Governments’ Role In Management Of Internet In Question At ICANN Meeting 19/10/2015 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You also have the opportunity to offer additional support to your subscription, or to donate. Amidst rising voices that time is of essence to finalise the oversight transition for core internet functions from the United States government to the community of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), governments are divided over what their role should be. Some discussions at the eve of the official start of the ICANN meeting in Dublin on 19 October look like another edition of the fight between North and South over governments’ influence over the management of central registries for domain names, computer IP addresses and protocol numbers. The hot potato in the discussions in the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) over the weekend was a proposed change of ICANN’s bylaws with regard to GAC advice. As a result of the so-called “stress-test 18” the Cross-Constituency Working Group (CCWG) on Accountability has proposed a change of the ICANN Bylaws that would oblige ICANN’s Board to only act on GAC advice that has consensus in the body. A United States GAC member said the proposed bylaw change would “strengthen the stability of the multi-stakeholder model,” because it would prevent the ICANN Board from being compelled to moderate between two camps of governments where it had to implement advice supported by only 55 percent of the GAC. This position was supported by Canada and the United Kingdom in particular. Brazil’s GAC representative rejected the limitation for GAC advice, arguing it was up to the government body itself to decide about their decision making processes and methods of working. As “consensus” already was the core operating process, Iran and also some European countries are opposed to questioning the link to the conditions for the transition set by the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which kick-started the handover 20 months ago. Opponents also warned of driving away governments by still talking about a private-led, instead of a multi-stakeholder management. But it took a member of ICANN’s Business Constituency, Washington, DC-based lawyer Phil Corwin, to spill out the menace that the stress-test 18 and the limitation on GAC advice was “vitally important for US Congress” as a means perceived to allow “to avoid capture” by single governments. Meanwhile, Brazil and other South governments already think they have compromised on some essential issues, for example by having the jurisdiction issue shuffled back to discussions after the transition. As the week unfolds, it remains to be seen if governments can come to an agreement or if the risk this aspect to delay the finalisation of the proposal. While it is not the only one, there is also still a lot of discussion between the ICANN Board and the CCWG over giving more control to the community as the future IANA overseer. But it may be one of the more tricky ones. Monika Ermert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Governments’ Role In Management Of Internet In Question At ICANN Meeting" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.