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

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Tue Sep 9 22:09:56 UTC 2014

On Sep 9, 2014, at 3:32 PM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:
> ...
> Policy processes cannot take IANA away from ICANN nor can they provide appropriate levels of oversight over policy implementation. Indeed, the policy process is entirely dependent on ICANN to implement it, and if ICANN ignores the PDP and implements what it prefers (which has happened a few times) we have no recourse.

In the situation where IANA is a contracted service, i.e. where the "parties with policy 
development authority for particular registries" contract with an "IANA operator" to 
maintain the those registries according to the supplied policy, then the IANA operator's
performance should be both easy to predict and manage (or the contractor would very 
likely be dropped in short order for one that performed per community policy.)

This raises a separate but interconnected question about how the relevant communities of 
interest (e.g. those who are affected by the DNS root zone, those affected by the IETF 
protocol parameter registries, those affected by IP number resource management) agree
to exercise their inherent authority via a particular organization,  for example, the Internet
protocol development community via the IETF, the service provider and IP address using 
community via the RIRs,  and the DNS community via ICANN.  I am not really concerned 
about that question with respect to the IETF, as the technical protocol parameter identifier 
are generally not assigned to real-world things likes organizations, countries, or people, 
whereas ensuring the bodies that have policy development authority for Internet names 
and numbers provide bona fide representation for their communities would seem to be 
essential for moving forward.

It would appear that to the extent that ICANN (and the RIRs) have excellent structures for 
governance and accountability, then they'll perform in accordance with interests of their 
affected communities, and IANA accountability could be routine contracting.  Trying to make
IANA accountability structures that address the IANA operator's failure to perform is quite
straightforward; it is when we also try to address the possible situation of the IANA operator 
performing exactly as directed (but somehow out of alignment with served community) that 
designing mechanisms for accountability becomes rather challenging...


Disclaimer: my views alone.

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