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Internet Governance 12 September 2016

A Key Moment for the IANA Transition

Sally Shipman Wentworth
By Sally Shipman WentworthVice President of Global Policy Development

This is a key moment for the IANA transition. On September 30, the contract between the US Commerce Departments National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is set to expire. As this date approaches, some members of the United States Congress have expressed reservations about allowing the IANA transition to go forward. There have been calls by some to block the transition while others have suggested that a delay is in order.  

In a letter to key Congressional leaders, the Internet Society CEO, Kathryn Brown, urges Congress to allow the transition to proceed without delay. 

We always advocated that a successful IANA transition will strengthen the collaborative, multistakeholder model of governance that has been at the foundation of the Internet’s success to date. The Internet Society has been and, continues to be, confident that this can be done in a way that allows the current contract to expire at the end of September 2016. We see no reason to delay the IANA Stewardship Transition. In fact, we believe that any delay would add a degree of instability and make the prospect of government control of the Internet more likely, not less. It would signal to those who want to control the Internet that the US government believes this technology does not work as designed. It would tell the global Internet community that its consensus around the IANA proposal is meaningless.

The Internet Society believes the IANA transition plan will provide for the uninterrupted operation of the global Internet and, thus, we fully support the transition without delay.  

You can read the full letter here.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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