[discuss] [governance] U.S. to Give Up Oversight of Web Policymaking Body

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Sun Mar 16 13:24:27 UTC 2014

On Mar 15, 2014, at 12:25 PM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:

> Furthermore, I would refer people back to the IGP plan, and the call to separate the globalization/reform of the IANA functions from the broader and more difficult reforms that must be made in ICANN's policy making process, domicile, etc. Parminder's comments confuse these two things. 

The existing co-mingling of overall Internet identifier coordination role, DNS policy 
development role, and IANA administration and implementation role (all within ICANN)
does make it difficult at times to keep track of which aspect we are talking about 
at any given moment... 

> Let's do one thing at a time, so that each can be done right. The distinction between ICANN's policy process, its corporate domicile, its contracts with registries, etc., with the globalization of the IANA functions has been reiterated many times on this list. We don't have to change everything about ICANN in one stage. Once the IANA functions are dealt with, a lot of options open up regarding the policy process.

I'd like to explore the various roles just a bit, so I can better understand what is 
really proposed in "the IGP plan".  To do this, I'd like to consider the tasks performed
for the generic case of IANA protocol parameter registries and then for the specific 
case of the DNS root zone registry, as revised per the IGP proposal.  

(I'll spare repeating all of the IETF registry background, but one can refer to for 
<http://1net-mail.1net.org/pipermail/discuss/2014-March/002434.html> for reference)

When the IETF specifies a protocol, there are often associated registries.  To a rough
approximation, the IESG is the policy development body (as it works with the community 
via working groups and approves the registry creation via the "IANA Considerations' 
section of an RFC) and the IAB is the registry authority.  Via the mechanisms in RFC 
6220 and per an MOU with ICANN (RFC 2860), the IAB has arranged for ICANN to perform 
the IANA registry administration and operations tasks.  In this role, IANA receives
requests from third parties to make entries in any IETF registry, and if they conform 
with the established policy for the registry then the entry is made.  This approach
encourages both clarity of registry policy as well as fair and impartial administration 
of the registry itself.  

The IAB also noted that some general-propose registries (DNS names and IP addresses) 
pose "policy issues", and per the MOU with ICANN recognizes that ICANN may have policy
which affect how those registries (such as the DNS root zone) are administered (and  
this is a good thing because the the IANA function contract with NTIA specifically 
calls for the IANA to follow ICANN policy when processing DNS root zone requests...)

With respect to DNS root zone, there is a significant difference being proposed in 
the roles under the IGP proposal, in that you have ICANN-sans-IANA performing policy 
development _and_ policy administration roles, i.e. from reading, it is hard to tell
if your new "DNSA" is only performing the clerical registry operations task, as opposed 
to the actual administration of policy via processing of incoming requests for changes 
from the community -  

  "The DNSA would require a binding contract with ICANN regarding the conditions 
   under which it would agree to implement changes in the root zone or other 
   associated databases to reflect policies emerging from ICANN’s policy development 
   processes. The contract should ensure that the DNSA has no policy authority but 
   merely implements valid requests for additions or deletions emerging from ICANN’s 
   policy process."

From the above, is the determination of a "valid request" performed first by ICANN
(and the result send to DNSA for processing), or does DNSA receive the "raw" request
and make the determination of validity in accordance with the established policy?
I believe you intended the former: ICANN-sans-IANA would the body which performs 
policy administration and it then sends only clerical direction for registry update 
to the DNSA, but could potentially read the proposal either way.


Disclaimer: My views alone.

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