Fadi Chehadé: U.S. government removes ICANN’s training wheels

Fadi Chehadé, ICANN President and CEO, posted an article at his ICANN blog. Basically he says that the U.S. government believes that ICANN and IANA are ready to run without the US supervision.

The U.S. government came to the conclusion that the global Internet community is now ready to assume stewardship of ICANN’s performance as the administrator of the IANA functions. It feels like the moment when the multistakeholder community’s training wheels come off.

He said that ICANN’s hard work for the last 15 years has led to this milestone, when the U.S. government acknowledged that the internet community has performed it’s work with distinction.

Personally I have not given the matter a lot of attention because I don’t think that the U.S. government’s decision will make

any day to day difference to domain names, the internet and all of it’s users. All this fuss about China or Russia taking over the internet and shutting down websites at will sounds like the cold war and a bit crazy if you ask me.

But the cold war is over. This is just some people reacting in the US for political reasons mainly. It seems to me that some people in the US react to any change whatsoever. I am sorry to say but I believe that most of these US senators don’t know how to send an email. And the US has some control issues that it needs to overcome.

But Fadi Chehadé is an Egyptian from Lebanon that also has an Egyptian and US citizenship. He alone is a multistakeholder community that runs the internet. I don’t see him running it to the ground.

No, the internet will not seize to exist if ICANN moves to Geneva or anywhere else.

Here is the complete blog post by Fadi Chehadé:

My sons are adults now but I remember like it was yesterday teaching them how to ride their bikes. Removing the training wheels from their bicycles was an important milestone, but it didn’t mean that I was ready to leave them on their own to ride the neighborhood. As they got used to being on two wheels instead of four, I was right there beside them, ready to correct and guide.

I can’t help but see the parallels when I think about the U.S. government’s announcement last month. The U.S. government came to the conclusion that the global Internet community is now ready to assume stewardship of ICANN’s performance as the administrator of the IANA functions. It feels like the moment when the multistakeholder community’s training wheels come off.

Our hard work for the last 15 years has led us to this milestone, when the U.S. government acknowledged that we as a community have performed our work with distinction and in alignment with our mission.

It is with great humility that we accept this trust and begin the work of developing and strengthening the accountability mechanisms that will be needed to give the world confidence.

During ICANN’s 49th Public Meeting in Singapore in March 2014, we launched a public dialogue on what the process for transitioning from the U.S. government’s stewardship should look like. On 8 April, we posted the initial results of that dialogue, along with a scoping document [PDF, 456 KB]written based on feedback from the community, and consistent with previous discussions.

Specifically, I wish to assure you that the U.S. government, including the NTIA, has approved the scoping document [PDF, 456 KB], and it is consistent with the views of the leaders of various Internet organizations including the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Society and the Regional Internet Registries.

In addition to the public dialogue on the process for the transition of the U.S. government’s stewardship role, we launched at the same time in Singapore a second public dialogue on the broader discussion of how to strengthen the ICANN’s accountability. This second dialogue will look at strengthening existing accountability mechanisms like the Affirmation of Commitments, and ICANN’s redress mechanisms, as well as exploring new accountability mechanisms where necessary. We will share documents on the scope and proposed process of this second dialogue shortly.

These two dialogues will run in parallel, as they are certainly inter-related and will inform each other. A key difference is that the first process will be a public dialogue held in various venues across the global Internet community with a goal of developing the transition proposal requested by the U.S. government. The second is related to ICANN structures and the ICANN community, and the dialogue will mainly occur in the ICANN community while open to all.

These two public dialogues are real-time demonstrations of just how open and inclusive the ICANN community is, and will further prove to the world that we have earned the U.S. government’s confidence in our processes. This is our time to show that the multistakeholder model no longer needs its training wheels. It is ready for a long, steady ride forward.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

13 comments

  1. What will be better about the internet without the U.S. involved in ICANN? What are the gains? What does the internet have to gain? Are we going to have a more free and open internet without U.S. involvement?…………….The internet remains free and open because of the U.S. Constitution. Many countries sensor content and free speech. The U.S. Constitution guarantees a free and open internet. The free and open internet is the greatest invention for depressed people living in tyrannical regimes. The free and open internet can liberate. Without the U.S. there is no document that guarantees the internet will remain free and open…………History has shown that tyrannical governments control information in order to take control. The internet is the greatest information available and will no doubt be under influence by those that do not want a free and open internet…….There is no doubt that without U.S. involvement the internet will eventually end up in the wrong hands.

    • The US will still be involved.
      The question is how will the internet be worse without the US stewardship?
      We are going to have the same internet.

      Sorry Aaron but the internet is free and open because of all the people in the world.
      Most countries don’t censor content and free speech.
      Do you think that the US is the only free and open country in the world?
      If you do then that is a problem.

      US is not the only democratic country.
      This is not a dilemma: US or internet closes down.

      “There is no doubt that without U.S. involvement the internet will eventually end up in the wrong hands.”
      Yes, there is doubt. Listening to things like that now makes me actually want ICANN to leave the US…
      You sound like what you are trying to avoid… These are the stuff the tyrannical regimes tell their people…

      ICANN belongs to the world. And I am sure we can trust them to choose a democratic country.

      • Democracy, regardless of the country, is always under the threat of tyranny……Tyranny loves power, and the internet is the most powerful tool today. Tyranny has it’s eye on ICANN. The “Cold War” may be over, but communism is very much alive………

        You finish by saying, “ICANN belongs to the world. And I am sure we can trust them to choose a democratic country.”………Isn’t the U.S part of the world?… How are you so sure we can trust them to choose a democratic country?

      • Yes U.S is part of the world. But it’s not the only part of the world.
        Give some other country a chance. They might do a better job…

        I am sure we can trust ICANN because they actually do run ICANN for the past years.

        Releasing ICANN is nothing more than an act of good will.
        It makes no difference where it is located.

        Some DNS root servers are already located in countries outside the US like Japan or the Netherlands.
        Noone tried to hijack the internet in these countries.
        And even if someone tries to do it, do you think they will be successful?
        Do you think that the US internet will ever be threatened?
        It is ever going to threatened it’s going to be from within…

      • “Releasing ICANN is nothing more than an act of good will.”……………….lol….what? Are kidding me? Seriously?……………………Stopping the online NSA surveillance program would be an act of “goodwill” by the current Presidential administration, not giving the stewardship of ICANN away to the unknown……..

      • Aaron, the US does not own the internet.

        Now this is frightening to me: “Stopping the online NSA surveillance program would be an act of “goodwill” by the current Presidential administration, not giving the stewardship of ICANN away to the unknown……..”
        I don’t even know what you are saying. Are you listening to yourself?
        Stopping something illegal is not act of goodwill. Passing stewardship is.

  2. Well we agree about the NSA….So let’s leave it at that….lol……Cheers to an open and free Internet for generations!

  3. “Some DNS root servers are already located in countries outside the US like Japan or the Netherlands”. Zournas

    So what’s the problem? If the existing system is providing external locus for Root Servers, just do more of it. You said.

    NSA this NSA that, big deal, you’re NOT going to “guilt trip” the United States of America!If anybody did something illegal in the US, and it’s against US laws, provide the evidence to the appropriate Committees, don’t just go by gossip from the guy in Russia now, I think his name is Snowden; and the culprits will be punished. But don’t count on using that to blackmail the US to give away whatever oversight they hold on internet security and other issues.

    If you want to know what other Governments do, watch what The United States does. Governments Spy period. That’s not a secret, nor an excuse. Russia, China, Israel, Greece, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, … all of them will do exactly what they can, and must, that’s the nature of the international Arena.

    America is too modest, that’s probably why you have the opportunity, some will say gall, to ask it to give away the internet stuff (IANA transition).

    Remember what ICANN did with the new gTLDs? They told the public that we needed more TLDs because the world was running out, then they turned around and gave 200 to 300 TLDs to the same individuals who registered millions of dot coms, and basically created Registry-domainers

    Zournas, mark my words, The US Congress will NEVER let you take our internet. Keep dreaming, buddy..

    • Where did I say anything about the NSA?
      Guilt trip? Blackmail?
      The US congress will never let me take your internet?
      I think you have officially lost it. Just admit it and get help.

      • Zournas: “Where did I say anything about the NSA?”

        Let’s try mental exercise again. I’m sure you understand the concept of inference, right? In case you don’t, here: the act of passing from one proposition, statement, or judgment considered as true to another whose truth is believed to follow from that of the former.

        For example Zournas, when you say 5 is more than 10, you will be wrong on that, but you are also implying that 6 is more than 10, even though you didn’t really use those words; but because 6 is greater than 5, by inference you stated that 6 is greater than 10 as well, yet you are wrong on all those inferences made on your behalf. To wit, the following compound statement you made to Aaron, tho clever, it implied the attributed NSA stuff to you:

        “Aaron, the US does not own the internet.

        Now this is frightening to me: “Stopping the online NSA surveillance program would be an act of “goodwill” by the current Presidential administration, not giving the stewardship of ICANN away to the unknown……..”
        I don’t even know what you are saying. Are you listening to yourself?
        Stopping something illegal is not act of goodwill. Passing stewardship is” – Zournas

        You own the NSA part of that discussion. That’s the way inference works..

        Consequently, when you stated that “Passing stewardship” is an act of goodwill, that is a euphemistic way of talking about taking our internet. Do you even remember what you write? If you don’t, just go over your posts before you respond.

        I have not lost it, not at all.

      • I don’t even read what you post anymore. Your stuff is plain crazy…

      • I doubt that you hold any meidcal license to make such diagnosis, therefore you are also now a quack online doctor, Zournas.

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