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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Beginning of the End of US Control of the Root? | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 4 comments | Search Discussion
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    Not really a useful note
    by KarlAuerbach on Thursday July 20 2006, @10:41AM (#16853)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    I read the referenced note last night.

    It struck me as little more than a request to quickly privitize ICANN and leave only a few faint powers in the hands of those pesky GAC members.

    But, in the same manner as nearly all privitization plans, it fails to consider that a privitized ICANN would have power without oversight or and without adequate internal mechanisms or competition to restrain its use of its dominant and unique position over a major internet chokepoint or to make the privitized ICANN responsive to the needs of the public rather than its entrenched "stakeholders".

    And it fails to address the growing question of why a privitized ICANN would not be vulnerable to assertions, in the US and elsewhere, that it is an unlawful combination in restraint of trade.

    My own plan is to be found rather deeply buried in my own submission to NTIA - at http://www.cavebear.com/public/ntia-july-7-2006-st atement.html and http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/dnstra nsition/comments/dnstrans_comment0563.htm

    My approach is to figure out very precisely what we really want to be overseen and then to create teensy-tiny, and very separate and distinct, bodies to cover each of the things we have identified. Each of these new bodies, whether private or governmental, would be structured to prevent growth and abuse of its authority.

    Unlike Becky and Marilyn, I don't see any particular reason or value in retention of ICANN current monolithic form.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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    Re:Not really a useful note
    by Mueller ({mueller} {at} {syr.edu}) on Friday July 21 2006, @05:38AM (#16854)
    User #2901 Info | http://istweb.syr.edu/~mueller/
    I agree that the proposal's accountability section is purely normative and doesn't propose any solution. But it does call for greater accountability, as our (IGP) comments do.


    Your idea of a disaggregated ICANN, also advocated by Michael Froomkin, is getting a very favorable reception here at a meeting in Geneva sponsored by CPTech.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Not really a useful note
    by Becky on Tuesday July 25 2006, @05:22AM (#16858)
    User #4326 Info
    Karl -

    I always strive for useful.

    Two thoughts. First - our proposal addresses the USG unilateral authority issue only. It does not purport to address all of the other issues - scope limitations, mission creep, antitrust, etc. There are plenty of people like you who are offering approaches to those. I personally think that Milton's suggestions for a two issue "bill of rights" (expression and accountability) are good ideas. But this paper was put forward only to move forward on the root change authority.

    Did you listen to the strategy committee workshop? If not, you should know that the favored approach of the day is creation of an "international not for profit corporation" along the lines of the International Fertilizer Development Center. http://www.ifdc.org/New_Design/About_IFDC/History/ index.html. This is an interesting organization, to be sure, though created for an entirely different kind of situation (solving world hunger). Moreover, it required a Presidential Directive. Unlikely in the foreseeable future. And much closer to the UN oversight that concerns you.

    I just don't believe, as a practical matter, that the DOC is ready to completely untether the root, and I don't think other governments would really support that either. There are some complicated legal issues that has been finessed regarding authority to transfer USG property that will arise in any solution that takes the USG out entirely. It will get the attention of the same members of congress who voted, overwhelmingly, to "keep the Internet in the U.S." last year.

    So, if I am right, and letting the root go is a non-starter because it will provoke political heat, a GAO investigation, etc, what are some practical, constructive steps that can be taken? The main objection that I hear to the proposal we put forward is this UN supervisory nonsense. Read the proposal carefully. UNDER OUR PROPOSAL, THE ONLY REASON ANY GOVERNMENT COULD OBJECT TO A CHANGE TO THE ROOT - INCLUDING THE USG - WOULD BE TO PRESERVE THE TECHNICAL SECURITY AND STABILITY OF THE NET AND THE DNS.

    Almost no changes, it seems to me, could even arguably do that. One commenter has raised the issue of efficiency, and I agree, it is important to commit in advance to streamline the process to avoid any delays. Here's what I suggest.

    First, make a list of all of the "kinds" of change requests that IANA receives and forwards to DOC now (that's everything).

    Which of those kinds of requests are completely routine - an existing registry operator wanting to change out a server, etc.? Whichever ones fall into the routine and unlikely to create any technical issues should be simply taken off the DOC path. (This probably covers all of the changes you proposed to "automate.") Anything IANA recommends that is in this category should be instantly implemented by Verisign.

    Which of those kinds of change recommendations IANA now sends to DOC carry an inherent stability risk? This is the "we don't know how the net will respond" category of events. The only example I have ever heard in this category came from Klensin, I believe, and was along the lines of "we don't know how the Net would respond if a large number of new TLDs were entered into the root in a short period of time." Any time IANA recommends a change falling into this category, it should notify the working group and instruct Verisign to implement in 14 days unless IANA rescinds the instruction in that period. If 15 governments agree that the change could destabilize the net, then IANA would have to provide the report that it now provides anyway, etc.

    If you really want to get the USG authority issue resolved, you have to settle for a pragmatic approach.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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