[At-Large] ISOC SEEKING INPUTS} US Department of Commerce IANA Further Notice of Inquiry

Joly MacFie joly at punkcast.com
Sun Jun 19 07:37:10 UTC 2011


Video and audio of Strickling'e INET NY comments are at


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Markus Kummer <kummer at isoc.org>
Date: Sun, Jun 19, 2011 at 12:17 AM
Subject: [Chapter-delegates] SEEKING INPUTS} US Department of Commerce IANA
Further Notice of Inquiry
To: Chapter Delegates <chapter-delegates at elists.isoc.org>,
isoc-members-announce at elists.isoc.org, ISOC Chapter Support <
chapter-support at isoc.org>

Dear Chapter Delegates and Members,

You may already have looked at the IANA Functions Further Notice of Inquiry
(FNOI), which was officially published on 14 June 2011.  The document is
being made available through NTIA's website:

NTIA is seeking public comment on a draft statement of work (Draft SOW),
which will be part of the procurement process for the new IANA functions
contract. Comments are due within 45 days after publication.

We plan to prepare a response and would be grateful for your input. Any
comments received by 5 July will be considered and, to the extent possible,
incorporated in a first draft. We will of course give you an opportunity to
comment on the draft before submitting it to NTIA.

You may recall that among other things we had suggested in our response to
the original NOI that:
- the US government should not under any circumstances expand the scope of
the IANA function contract or their role in it;
- there is a desire to gradually increase independence from the USG;
- the roles of the IETF, IAB, RIRs, and ccTLD operators should be recognized
in the system without implying US government control over them;
- there is a need to build international confidence in how the IANA function
is operated and administered;
- there should be increased predictability for the IANA contractor by moving
away from short-term contracts to a more stable instrument.

It may be of interest to you that Lawrence Strickling, Assistant Secretary
for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator, commented on the
FNOI at last Tuesday’s INET in New York on the very day it was published. He
summed it up as follows:

Quote: First, we propose a functional separation between DNS policy making
wherever it occurs at ICANN or elsewhere in the actual execution of tasks
associated with the IANA functions.

Second, we propose enhanced transparency and accountability through the
development of documentation processes as well as performance standards and
metrics to establish service levels.

Third, we propose that the contractor needs to include documentation that
demonstrates how proposed new top level domain strings have received
consensus support from relevant stakeholders and are supported by the global
public interest. Unquote

Below are some of the key elements contained in the FNOI in more detail:

The FNOI makes it clear “that it is not in discussions with ICANN to
transition the IANA functions nor does the agency intend to undertake such
discussions.” It also states that “NTIA does not have the legal authority to
enter into a cooperative agreement with any organization, including ICANN,
for the performance of the IANA functions.”

NTIA envisages a one year extension of the contract and makes the following
comments in this regard: “NTIA does not view the previously awarded IANA
functions contracts as short-term contracts. Typical contracts are for one
year, while the previous IANA functions contracts had terms, once options
were exercised, of five years.”

On the documentation processes, mentioned by Assistant Secretary Strickling,
the SOW “requires the contractor, in consultation with all relevant
stakeholders, to develop a process for documenting the source of the
policies and procedures and how it has applied the relevant policies and
procedures in processing all TLD requests (…) For delegation requests for
new generic TLDS (gTLDs), the Contractor shall include documentation to
demonstrate how the proposed string has received consensus support from
relevant stakeholders and is supported by the global public interest. In
addition, “the IANA functions contractor should document its decision making
with respect to relevant national laws of the jurisdiction which the TLD
registry serves, how the TLD reflects community consensus among relevant
stakeholders and/or is supported by the global public interest.”

The SOW proposes automating the root zone management process and considers
this a priority. It requires that “the contractor generate a monthly audit
report to track each root zone change request and include the identification
of the policy under which the changes were made.”

Furthermore, NTIA will “require the Contractor to designate a Director of
Security and consult with NTIA on  any changes in this critical position.
During the procurement process, NTIA will also require the identification of
this key personnel and a demonstration of their qualifications for the
position prior to contract award.”

Lastly, it is proposed that the contractor undergoes an annual security
audit by an external, independent specialized compliance auditor against
relevant international standards.

Assistant Secretary Strickling’s speech at the INET gives some insight into
the thinking behind the FNOI. He made it clear that the US is fully
supportive of the multistakeholder ICANN model, but he also identified some
questions that needed to be addressed, first and foremost the
recommendations proposed by the accountability and transparency review team.
He said in this regard: “But the question now is whether the ICANN board and
management have the discipline and willpower to embrace and implement these
recommendations in a serious and meaningful way. (…) A second challenge
facing ICANN in Singapore is finding a way to adequately address the
collective concerns of governments as expressed through the government
advisory committee regarding the expansion of the generic top level domain

The full transcript of his speech can be read at:

The FNOI will need to be carefully analyzed. While some of our concerns with
regard to enhancing the transparency of all processes are addressed and the
roles of key institutions are recognized, some key points are not met, such
as the demand for a more stable and long-term instrument. There are also a
number of questions with regard to the documentation processes. Does this
mean the USG reserves a right to veto ICANN board decisions if they fail to
“reflect community consensus among relevant stakeholders and/or is supported
by the global public interest”? Also, the proposed NTIA involvement in the
hiring of the IANA Security Director signals an expanded USG role, which
would be contrary to what we had hoped for.

It is our intention to comment on the FNOI in the light of the key points we
had made in our first submission. We look forward to your input into the

Best regards
- Markus

Markus Kummer
Vice President, Public Policy
Internet Society, Geneva
Email: kummer at isoc.org

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