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    US Government Scuttles Plan To Share Control Of The Internet

    Published on 11 March 2012 @ 2:25 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    The US Commerce Department National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has cancelled its request for proposal for the management of the internet root zone file, a core piece of infrastructure for the global domain name system (DNS) that helps users to navigate the net.

    In a 10 March notice published on its website, NTIA announced the agency had “received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community.” NTIA intended to “reissue the RFP at a future date to be determined (TBD) so that the requirements of the global Internet community can be served.”

    This unexpected move is a setback to expectations by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to be re-named as contractor for the so-called IANA function that also includes a list of tasks necessary for the internet, for example IP address allocation to the Regional Internet Registries.

    NTIA’s rather blunt explanation of shortcomings of the proposals received ignites speculation about possible intentions of the US body, but also some quick criticism about the unilateral power over internet critical infrastructure.

    Some US observers wondered if the upcoming US presidential elections were a factor influencing the decision. Other considerations are related to the upcoming International Telecommunication Union treaty conference on the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR) where some countries are expected to push for a firmer multilateral grip on critical internet infrastructure – and DNS oversight.

    NTIA in its notice yesterday listed several new requirements for the next IANA contractor, “including the need for structural separation of policymaking from implementation, a robust companywide conflict of interest policy, provisions reflecting heightened respect for local country laws, and a series of consultation and reporting requirements to increase transparency and accountability to the international community.”

    Has ICANN fallen short of these? The most far-reaching warnings are that NTIA might have decided not to award the contract to ICANN, and needs time to prepare another candidate. ICANN, according to a report by journalist and domain industry consultant Kieran McCarthy, was taken by surprise as were many participants of the 43rd ICANN meeting that officially starts today in Costa Rica, in replies to Intellectual Property Watch.

    In one of the first sessions of this meeting, governments sternly warned ICANN about a lack of clarity and more shortcomings in the current process to open the internet to new generic top-level domains (gTLDs, like .com). NTIA included in its IANA contract proposals on a much-debated obligation of ICANN to “document the global public interest” of new TLDs before IANA sends it to the root zone, and some warned this could result in a government veto against new TLDs.

    NTIA’s notice on cancellation is here.

    NTIA’s notice on preliminary extensions of the IANA contract is here.

    A DomainIncite story on the issue and potential problem with the global public interest clause in the new IANA contract is here.

    Monika Ermert may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. Costa Rican President Tells ICANN Of Concerns Over Internet Restrictions | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] government to declare the request for proposals to manage a core element of the internet as failed (IPW, Information and Communications Technology/Broadcasting, 11 March 2012). Beckstrom said the organisation has asked for a debriefing on the decisions and then might share [...]


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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