[discuss] Roadmap for globalizing IANA

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Sat Mar 8 22:37:34 UTC 2014

From: parminder [mailto:parminder at itforchange.net]

>Everyone's eye is on the one big knotty problem on the CIR side of global IG - the >oversight of ICANN..... It is not clear whether Milton and Brenden's proposal at all >attempts to solve this problem.

Oh, it is _very_ clear that we do NOT attempt to solve or comprehensively reform ICANN as policy maker. We _explicitly_ say so and in fact make it a principle: the globalization of the IANA functions should be separated from the reform of ICANN's policy making process. They are two distinct problems. They cannot be solved at once.

> They wish to create a new entity with an extremely unclear status, role and
> authority.

Uh, no. the DNSA  has a very clear status, very clear role, and very clear authority. I presume you have read the proposal.

>- and that too with no oversight above it at all, which seems to make this control > rather absolute, whether Milton and Brenden actually say this or not.

Odd, we thought you might like the idea that oversight of the DNSA would involve every ccTLD and gTLD in the world, including those that are state owned or regulated, those that are multistakeholder, those that are private. You seem to be impervious to the fact that accurate and secure root zone management is in the direct self-interest of TLD registries as a group. (You do know what a TLD registry is, don't you?)

> However, at the same time is seems that this new entity is
> the Principal in the implied contract, which it can award to

I guessed you missed the messages in which we directly asserted the opposite. The DNSA is not the principal.

> Evidently, despite the proponents best effort at sugar-coating
> the fact, the new entity would exercise a de facto oversight role
> over ICANN, by being the Principal of the contract between them

DNSA having oversight over ICANN? Only in the sense that if ICANN abused its authority and managed to alienate practically every domain name registry in the world, a DNSA would be in a position to check that abuse by refusing to honor ICANN requests (and bearing the legal consequences). By this logic, one might say that the root server operators currently have oversight authority over the NTIA.

Of course, we do explicitly recognize the need for additional reform that would make ICANN itself more accountable.

> Can a trade association be trusted to exercise such a role?

Characterizing the DNSA as a "trade association" is inaccurate. I would say that it might be "dishonest" also, but based on your comments I cannot be sure whether you have actually read the proposal. So I cannot say whether this error is based on ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation.

Parminder, I know of your intense interest in ending unilateral U.S. oversight. Please tell me what you replace it with if you don't like our ideas. All I've seen from you so far is a purely ideological call for an "immediate end" to the IANA contract, and no specification of any institutional framework for its replacement. A challenge to US unilateral control may have been appropriate in 2005 (of course, IGP was ahead of you there, as usual) but we are well beyond the point where mere finger-pointing and noise-making at a problem produces progress. It's 10 years on, man, and it's time to put up or shut up.

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