IANA Functions Stewardship Transition

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The IANA Functions Stewardship Transition is a process and community discussion regarding the transition of IANA functions stewardship from its historical contract with the United States government's NTIA to the global Internet community. The process and discussion is spearheaded by ICANN and its various stakeholder groups, and was catalyzed by an announcement in March 2014 by NTIA that they would be relinquishing the stewardship to the Internet community.

According to an article authored by Larry Strickling on August 17, 2015, NTIA's Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator, the IANA Transition, which was set to begin September 30, 2015 will not be complete until September 30, 2016. The organization believes that while ICANN has made tremendous strides in its transition, it still has more work to accomplish. [1]

ICANN 53 Announcement

At the ICANN 53 Welcome Session, June 22 2015, CEO & President, Fadi Chehadé presented his keynote speech which focused on the IANA Transition and its progress. In his opening remarks, Chehadé outlined three important areas of focus: 1. Strengthening ICANN and preparing it for the transition, 2. Fortifying community support, and 3. Reinforcing bonds with ICANN's technical community.[2]

These three goals are integral to the much larger Transition process. The President then went on to describe the necessary timeline of activities prior to the transition. Phase One includes Cross-Community and Board preparation of a proposal and adoption of NTIA's requested bylaw amendments. Phase Two, according to NTIA's Larry Strickling, will last anywhere between four to five months, which include a period of review between the United State's government and members of ICANN's community. Strickling would then assess whether the proposal meets the criteria set by the NTIA and has adopted all necessary bylaws. After the NTIA delivers a certification letter to congrees, the governmental branch has 30 legislative days to review the proposal. Once the review of the proposal is complete, the implementation and full transfer of stewardship takes place. [3]

NTIA Announcement

In March 2014 NTIA released a statement that they are intent on transitioning their part of the IANA functions away from NTIA and to the global stakeholder community. The first step in this process is for ICANN to convene stakeholders and create a proposal for how the IANA functions will remain secure and unwavering. The press release outlined a number of principles which the ICANN-community drafted proposal must meet:

  • Must Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
  • Must Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
  • Must Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and,
  • Must Maintain the openness of the Internet.

The current NTIA contract with ICANN expires on 30 September, 2014, and members of the ICANN community took that date as a deadline for drafting and agreeing on a proposal.[4]

ICANN subsequently published their own press release that applauded NTIA's announcement and called it a recognition of the U.S. government to ICANN's "maturation in becoming an effective multistakeholder organization".[5]

Global media outlets picked up on the NTIA press release, with many United States media reporting that the United States Government was "giving up control of the Internet".

ICANN Community Discussion

After the NTIA announcement, discussion began among ICANN's various stakeholders regarding how the stewardship of the IANA functions should be transitioned and to what entity or entities. Various sessions and panels focused on this topic at ICANN 49 - Singapore and continued at ICANN 50 - London. It was also a topic of much discussion in organizations and conferences such as NETmundial, ISOC, IETF, Internet Governance Forum, and the United Nations.

Process Development

The NTIA announcement led to an ICANN-spearheaded discussion that began with a "Call for Public Input on the Draft Proposal of the Principles, Mechanisms and Process to Develop a Proposal to Transition NTIA's Stewardship of the IANA Functions" that was posted by ICANN on 8 April 2014. The organization received hundreds of comments, highlighting the need to create a multistakeholder, transparent, and bottom-up process. A process document was published that included next steps and the implementation of a Coordination Group that would lead discussion and process of the IANA transition going forward.[6]

Coordination Group

The Coordination Group was formed by the ICANN community via nominations from 13 community groups, totaling 27 individuals. The current coordination group includes:

The first face-to-face meeting of the Coordination Group took place in London from 17-18 July 2014.[7]

Public comment period

On December 2nd 2014, ICANN opened the public comment period on the draft transition document produced by the coordination group.[8]

Legal roadblock

On the 4th December 2014, a large federal funding bill for over $1 trillion passed the United States House of Representatives to which Republicans had attached a rider defunding any attempt by the NTIA to transfer its functions before October 2015. The global internet community reacted with "a combination of weariness and growing cynicism about the United States and its role in Internet governance."[9]

Videos

References

  1. [1] An Update on the IANA Transition. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  2. https://buenosaires53.icann.org/en/schedule/mon-welcome
  3. ICANN President at ICANN 53. Retrieved 07 Oct 2015.
  4. Press Release: NTIA Announces Intent to Transition Key Internet Domain Name Functions NTIA.doc.gov; Retrieved 09 July 2014
  5. Press Release March 14, 2014
  6. Process to Develop the Proposal and Next Steps Transition of NTIA's Stewardship of the IANA Functions - ICANN.org; Retrieved 16 July 2014
  7. Coordination Group ICANN.org: Retrieved 16 July 2014
  8. ICANN opens comment period for its move out of US control
  9. Congress defunds IANA transitionRetrieved 15th December 2014.