[discuss] [ianatransition] Fwd: [IP] WSJ: The Internet Power Vacuum Worsens

Nigel Roberts nigel at roberts.co.uk
Mon Sep 8 21:40:17 UTC 2014

And actually this is the problem.

ICP-1 has no status whatsoever.  And it was written long after Jon's 

It purported not to be a change in policy.  In fact, it was exactly that.

Furthermore the very idea that ICANN can change IANA policy, affecting 
parties over which it has not statutory power or contractual 
relationship is curious.

As a former CEO of ICANN, on what authority (in California, or 
elsewhere)  do you believe this to be based?

On 09/08/2014 06:55 PM, Mike Roberts wrote:
> Nigel - Apologies for not checking my sources carefully.  What I had 
> in mind, actually, was the following text from ICP-1, issued in May 1999.
> "This document is a summary of current practices of the Internet 
> Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) in administering RFC 1591 
> <http://www.iana.org/go/rfc1591>, which includes the guidance 
> contained in ccTLD News Memo #1 
> <http://www.iana.org/cctld/cctld-news1.htm> dated October 23, 1997. It 
> DOES NOT reflect any changes in policy affecting the administration of 
> DNS delegations. It is intended to serve as the basis for possible 
> future discussions of policy in this area. Changes in ICANN/IANApolicy 
> will be made following public notice and comment in accordance with 
> the ICANN Bylaws.”
> - Mike
> On Sep 8, 2014, at 10:42 AM, Nigel Roberts <nigel at roberts.co.uk 
> <mailto:nigel at roberts.co.uk>> wrote:
>> Patricio is, as I would expect, absolutely correct.
>> And it's very important to note the distinction between policy that 
>> is either binding, or is taken to be so by the actors involed, and a 
>> "news memo" which Jon dashed off when he was getting awkward letters 
>> from a number of governments asking him why he "gave away the 
>> countries TLDs" to private individuals and companies.
>> On 09/08/2014 05:53 PM, Patricio Poblete wrote:
>>> Mike,
>>> You are probably thinking of the sentence "The IANA takes the 
>>> desires of the government of the country very seriously". That is 
>>> not in RFC1591. It appeared later in ccTLD News Memo #1.
>>> Patricio
>>> On Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 12:56 PM, Mike Roberts <mmr at darwin.ptvy.ca.us 
>>> <mailto:mmr at darwin.ptvy.ca.us>> wrote:
>>>     Did anyone think that right wing America Firsters wouldn’t use
>>>     as much FUD as they could muster to try to derail the NTIA
>>>     initiative?  Check some of the Congressional grand stand
>>>     statements.
>>>     This mess of mistatement and innuendo is SOP.
>>>     A “majority” of governments are authoritarian?  That’s a pretty
>>>     big paintbrush.
>>>     As Jon Postel said way back in 1591, governments do matter.
>>>      Multistakeholderism without a role for governments isn’t going
>>>     to work.  ICANN is actually trying to smoke out behind the
>>>     scenes gorilla behavior in the GAC by requiring recorded votes
>>>     with a majority needed for “advice.”  Raising the Board
>>>     threshold for rejecting the advice is a nominal quid pro quo
>>>     with little effect.
>>>     - Mike
>>>     On Sep 8, 2014, at 6:49 AM, Miles Fidelman
>>>     <mfidelman at meetinghouse.net <mailto:mfidelman at meetinghouse.net>>
>>>     wrote:
>>>>     Well, isn't this a nice kettle of fish.
>>>>     -------- Forwarded Message --------
>>>>       The Internet Power Vacuum Worsens
>>>>         The U.S. hasn't even abandoned its Web protection yet, and
>>>>         authoritarians are making their move.
>>>>       By
>>>>       L. GORDON CROVIT
>>>>       Sept. 7, 2014 5:11 p.m. ET
>>>>       The Obama administration plan to give up U.S. protection of
>>>>       the open Internet won't take effect for a year, but
>>>>       authoritarian governments are already moving to grab control.
>>>>       President Obama is learning it's as dangerous for America to
>>>>       create a vacuum of power in the digital world as in the real one.
>>>>       In March the administration asked Icann, the Internet
>>>>       Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to suggest a plan
>>>>       for overseeing the Internet after September 2015, when U.S.
>>>>       governance is scheduled to end. The U.S. charged this group,
>>>>       which maintains the root-zone file of domain names and
>>>>       addresses, with somehow finding mechanisms to prevent other
>>>>       governments from undermining the permissionless, free-speech
>>>>       Internet built under U.S. oversight.
>>>>       Instead, Icann set up a process to hand control over to
>>>>       governments. Under the current "multistakeholder" system, an
>>>>       advisory group of governments has only as much power as other
>>>>       stakeholders, such as Web registries, website owners,
>>>>       free-speech groups and other nonprofits. But in August, Icann
>>>>       quietly proposed changing its bylaws to rubber-stamp
>>>>       government decisions unless two-thirds of the Icann board
>>>>       objects. In turn, Iran has proposed that the government group
>>>>       move to majority voting from the current consensus approach.
>>>>       That would enable the world's majority of authoritarian
>>>>       governments to rewire the Internet more to their liking.
>>>>       Enlarge Image
>>>>       Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
>>>>       What will this mean? Authoritarian governments could for the
>>>>       first time censor the Web globally, not just in their own
>>>>       countries. Russia could get Icann to withdraw Ukrainian
>>>>       sites. China could engineer the world-wide removal of sites
>>>>       supporting freedom for Hong Kong or Tibet. Iran could censor
>>>>       its critics in the U.S. Website operators could also expect
>>>>       new global fees and regulations.
>>>>       Such a change "would fundamentally transform Icann away from
>>>>       being a 'bottom-up' and 'private sector-led' organization and
>>>>       into a governmental regulatory agency," wrote Robin Gross, a
>>>>       former chairman of the Icann group representing nonprofits,
>>>>       on the CircleID blog. "Why Icann would voluntarily choose to
>>>>       empower non-democratic governments with an even greater say
>>>>       over global Internet policies as this bylaw change would do
>>>>       is anyone's guess."
>>>>       The Internet Commerce Association, which represents Web
>>>>       businesses, warns that the proposal "would transform Icann
>>>>       into a government-led organization," which is "completely
>>>>       counter" to the U.S. requirement that the Internet remain
>>>>       free of government control.
>>>>       In a speech in July, a U.S. Commerce Departmentofficial
>>>>       played down the danger. "The idea that governments could
>>>>       enhance their influence within Icann by changing its rules to
>>>>       allow for a majority vote on policy issues reflects a
>>>>       misunderstanding of the policymaking process at Icann," said
>>>>       Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling. Wrong. Mr.
>>>>       Strickling and his administration colleagues have
>>>>       misunderstood how serious other governments are about filling
>>>>       the vacuum of power with repression.
>>>>       Icann also upset all its major stakeholder groups by ignoring
>>>>       their demand to make it more accountable absent U.S.
>>>>       oversight. Stakeholders had instructed Icann to create an
>>>>       "independent accountability mechanism that provides
>>>>       meaningful review and adequate redress for those harmed by
>>>>       Icann action or inaction in contravention of an agreed-upon
>>>>       compact with the community." Instead, Icann announced that it
>>>>       would oversee itself.
>>>>       A dozen stakeholder groups quickly sent Icann chief Fadi
>>>>       Chehade a letter objecting. "How does Icann intend to handle
>>>>       the inherent conflict of interest with developing its own
>>>>       accountability plan?" they asked. "Why didn't Icann invite
>>>>       proposals from the community and why wasn't the community
>>>>       involved in the drafting of the staff plan?"
>>>>       An objection sent jointly by business and nonprofit
>>>>       stakeholder groups to the Icann board said: "This plan,
>>>>       imposed on the community without transparency and without the
>>>>       opportunity for public comment, creates inconsistency,
>>>>       disregards proper Icann procedure, injects unfairness into
>>>>       the process and defeats the purpose of the entire
>>>>       accountability examination."
>>>>       Philip Corwin, a lawyer specializing in Icann issues, calls
>>>>       pushback against the organization "unprecedented." Last week,
>>>>       Icann agreed to put off the new rules, but only for a brief
>>>>       comment period.
>>>>       Much of the blame for the splintering of the multistakeholder
>>>>       system lies with Mr. Obama's naïveté in putting Internet
>>>>       governance up for grabs. He underestimated the importance of
>>>>       Washington's control in maintaining an open Internet—and the
>>>>       desire among other governments to close the Internet. And
>>>>       there still is no plan to keep Icann free from control by
>>>>       governments.
>>>>       Administration officials pledged to Congress that the U.S.
>>>>       would keep control over the Internet if the alternative was
>>>>       to empower other governments or if there isn't full
>>>>       accountability for Icann. Both red lines have been crossed.
>>>>       If Mr. Obama persists, Congress should block his plan with a
>>>>       simple message: The open Internet is too valuable to surrender.
>>>>        1. <http://online.wsj.com/articles/l-gordon-crovitz-the-internet-power-vacuum-worsens-1410124265#>
>>>>     Archives <https://www.listbox.com/member/archive/247/=now>
>>>>     <https://www.listbox.com/member/archive/rss/247/125967-13f5c010> |
>>>>     Modify
>>>>     <https://www.listbox.com/member/?member_id=125967&id_secret=125967-2be3cd17>
>>>>     Your Subscription | Unsubscribe Now
>>>>     <https://www.listbox.com/unsubscribe/?member_id=125967&id_secret=125967-6e7c78f6&post_id=20140908093243:9A1ECCC4-375C-11E4-822C-EDAB8E26EB49>
>>>>     	[Powered by Listbox] <http://www.listbox.com/>
>>>>     _______________________________________________
>>>>     ianatransition mailing list
>>>>     ianatransition at icann.org <mailto:ianatransition at icann.org>
>>>>     https://mm.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/ianatransition
>>>     _______________________________________________
>>>     discuss mailing list
>>>     discuss at 1net.org <mailto:discuss at 1net.org>
>>>     http://1net-mail.1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> discuss mailing list
>>> discuss at 1net.org
>>> http://1net-mail.1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>> _______________________________________________
>> discuss mailing list
>> discuss at 1net.org <mailto:discuss at 1net.org>
>> http://1net-mail.1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://1net-mail.1net.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20140908/e02e9829/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the discuss mailing list