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

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Sun Jun 22 16:28:06 UTC 2014

On Jun 22, 2014, at 4:17 PM, willi uebelherr <willi.uebelherr at gmail.com> wrote:
> Experienced Internet Veterans Return to ICANN to Support Global Engagement and Technical Excellence
> https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2014-06-20-en

I'd like to also take this opportunity to congratulate David on his return 
to ICANN; ICANN gains an extremely knowledgable and skilled leader in the 
process, and that can only benefit the global community which relies upon 
ICANN's reliable execution of mission.

> ...
> The DNS is very simple. We organize it decentral and define a small protocol for distribution the local/regional definitions.
> But after then, we don't need ICANN! Of course, they can make a theater in Miami or Los Angeles. It is not important for us. It is a local function.

Willi - You actually are quite correct, in that no one really needs ICANN...
You are free to use the IP protocol as you see fit; you can use it with any
IP addresses you wish (as long as you're communicating with others who share 
the same coordination), and you really don't need to use DNS if you don't want 
(or, again, are free to use it with your own configuration, to the extent that 
you're coordinating with others who take the same approach.)

The IETF nicely provides for default coordination of necessary parameters for 
its protocols; it does this by defining registries and arranging for there to
be an "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority" (IANA) to keep track of values for
these parameters.  In the case of parameters which are not technical (i.e. not
code points or particular protocol options), the IETF has also seen to delegate
policy authority for how values of these "general-purpose" registries should do
their assignments.  This is rather wise, since identifier spaces which are very
large and assigned to real-world entities globally often run into interesting
non-technical policy issues, and delegation of the policy authority allow for
wider participation in policy development than simply the technical community.
In particular, it increases ability for government and civil society participation 
in the oversight of the administration, which is quite appropriate when these 
otherwise voluntary mechanisms become so ubiquitous in their deployment that 
due consideration of the potential for public policy implications is warranted
in their administration.

You don't have to make use of these default parameter coordination arrangements 
when doing your own communications, but be advised that many, many folks find 
that these arrangements are very convenient; one might even argue that these 
IANA registry arrangements have had a foundational role in the success of the 
Internet that we all enjoy today.


Disclaimer: My views alone.

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