Two important deadlines in the process to transition the IANA functions from U.S. Government oversight passed last week. The first was the anticipated final round of comments to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) consolidated proposal on how to transition oversight of the three IANA functions – names, numbers and protocols – to new oversight functions. Intel submitted comments supporting the multistakeholder community’s proposal for how to successfully transition these functions. In short, the ICG proposal maintains the current IANA Functions Operator (IFO), ICANN, but specifies the contractual and governance mechanisms between the three communities and the IFO.
The second deadline was the anticipated final round of comments on the Cross Community Working Group on ICANN accountability’s proposal for accountability enhancements to ICANN necessary to complete a successful and timely transition. It’s no secret that this process has been the most challenging to the IANA transition and the hardest place to achieve consensus within the multistakeholder community. However, the document provided from the CCWG did represent a rough consensus from the diverse members of the working group whom, for more than a year, have worked tirelessly with legal, technical, operational and policy experts to propose a set of reforms that preserves the stability of ICANN while enhancing the multistakeholder community’s role in critical decisions that would affect the Internet’s ecosystem. Intel also submitted comments largely supporting the approach proposed by the CCWG – one in which ICANN becomes a Single Member Organization under California law. This model both empowers the communities within ICANN while not overly burdening them with new organizational models such as incorporation. The other key issues in the report surround geographical incorporation of ICANN and the so-called stress test #18 that games out the role of government in the model proposed by CCWG.
NTIA has communicated to ICANN that the transition proposal must have broad community support. As we analyze the comments from the multistakeholder community to the CCWG, we are seeing a continuum of views. As the community prepares for the upcoming meeting in Dublin, we urge stakeholders to consider this continuum of views and work toward productive and timely solutions.