[discuss] Roadmap for globalizing IANA

Douglas Onyango ondouglas at gmail.com
Sun Mar 9 22:03:00 UTC 2014

Dear Milton,
I have read the proposal with alot of interest because while man have
expressed their discontent with the status quo, I haven't seen any one
bring a proposal this far yet. My comments:

*Principle #1: Completely separate root zone file modification from

Whilst I agree that the separation is important, it must be noted that
contractually, this is the status-quo: ICANN makes policy and IANA is
responsible for "the coordination of the assignment of technical Internet
protocol parameters." Given that the IANA function is being fulfilled by
ICANN I would assume this would give rise to outsiders construing this as a
conflict of interest and at the same time lead to possible blurring of
lines within ICANN of the two functions --- and by extension contracts.

Principle #4: De-link IANA globalization from broader ICANN reforms

I agree with this principle to the extent that the policy and governance
layer above the DNSA (ICANN??) is globally representative and can serve the
interests of the larger internet community; and to the extent that the
framework allows discretion for this global entity to compel DNSA (IANA &
Root zone maintainer) to works within the remit of policies & processes set
by this entity. Unfortunately this entity is not address in this proposal
--- more about this later.

Principle #2: Don't internationalize political oversight: end it

I have a particular problem with DNSA-related & root zone maintainer
functions being controlled by only registry operators: IMHO the vast
majority of registries have either political or monetary motivation and
given the slightest opportunity, abuse would be inevitable. If this were a
purely  root-zone-maintainer function where the SoW was "execute orders
from above", that would be ok, but recall your proposal is a merger of IANA
function and the root zone maintainer which causes a bit of concern.

I have also noticed a conspicuous absence of anything in your proposal on
the USG-ICANN (not IANA) contract. With the IANA contract gone, I would
expect more than ever that any power in the USG-ICANN contract would be
checked;  failure to do so leaves USG with unilateral power to influence
the policy making process --- which as you recall will be the only body
with the "brains" in the new ecosystem.

My suggestion is a modification of the proposal to:

1.                   End unilateral USG oversight over ICANN and replace
the USG oversight over ICANN with something more geographical et al
representative:  multi stakeholder, multilateral etc.? I don't know yet --
but the principle should be true representation of all stakeholders.

2.                   ICANN continues to develop policy and provide a
governance layer over the DNSA

3.                   Once the IANA technical contract is ended, ICANN signs
a contract with DNSA which performs technical function based on the
policies and stays under  supervision of ICANN


On 3 March 2014 14:52, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:

>  Dear all:
> Today IGP released an innovative proposal to resolve the 15-year
> controversy over the United States government's special relationship to the
> Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
> http://www.internetgovernance.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/ICANNreformglobalizingIANAfinal.pdf
> The proposal, which involves removing root zone management functions from
> ICANN and creating an independent and neutral private sector consortium to
> take them over, will be presented at the Singapore ICANN meeting March 21,
> and has also been submitted to the "NETMundial" Global Multistakeholder
> Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance in *São *Paulo, Brazil,
> April 23 and 24.
> We propose four basic principles to guide the reform of the IANA
> functions: 1. Keep the IANA function clerical; separate it from policy; 2.
> Don't internationalize political oversight: end it; 3. Align incentives to
> ensure the accuracy and security of root zone maintenance; 4. De-link
> globalization of the IANA function from broader ICANN policy process
> reforms. Even if there are quibbles about the details of the proposal, we
> look forward to gaining agreement on those principles, and are willing to
> entertain any proposals that embody them.
> Milton Mueller
> Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies
> http://faculty.ischool.syr.edu/mueller/
> _______________________________________________
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> discuss at 1net.org
> http://1net-mail.1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

Douglas Onyango, PRINCE 2, ITILv3
UG: +256 772 712 139 | NG: +234 813 604 7638
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