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Internet Governance 3 September 2015

Globalizing IANA: The Internet Society Submits Comments to the ICG

Today the Internet Society submitted its comments on the proposal to transition the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions from the United States Government to the global multistakeholder community.

The Internet Society has consistently advocated for the globalization of the IANA functions. We firmly believe that the global community is ready now to assume this important stewardship role and that a successful completion of this process is a critical step in providing additional confidence in the collaborative and multistakeholder Internet governance model.

In our comments we highlight how the proposal of the IANA Coordination Group (ICG) meets the principles set forth by NTIA. The proposal represents the outcome of discussions conducted under the unique multistakeholder processes of the relevant communities and have been open and transparent. We believe that the communities have worked hard to ensure that, after the transition takes place, the IANA functions will continue to operate in a predictable manner, consistent with the need to maintain the security, stability, resiliency and openness of the Internet. On the whole, the ICG has presented a workable proposal for the continued stability of the IANA functions.

We have, however, raised a number of concerns which we recommend for consideration by the ICG. Specifically, we comment on the complexity of the proposal, its implementation and its dependency on the ICANN accountability proposal that is being discussed in a parallel proceeding. We encourage the communities to continue deliberating how these implementation details can be addressed in a timely manner and how, in addressing them, all the communities can remain equally involved. The real test of the NTIA principles is not in the proposal but rather in the “running code” – it is important that we achieve the desired result once the implementation is complete.

We do not see these outstanding issues as unresolvable. Recently, Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling announced the extension of the IANA contract until September 2016. We welcome this extension because it will allow the global Internet community to continue its hard work on addressing these outstanding issues.

The work undertaken by the stakeholders to this process has been a testament to the dedication, persistence and expertise of the dedicated Internet community. In the true spirit of the Internet, there has been a tremendous amount of work and effort to ensure that the transition of the IANA functions happens in an open, inclusive, transparent and accountable manner. Ultimately, this process is about stewardship of the central, critical functions of one of the most extraordinary human innovations. It is right to entrust this important role to the Community and we are confident that the Community will carry its responsibilities through to a result that protects and furthers the core work of the Internet.

At the Internet Society, we will continue to assist the efforts of the global Internet community towards a successful transition. We encourage others to respond to the ICG’s request for comments.  The ICG needs to hear from many voices now. We encourage all of you to submit your own comments (as organizations or as individuals) before the Sept 8th deadline, even if you only wish to comment on a couple of the questions raised by the ICG. Please join with us in providing this critical feedback.


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