[ALAC] Steve Crocker's Op-Ed in the WSJ

gbruen at knujon.com gbruen at knujon.com
Sat Apr 23 14:22:27 UTC 2016

Rinalia, et al,

There is a problem here. The underlying message is that the transition 
should go through because it's time for the U.S. to give it up. This is 
all we have heard for several year now, what we have not heard is how 
the model will in fact embrace end-users and consumers.

In the article Crocker cites "Google, Verizon, AT&T, Cisco and Yahoo" as 
backers of the plan. This is not a comfort to consumers as these are 
some of the same companies which have been accused of mis-handling 
consumer data and selling it to marketers. There is also a list of 
mostly American institutions supporting the transition. Little from the 
international community and nothing from consumers.

What I want to hear from Crocker and ICANN is a real PLAN that includes 
the end user. Right now we have a pantomime of consumer input, our name 
is used in vain.

In your previous message you insisted that we should engage directly 
with the board on this issue. If furture interactions with the board are 
going to be like the last one, we're not going anywhere.


On 4/20/16 1:32 AM, Rinalia Abdul Rahim wrote:
> Hello, ALAC.
> Steve Crocker's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal below.
> Best regards,
> Rinalia
> (http://tinyurl.com/zu634s4*).*
> *
> *
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> *Broadening the Oversight of a Free and Open Internet *
>> *Stewardship by the global community will guard against ‘capture’ by 
>> one group or government.*
>> *By Stephen D. Crocker, **April 19, 2016 6:31 p.m. ET*
>> Today the global Internet connects three billion of us. While it has 
>> grown, the world has shrunk. Geographic distance has become less 
>> relevant as we can more easily access information, communicate and 
>> reach new customers.
>> The Internet has matured because it is free and open, led by the 
>> private economy and based on voluntary standards. It is built on the 
>> principles that define America: free enterprise and limited government.
>> It is those same ideals of privatization that frame a proposal 
>> <https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/iana-stewardship-transition-package-10mar16-en.pdf>recently 
>> sent to the National Telecommunications and Information 
>> Administration that would transition stewardship of some key Internet 
>> technical functions away from the U.S. to a diverse and accountable 
>> global Internet community.
>> Why is such a transition needed? Since the Internet’s inception, the 
>> U.S. Commerce Department and the California nonprofit corporation 
>> that I head, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, 
>> have been in charge of coordinating the global assignment of Internet 
>> addresses and domain names. In 2014 the U.S. government decided a 
>> more international stewardship was appropriate. Since then, the 
>> global Internet community has been working on a proposal that assures 
>> that such a transition will not threaten the openness and freedom of 
>> the Internet.
>> First and foremost, this proposal guards against “capture” by any one 
>> group or government. This is the primary reason the Internet 
>> community—along with businesses, civil society and other interest 
>> groups—has given its blessing to the changes.
>> On March 17, representatives from the Intel 
>> <http://quotes.wsj.com/INTC><http://quotes.wsj.com/INTC>Corporation, 
>> the Internet Society and others told Congress they supported the 
>> transition. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Council for 
>> International Business, the Information Technology Industry Council, 
>> the Software & Information Industry Association and others also 
>> approve of the plan.
>> Business leaders from companies like Google, Verizon 
>> <http://quotes.wsj.com/VZ>,<http://quotes.wsj.com/VZ>AT&T 
>> <http://quotes.wsj.com/T>,<http://quotes.wsj.com/T>Cisco 
>> <http://quotes.wsj.com/CSCO><http://quotes.wsj.com/CSCO>and Yahoo 
>> <http://quotes.wsj.com/YHOO><http://quotes.wsj.com/YHOO>participated 
>> in the development of the proposal. Academics from Harvard, George 
>> Mason University and other institutions also weighed in. From the 
>> International Chamber of Commerce to the Center for Democracy and 
>> Technology, diverse organizations have voiced support.
>> These groups understand the vital role of the Internet in 
>> strengthening the global economy by creating jobs and economic 
>> growth. Almost $8 trillion of commerce takes place on the Internet 
>> annually, an example of how dependent the world economy has become on 
>> a single, unified network.
>> But there are no guarantees about the Internet’s future. In fact, the 
>> transition proposal came from the understanding that maintaining the 
>> status quo would risk the single, free and open Internet that we cherish.
>> If the U.S. does not transition its stewardship role to the global 
>> Internet community, then other governments may try to move control to 
>> organizations like the United Nations. There is also a risk that some 
>> governments may form their own national or regional networks. This 
>> disruptive splintering would damage the economy and weaken personal 
>> Internet use.
>> This potential threat to the Internet was understood as far back as 
>> 1997, when the U.S. formalized its largely symbolic role as steward 
>> of some of the Internet’s technical functions. It intended to move 
>> away from this role once Icann was mature enough to operate without 
>> the U.S. as a backstop.
>> In March 2014, the National Telecommunications and Information 
>> Administration announced that it wanted to begin the process of 
>> severing its contract with Icann. The government stipulated that 
>> Icann remain an incorporated U.S. nonprofit entity and would need to 
>> be strongly accountable to diverse stakeholders with an interest in 
>> the Internet.
>> Over the past two years, myriad interests and participants in the 
>> global Internet community worked tirelessly to meet that challenge. 
>> Hundreds of stakeholders undertook an amazing effort that logged more 
>> than 400 meetings and calls, some 32,000 mailing list exchanges and 
>> hundreds of working hours to devise a transition proposal. A plan 
>> describing how the transition always envisioned could be implemented 
>> has now been delivered to the Commerce Department.
>> The proposal reinforces the private economy-led model that has 
>> allowed policy to keep pace with the Internet’s growth. What could be 
>> more American than a world that has a free and open Internet, in 
>> which all stakeholders have a voice in its governance and no one 
>> interest has a controlling say?
>> A successful stewardship transition will allow online innovation and 
>> productivity to continue to thrive. What’s more, it will be a 
>> validation of the approaches to other pressing transnational issues 
>> such as privacy, online content, interconnection fees, taxation and 
>> cybersecurity.
>> This transition, maintaining the global Internet’s role as an 
>> incubator for innovation and a stimulator of domestic and 
>> international economic growth, merits broad support. We owe it to 
>> future generations to assure that the Internet of tomorrow is as 
>> free, open and resilient as the Internet of today.
>> /Mr. Crocker is the chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation 
>> for Assigned Names and Numbers./
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Garth Bruen
gbruen at knujon.com

Fisher College, Criminal Justice Division
ICANN At-Large Advisory Council
Author: WHOIS Running the Internet

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