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

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Tue Mar 18 00:55:19 UTC 2014

From: Steve Crocker [mailto:steve at shinkuro.com]

>The actual obligation is to meet the needs of the community, particularly the several groups that depend >on the IANA publication of the unique identifiers.  The IETF, the TLD operators, the RIRs and the root >operators all pay close attention to the IANA function and all have a strong say in the performance.  These >accountability and feedback mechanisms are in place

Really? What are the accountability mechanisms by which, say, the IETF could bring the IANA-in-ICANN to account in the absence of the NTIA contract? What leverage does, say, a TLD operator hold over ICANN's IANA that could correct aberrant behavior (again assuming the NTIA contract disappears)?

We can rule out the following accountability mechanisms:
- they cannot shift their business to another service provider.
- they cannot sue you
- they cannot hire or fire staff
- they cannot recall the ICANN board
- they cannot vote in board elections

Unless I am mistaken, none of these options exist.

>NTIA's formal contract has been a visible but largely redundant overlay, and to the extent they have said >anything about the performance of the IANA function, they have been reflecting input given to them from >the same bodies.

Why would they be giving that input to NTIA, I wonder, rather than, say, the ICANN board?

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