ICANN Marrakesh Meeting Reaches Milestone For IANA Transition 11/03/2016 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) at its 55th meeting in Marrakesh today passed a milestone resolution to ship a package of proposals by its stakeholder groups to the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to end the latter’s role as an oversight body for the internet. If approved, ICANN will be the next manager of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which is a set of registries for domain names, IP addresses and protocol parameters essential for the functioning of the global internet. Three CEOS and a Chair – outgoing CEO Fadi Chehadé, interim CEO Akram Atallah, incoming Göran Marby, and Board Chairman Steve Crocker For nearly two decades, the IANA has been managed by ICANN under a contract with the NTIA. In March 2014, the US agency announced its intention to transition out of its stewardship role. Describing the lengthy process since then that saw considerable tension between the ICANN Board and its community and, lately, inside the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee, Andrew Sullivan, chair of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), said in the public forum: “I never believe that it works and it always does. This is the internet delivering.” More Implementation Work Despite the transition and accountability proposals for future IANA manager ICANN being shipped off, there is “no vacation coming,” said Steve Crocker, chairman of the ICANN Board of Directors during the closing of the 7-10 March Board meeting. The package of proposals was sent to Lawrence Strickling, head of the NTIA, just an hour after the end of the Board meeting today. But Crocker said, “We’ve got a couple more steps before we are through all of this and then after that there will be some long tails to the process.” One is to implement the changes agreed today as a precondition for the transition. During the coming four weeks, ICANN staff in its Marina del Rey, California, headquarters, assisted by two legal teams from law firms Sidley Austin and Adler & Colvin, will prepare the changes to the ICANN Bylaws that will allow the multi-stakeholder bodies of ICANN to control the ICANN Board, ICANN Board member Bruce Tonkin explained. The draft new bylaws will be put out for public consultation again and then also sent to NTIA for evaluation, said ICANN Vice President Akram Atallah, who has stepped temporarily into the role of ICANN CEO. More work is ongoing on finalising details with the two non-ICANN IANA customers, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Regional IP Address Registries (RIRs). While the Service Level Agreement of the IETF with ICANN is ready to go live, some details are still being finalised for the agreement with the RIRs. IP Rights for “IANA” A small team is also working out the final provisions on the intellectual property rights for the name “IANA”, reported Jari Arkko, chair of the IETF. It is expected that the IETF Trust will take on the IP rights. According to Arkko, this is nothing that could delay the deal which in his opinion is a natural development and acknowledgement of the reality of how the core internet resources have been managed in recent years, he said. Paul Wilson, Chairman of the Regional IP Address Registry for the Asia Pacific region (APNIC) on the other hand was more cautious. “I have not taken it for granted that we will finalise the proposal in Marrakesh, and I do not take it for granted that the USG will approve it,” he said. Confident of US Approval to Transition WG Chairs of the CCWG: Sanchez (UNAM), Weill (AFNIC) and Rickert (eco) “The transition is not a done deal,” noted Thomas Rickert, chair of the ICANN cross-constituency working group in ICANN accountability (CCWG), the group that delivered the last piece of the package now sent to the NTIA. The completed proposal “will now be assessed by NTIA and passed on to the US Congress,” he said. ICANN and the community have to rush with implementation. The community has picked up that work already, said Jonathan Robinson, representing the ICANN Generic Name Supporting Organization (GNSO). “The timelines are in fact very tight,” he said. Most representatives expressed confidence that the IANA transition will clear the last hurdle on the way, the US government approval. Given that the different communities involved have successfully come to an agreement and presented the proposal today, “We have no reason to question our future success,” said Alissa Cooper, chair of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG). Evaluation is now up to the US government, she said, adding, “That is not within our purview.” But a very strong defence is that the proposal transmitted today is considered to meet all the criteria set out originally by the NTIA for the transition, including stability of the system and multi-stakeholder nature that would not allow one government or an inter-governmental process to step in. With hundreds of volunteer hours put in, some 40,000 emails exchanged over the last year for the CCWG on accountability alone, and a highly complex proposal delivered in a relative short time, not only the community can be proud, said Rickert. Many participants during the public meeting also underlined the stronger ties developed between the different parts of the community, inside and around ICANN. In any case, Rickert said, given the commitment and professionalism experienced throughout the process, he felt that “the management of critical resources is in pretty good hands.” “We have done absolutely our best to satisfy the US government requests,” said Wilson. “We have done as well as we could have done.” But, he added, “We have to wait for the US government before we can say that this was historical.” Governments opened their doors for observers when they agreed on the proposal. 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