[discuss] [IANAxfer] [ccnso-igrg] Two accountability questions - help pls- Workshop 23 - ICANN accountability

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Thu Sep 4 09:14:55 UTC 2014

On Sep 4, 2014, at 11:53 AM, Jordan Carter <jordan at internetnz.net.nz> wrote:

> John,
> On 4 September 2014 11:47, John Curran <jcurran at istaff.org> wrote:
> On Sep 4, 2014, at 11:15 AM, Jordan Carter <jordan at internetnz.net.nz> wrote:
> > But: isn't the main debate the fact that there is a policy/operations separation for protocols and numbers, but not names?
> >
> > And that the simplest, most elegant way to achieve that for names is to put the IANA functions operator in a new box?
> Given that the IANA has been performing its tasks correctly, moving it will not
> meaningfully change the present situation or outcomes.
> It changes the accountability environment for names, with no difference for the other customers. Nobody wants to change the present operational situation per se.

It does, but only if you presume that each of the served communities has a clear
voice and can meaningfully contract for its portion of the IANA services.  Is this
your understanding as well?
> On the other hand, if the problem is that the DNS community does not have an
> independent voice with which to engage ICANN as a partner (rather than only
> having internal accountability mechanisms as deigned by the Board), that is a
> different situation and likely require something other than just moving the IANA
> to address.
> > (compared with gTLDs and ccTLDs having to form non-ICANN policy bodies... a nightmare if ever there was one)
> See above.
> Do you genuinely think it is easier to move the set of names stakeholders than it is to move the IANA functions operator, given their relative scale, diversity, operational consequences, etc?

Unless the names stakeholders have organized to the extent of being able to enter 
into an agreement for IANA services, I am uncertain how moving the IANA provides 
any additional accountability.

> I'd be interested in you teasing this out.
> I'd also like to point out that there are many forms of "moving". An easy one is a management board for the IANA department that has to validate changes as in line with policy etc, but leaving it within ICANN legally and practically (finance, HR etc).  A slightly bigger departure is as a wholly owned subsidiary company of ICANN with an operating agreement. The most radical approach as outlined by Milton months ago is more complicated, but would also work.

In all of those cases, IANA would have made the same IANA registry changes (e.g.
to the DNS root zone) as it did over the past decade, correct?   If that's not the case, 
I'd like to understand what it would have done differently and how the proposed 
"changed accountability environment for names"  would have produced a different

I think you'll find that IANA has been following directions accurately, but there's quite a
bit of "DNS policy implementation" which takes place within ICANN and that sometimes
heads in unexpected directions.  If this is the case, focusing on IANA accountability is
missing the root cause of the angst that is being experienced, yes?


Disclaimer: my views alone.

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