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

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Sep 8 16:02:15 UTC 2014

From: Seun Ojedeji [mailto:seun.ojedeji at gmail.com]
I think you have clearly identified the problem which is ensuring that ICANN does not update the IANA record without following clearly defined policy process. You are now saying that the ONLY solution to avoid that is by taking IANA out?

Not quite right. ICANN could operate the IANA, as a fully separated subsidiary, if it won the contract from a new contracting authority. The issue is whether it just “gets” IANA or whether it has to earn it.

This is the aspect I am quite concerned about, considering that IANA records contains not only the names but includes numbers and protocol parameters. Are you saying that the reason why ICANN has not done something contrary on numbers and protocol parameters is because of the contract and not because of the policy/agreements?

Yes. The IETF does have a contract with ICANN that allows it to change its registry if the IETF is dissatisfied with ICANN’s performance. The number registries may not have such a contract, but do have policy processes clearly separated from ICANN. Names is the only space where policy development and IANA implementation would not be separated if ICANN were to inherit the DNS IANA functions without an external contracting principal.

If it's because of the policy (hoping that's your view) why can't we then concentrate on strengthening the policy process for names and how will taking IANA out really solve that problem because the policy process is still broken and it means IANA is more prone to record update without following due process.

We do need to strengthen the accountability of the ICANN policy process. This is in fact the main goal of many of the actors. However, most of them feel, even more strongly than I do, that the IANA transition is the only real leverage we have to require ICANN to make those changes. Because, as I explain in the original post, if ICANN controls both policy and implementation (IANA) without oversight, accountability will be much worse than it is now. I think it is a foregone conclusion – at the US government, the Congress, among business interests, among civil society – that IANA cannot be transferred to ICANN the corporation unless new, binding accountability mechanisms are created for both the IANA and the ICANN policy process.

There is also one aspect that we need to also remember, which is the purpose of ICANN and the essence of removing the contract which is largely to indirectly end the contracting regime.

I do not understand this statement.

So if you are saying takeout IANA, you need to be clear on whether it's the 3 function (which ofcourse may not go well with IETF and NRO). If you are taking out the DNS function only, then you will have further fragmented IANA and then introduce unnecessary complication and oversight issue on wherever body you are taking the function to.

IANA for protocols is already separable; i.e., it is the subject of a contract between IETF and ICANN. The DNS root is in my opinion could be independently managed from the number and protocol registries without causing any serious complications.
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