2014-12-09

Gordon Crovitz, Larry Strickling, IANA Stewardship Transition

Interesting Point (Crovitz), Counterpoint (Strickling), Point (Crovitz) between Larry Strickling (NTIA, US Dept of Commerce) and Gordon Crovitz in the Wall Street Journal--here's an excerpt from the  latest point by Mr. Crovitz:

Gordon Crovitz: No Deadline for the Open Internet - WSJ: ".... Philip Corwin, an Internet lawyer, summarized on the industry website CircleID the flaw in this [IANA stewardship transition] process: “An unrealistically compressed timeline tied to an unnecessary September 2015 deadline has in turn led to adoption of a dual work stream approach that will likely leave its most important work unfinished by that date.”

"The broader point is that even with more time, there is little prospect of finding an alternative through new governance rules, as some academics have suggested. Icann is a California nonprofit subject to the state’s governance laws. Its lawyers say this means the board must always be in charge: “The activities and affairs of a corporation shall be conducted and all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the direction of the board of directors.” Ultimate authority by the Icann board means the stakeholders can neither control nor protect the board, whose members would be subject to pressure from authoritarian regimes. The current system works because the U.S. could give the contract to operate the root zone to another group if Icann ever gave in to demands for censorship or otherwise closed off the Internet. If Washington gives up the contract, there is no backup plan.

"Mr. Strickling’s letter also fails to address a fundamental question: why the executive branch thinks it can act on its own. The Constitution says only Congress can transfer federal property, such as the Icann contract. The administration has not provided any legal argument to the contrary. Congress has voted unanimously to keep U.S. oversight and should block unilateral action by the White House.

"The U.S. can renew the Icann agreement for another four years beyond September 2015. That would give everyone the chance to see if there is any way to protect the open Internet without U.S. stewardship. We know for sure that there will be no protection on the schedule set by the Obama administration." (emphasis added)

see also: ICANN Accountability, IANA Transition, Deadline Dysfunctionality
and
US Ass. Commerce Sec hits back at claims global DNS is DOOMED • The Register




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