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

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Mon Sep 8 17:27:58 UTC 2014

On Sep 8, 2014, at 12:15 PM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: John Curran [mailto:jcurran at istaff.org]
>>  Again, my point is not that structural separation is "good" or "bad", but
>>  only that we need to be very clear that moving IANA doesn't necessary
>> address  any problems that exist elsewhere in the system (e.g. if a problem 
>> is with  the policy implementation process that occurs _before_ IANA gets
>> involved.)
> Thanks for the clarification. I assume, however, that in the last sentence you mean "policy development" not "policy implementation."

I actually meant "policy implementation"; this is major part of the 
disconnect in views I believe, as it appears that there is substantial 
DNS policy implementation that occurs well before the IANA team gets

After policy development (and ratification), DNS policy implementation 
seems to include all the various waiting lists, digital archery, various
trademark mechanisms, etc...  I could easily be wrong in my understanding;
do you believe that all of these elements are part of the IANA's efforts

> The IGP paper has always argued that these are distinct problems. They are interdependent, however, in the following ways:
> - if ICANN is permanently awarded the IANA without making any reforms in its policy process, it has no incentive to reform; it can do whatever it likes and implement it regardless of how much support a policy has. (If you think that statement an exaggeration tell me how you would react to any out of process action by an ICANN that had complete control of IANA?)
> - There should be hard constraints on the scope of the ICANN policy process; i.e., strong, enforcable limits on ICANN's mission, avoidance of making ICANN a central regulator of Internet content and conduct.  It is possible that the IANA transition process could be used to create these limits. "

I am not arguing in favor of ICANN being permanently awarded the IANA; the 
IANA performs technical services for the IETF, the RIRs, and the DNS community,
so it appears that those communities should contract with a party to provide 
the necessary IANA services.  I would propose that this party initially be 
ICANN, and if ICANN turns out to not to provide these services adequately, 
that an alternative party should be contracted.  

I support the principle that the IANA tasks should be kept distinct from 
policymaking, but that is not the same as arguing for immediate "structural 
separation" from ICANN, as that approach presumes that the benefits of clarity 
(achieved as a result) outweighs the risks created.  If the IANA tasks are
being performed under contract to the served communities, that would already
provide the majority of the benefits you seek.


Disclaimer: my views alone.

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