For instance, one could imagine an "IANA Stewardship Transition Plan" which
>> made plain the fact that the IANA registries are in fact "IETF IANA" registries,
>> with policy authority for the general-purpose registries (names, addresses)
>> having already been durably delegated to organizations which are
>> representative of the served communities (ICANN for DNS, RIRs for IP
>> address space); these registry organizations that agree to follow open and
>> transparent processes, and agree to have that confirmed periodically by well-
>> defined independent third-party multi-stakeholder review process (i.e. the
>> AoC review team model, as appropriately strengthened)
> This implies a separation of the 3 aspects of IANA, not their consolidation under ICANN. Also note that within ICANN, the DNS policy development process is under the direct control of ICANN staff and board, rather than a separate entity. This is why structural separation of the IANA functions from ICANN's policy development process is necessary. Or, if you prefer, keep IANA in ICANN but separate out the DNS policy making process. 
>> It would leverage some existing but strengthened accountability review
>> processes, and would leave the IAB/IETF at a safe and healthy distance from
>> such organizations, except in the rare case of an actual organizational failure
>> so significant that the independent review resulted in a finding that one of
>> these organizations was no longer representative of the served community;
> Would this finding result in a legally binding requirement of redelegation? If not, it isn't a real accountability mechanism.
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