ICANN stewardship transition plan sent to US government

The plan was finalized this week at an ICANN conference at Marrakech, Morocco

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has submitted Thursday a plan for ending U.S. oversight of key technical Internet functions in favor of a global multi-stakeholder governance model.

The complex new proposals aim to create an oversight body called the "empowered community" for enforcing community powers and include tighter rules for changes to certain bylaws of the organization. The Governmental Advisory Committee, consisting of representatives of governments, will continue to have an advisory role, though it will be better placed if it works in consensus, according to a document circulated by ICANN.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, which include responsibility for the coordination of the DNS (Domain Name System) root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources, are operated by ICANN under contract with the U.S. Department of Commerce. There have been demands that the department should cede its residual control as the Internet has expanded outside the U.S.

Many governments have also talked about the need for a say in the running of the Internet, a controversial issue for many analysts as giving a role to governments raises concerns about their meddling and even censorship.

The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency located in the Department of Commerce, said in March 2014 it planned to let its contract with ICANN to operate key domain-name functions expire in September 2015, passing the oversight of the agency to a global governance model.

The Department of Commerce said in August last year that the transition was being delayed to September this year as the Internet global multi-stakeholder community needed time to complete its work, have the plan reviewed by the U.S. government and then put it into action if approved. The department said it had the option to extend the contract beyond 2016, for three additional years if needed.

Concern that control of the Internet could pass to governments, some of them dictatorial, has led to considerable hesitation about the plan of the NTIA.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill in June last year, called the Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters Act (DOTCOM Act), which requires the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information to certify to Congress, among other things, that under the transition plan the Internet will stay open, not dominated by governments alone, and the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet domain name system would be maintained.

The package submitted to the U.S. combines information on the technical requirements for the transition and proposals for enhancements to ICANN's accountability.

The U.S. will review the plan to make sure it meets NTIA's criteria, ICANN said in a statement. If the plan is approved, its implementation is expected to be completed prior to the expiry of the contract between NTIA and ICANN in September. The delegates to the conference at Marrakech, Morocco, are aiming to complete the transition just in case the U.S. Presidential election in November this year throws up a new leader with different ideas on the transition.

“Today's outcome confirms the strength of the multistakeholder process in tackling issues important to the continued growth and evolution of the Internet,” said Kathy Brown, President and CEO of Internet Society in a statement. “The community now has a responsibility to ensure the plan is faithfully implemented in a timely way.” The plan for reforming ICANN’s accountability mechanisms also got the backing of the Governmental Advisory Committee.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?