[discuss] Roadmap for globalizing IANA

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Tue Mar 11 17:23:01 UTC 2014

-----Original Message-----
From: Douglas Onyango [mailto:ondouglas at gmail.com] 

> I think the real issue, as I see it is the appreciation of how intrinsically 
> linked the two are - especially in as far as they relate to IG. Just the 
> technical operations of the root zone cannot be referred to as IG 
> IMHO. This is why, I view your proposal as an attempt to resolve a 
> subset of the problem and my response, and proposal, an attempt 
> to look at the bigger picture

Absolutely! We are trying to break down the problem and solve a smaller part of it. We did this after agonizing for years about the overall reform of ICANN. We think that reform of the policy making process - which involves complex issues like the role of governments, whether we need a new international treaty or not, whether ICANN re-incorporates in Geneva or somewhere outside the US - is more difficult and in some ways more important. But in fact, you can't solve those issues properly until the IANA problem is solved first. IANA contract prevents ICANN from moving out of the US. And if ICANN controls IANA without any oversight, or with the wrong kind of political oversight, it may be impossible to reform the ICANN policy process in the future. ICANN could just ignore us and proceed on its way in full control. 

> Working with the "end in mind" habit, do you honestly feel that moving 
> the technical IANA function from ICANN will solve the problem? I think 
> not entirely:  it may take care of some politics by mooting NTIA's 
> "Administrator" function and curing the perception that IANA being 
> housed within ICANN compromises its integrity, 

Yes, you are right, that is all it does. But I remain convinced that we have to do that first. Then take on the bigger issues in step 2. 

> but if ICANN maintains its relationship with the USG, this could still be construed 
> as unilateral control of the root zone, and by extension the internet, by 
> controlling the policy function :-).

To some extent. Your concern is not frivolous. However, as things stand now the only real undesirable control the US can be said to have over policy is its latent authority to yank the IANA contract. The AoC is objectionable on some substantive grounds and because of its unilateralism, but it is pretty weak and in some ways fairly community-driven in its implementation, so I don't think a delay in the reform of the AoC and the policy side is going to let the U.S. exert undue influence over ICANN. 

> Based on my current understanding of the situation, I conditionally 
> support this proposal; condition is that this or another attempts to 
> resolve the remainder of the problem.

Thanks! We are working on ideas to solve the remainder. But we calculated that it was too big a ball of gum for the Brazil meeting to chew on.

More information about the discuss mailing list