Call for Public Input: Transition of NTIA’s Stewardship of the IANA Functions

Deadline coming up in a week: “Call for Public Input: Draft Proposal, Based on Initial Community Feedback, of the Principles and Mechanisms and the Process to Develop a Proposal to Transition NTIA‘s Stewardship of the IANA Functions.”

To ensure that the eventual proposal is community-driven and enjoys broad support, ICANN is committed to collecting and incorporating input and feedback from the global stakeholder community. Input and feedback can be sent at any time by posting on the ianatransition@icann.org mailing list (archives).

Opportunity for public dialogue and community feedback

Posted 8 April, 2014
Deadline 8 May, 2014 (midnight UTC)
Feedback should be submitted via the publicly archived mailing list ianatransition@icann.org

Introduction

On March 14, 2014 the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community. NTIA asked ICANN, as the IANA functions contractor and the global coordinator for the DNS, to convene a multistakeholder process to develop a proposal for the transition. While looking to stakeholders and those most directly served by the IANA functions to work through the technical details, NTIA established a clear framework to guide the discussion and communicated to ICANN that the transition proposal must have broad community support and address the following four principles:

  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
  • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
  • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and,
  • Maintain the openness of the Internet.

In addition, NTIA explicitly stated that it would not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.

Read the entire announcement.

To ensure a clear understanding of the specific issues for which a proposal is sought, a document describing the scope of the document (and what is not in scope): http://www.icann.org/en/about/agreements/iana/iana-transition-scoping-08apr14-en.pdf

At the ICANN 49 Meeting in Singapore during the 24 March session, ICANN launched a multistakeholder-designed process to gather the community’s views and contributions to address how the mechanisms for the transition of NTIA‘s stewardship of the IANA functions should occur. In addition to a public session open to the 1,940 participants physically in Singapore as well as remote participation for the session, a mailing list (ianatransition@icann.org) was created to facilitate further input, with an initial comment deadline of March 27th.

Note: Comments received subsequent to 27 March are relevant to the dialogue and should be reviewed when reviewing the proposed draft process located here.

Based on that session and feedback received on the mailing list by 27 March, ICANN, filling the NTIA-requested role as convener of this process, now puts out for further feedback and input a draft proposal of the Principles, Mechanisms and Process to Develop a Proposal to Transition NTIA‘s Stewardship of the IANA functions.  This draft proposal was also informed by the existing mechanisms and models familiar to the ICANN community and proven to be successful in terms of results (i.e. the ATRT and AoC processes) and consultation with the Internet technical organizations.

Given that the various affected parties of IANA have somewhat different needs, there is value in keeping the distinct discussions running in parallel, and not forcing either full synchronization or exactly the same end result on them. This will ensure that the process completes sooner, and that the focus stays on the issues that are relevant to the particular parts of the IANA functions. Coordination however is needed. The discussions need to result in outcomes that are compatible, for particular issues (e.g. special use registries) we expect coordination essential for successful outcome.

The discussions in Singapore and subsequent input have confirmed the need for a parallel but separate process to examine broader ICANN globalization and accountability mechanisms as the proposal is developed for the transition of NTIA‘s stewardship of the IANA functions: this document does not attempt to address those mechanisms. The consultation process on ICANN globalization and accountability, while highly interrelated with the transition from the USG, shall occur within the ICANN community. Building on discussions held in Singapore at the public session, this process is beginning (in parallel with the transition process) in a bottom-up manner.

Community-Suggested Principles & Mechanisms for the Process

At the 24 March session on IANA Stewardship Transition at ICANN 49 in Singapore (24 March 2014), ICANN held a discussion to define the transition process, seeking public and community input. Present and remote attendees, as well as the general public later, were asked to provide input on the following questions:

  • What are the most important principles for this process?
  • What mechanisms are important to ensure a well-run process?

Based on feedback in the session (audio and transcript), the Public Forum session on 27 March 2014 (audio and transcript), and through the mailing list ianatransition@icann.org (email archives) received by the 27 March 2014 (midnight UTC) deadline, the following principles and mechanisms were suggested.

Principles

  • Inclusive
  • Transparent
  • Global
  • Accountable
  • Multistakeholder
  • Focused [in scope]
  • Pragmatic and evidence-based
  • Open [to all voices]
  • Do no harm
  • Consensus-based

Mechanisms

  • Web-based platform
  • Utilize working group methods
  • Organize dialogues
  • Leverage existing information and processes
  • Conduct stress tests
  • Establish clear and visible timeline
  • Recognize discussion in other fora
  • Widely accessible engagement platforms
  • Multilingual support
  • Multiple comment fora

Community Suggested Proposal Development Process

At the IANA Stewardship Transition session at ICANN 49 in Singapore (24 March 2014), participants were also asked to provide input on the proposed process to use in the development of a proposal to transition the stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community. Discussion also occurred at the Public Forum session on 27 March 2014 (audio and transcript), and through the mailing list ianatransition@icann.org (email archives).

Feedback from the community pointed to the value of establishing a working or steering group of volunteers to steward the process. Other proposed mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability include employing use cases for testing the proposed models, and establishing clear and visible phases of activity. Other suggestions note that the process ought to conclude with the emergence of a community-driven proposal.

Based on feedback described above and informed by successful community-developed processes and mechanisms, including the review processes set out in the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC), the following outline for the proposal development process is offered for comment.

Form and operate a steering group to steward the process in an open, transparent, inclusive and accountable manner as described below.

  • The community would form a steering group to shepherd the process. The steering group would be comprised of two representatives from each SO/AC group within the ICANN community, and two representatives from each of the affected parties (IETF, IAB, ISOC, NRO).
  • Within the ICANN community, community members interested in serving need to submit a statement of interest. The Chair of the ICANN Board and Chair of the GAC will select the group members from this community similar to the approach used for AoC reviews. The affected parties will select their own representatives to the steering group.
  • Care is taken by this selection process to ensure diversity and regional representation and to guard against any ICANN conflict of interest.
  • The steering group would designate the steering group chair.
  • The role of the steering group is to coordinate and to ensure that the process proceeds appropriately. The relevant affected parties will lead their community processes to determine any necessary mechanism as appropriate. However, the steering group has to coordinate such results so that they fit the overall proposed mechanism.
  • As the convener of the process, the ICANN Board would appoint one participant as Board liaison to the steering group.
  • The ICANN Board in overseeing ICANN‘s role as convener would: 1) ensure that the process executed adheres to the principles outlined by the community input and the NTIA principles outlined for this effort, and 2) ensure that the parameters of the scope document are upheld. Once a proposal is developed, the ICANN Board will not hold a vote on the proposal.
  • The steering group’s final proposal for submission to NTIA will be reviewed by ICANN and the affected parties in order for each party to provide their endorsement of the proposal. That endorsement will be communicated with the proposal, but there will not be a formal voting process.
  • The steering group would be supported by an ICANN secretariat.
  • Additional mechanisms to ensure an open, transparent and inclusive process would include:
    • A website that would include a timeline of activities and events, as well as all materials and communications from the steering group, and a full archive of all content provided and evaluated throughout the process;
    • A mailing list to ensure anyone can remain involved in the activities and progress of the group; and,
    • All meetings and phone conference will be open for stakeholders to observe and relevant transcripts and recordings will be posted.
  • The steering group would be formed in time to convene for the first time as a group during ICANN 50 in London in June 2014.
  • The steering group would hold an open forum meeting at London 50 to present itself to the community and hear additional input from the community. The steering group would have ongoing dialogues.
  • This group would, in the London 50 timeframe, establish the steering group chair and finalize the group’s charter, based on the inputs from the community, the scoping document and the principles set forth by NTIA. The steering group would also establish the process for development of the community-driven proposal.
  • The specific process, which would be determined by the steering group, should include the following elements, similar to previous effective working group efforts among the community:
    • Adequate time should be afforded for proposal development processes conducted by affected parties and other interested parties, in order to appropriately provide the steering group all possible proposal elements on which it can deliberate.
    • There should be appropriate community outreach and input as the proposal is drafted.
    • The efforts to finalize the ultimate proposal to be delivered to ICANN for presentation to NTIA should be consensus-driven.

Proposed Steering Group and Process graphics can be found below:

Steering Group

IANA Steering Group Formation

Process

IANA Steering Group Process

Questions Relating to this Initial Draft:

Q1. Are these the correct principles to guide the process to develop a proposal to transition the stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community? If not, why not and what additional principles should be considered?

Q2. Are these the correct mechanisms to use in the process to develop a proposal to transition the stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community? If not, why not and what additional mechanisms should be considered?

Q3. Are there other factors ICANN as the convener of process should take into account relevant to principles and mechanisms to be used to develop a proposal to transition the stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community? If so, please describe

Q4. Is this the creation of a steering group to steward the process to develop a proposal to transition the stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community the right approach? If not, why not and what other approach should be used in its place?

Q5. Are the steps outlined above to create and operate a steering group to steward the process to develop a proposal to transition the stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community the right approach? If not, why not and what steps are missing?

Q6. Are there other factors ICANN as the convener of process should take into account relevant to the creation of a steering group to steward the process to develop a proposal to transition the stewardship of the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community the right approach? If so, please describe.

How to Participate in the Process

Participation is open to anyone who wishes to engage in this process. There are many existing fora among the affected parties, and beyond, that are engaging in dialogues at their regional events. A list of events can be viewed below:

Timeline of events

Affected Party's Dialogue Fora Timeline

If you have suggestions for a participation opportunity not listed here, please send them to ianatransition@icann.org.

ICANN will also continue to hold public discussions, including at its upcoming ICANN Meetings in London (June 2014), Los Angeles (October 2014), and to be determined dates and locations in Africa, Latin America, and Europe in 2015.

Engagement and outreach will also take place globally and in partnership among respective organizations.

Visit ICANN.org for more information and resources; join our online public forums; send your thoughts to ianatransition@icann.org or read the archives; register for one of the many upcoming webinars; or follow us on our social channels (#IANAtransition)—be a part of the discussion!

About the IANA Team

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) team is responsible for the operational aspects of coordinating the Internet’s unique identifiers (the Domain Name System (DNS) Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources) and maintaining the trust of the community to provide these services in an unbiased, responsible and effective manner.

To learn more about the IANA functions visit www.IANA.org

Read Elise Gerich’s (VP, IANA and Technical Operations) transcript (PDF, pages 8-9) introducing the IANA functions in the IANA Accountability Transition session ICANN 49 in Singapore (March 2014).

Read “The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority Functions Fact Sheet” (PDF)

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He loves domains and building websites. He is online since 1995, learned about html in 1996 and got into domains in 2002. He started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

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