[NA-Discuss] Forget about that ICANN transition nonsense

Joly MacFie joly at punkcast.com
Thu Dec 11 06:51:49 UTC 2014

See Paul Rosenweig:

I think this is unlikely to have the effect that Congress seems to intend.  As
I said back in May
when this proposal was first made, the language prohibits the NTIA from
spending funds to carry out the transition.  So, if enacted in law, NTIA
would be disabled from participating in discussions with ICANN about the
nature of the transition, precisely at the critical moment when those
discussions would be most useful to NTIA, to ICANN and to America.

More importantly, since the act of *not signing* a contract (which is what
NTIA proposes to do) costs nothing, there can be no funding prohibition
that effectively prevents NTIA from declining to renew the contract.  To
achieve that end it need simply let the current contract expire on its own
terms by doing precisely zero — inaction that is consistent with the
funding prohibition.  The only way for Congress to achieve its objective of
preventing the transition would be to affirmatively prohibit the transfer
(a result that has nearly no likelihood of occurring).

In short, I read this language as disabling NTIA from engaging in
discussions of the transition while not, in the end, preventing the
transition itself — a lose-lose proposition if ever there was one.  And if,
to the contrary, the NTIA reads this  language as compelling renewal of the
contract and preventing the transition altogether, then this will send the
wrong message to the rest of the world, many of whom doubt the bona fides
of American stewardship of the network.  The United States achieved a
fairly successful result at NetMundia
in Brazil — at least in part because the proposed IANA transition created
good will.  This points in the opposite direction.

On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 12:37 AM, John R. Levine <johnl at iecc.com> wrote:

> The US Congress has said it's not going to happen any time soon.
> Helpful blog post here:
> http://jl.ly/2014/12/10#trans2017
> R's,
> John
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