IANA CWG-Stewardship Reverses Course, Chooses 'Internal Model'

Less than two months after NTIA and ICANN "pressured" stakeholders at ICANN 52 in Singapore, to reject an "external model" draft proposal,  the "Cross Community Working Group (CWG) to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions" (commonly referred to as CWG-stewardship) has reversed course and is now pursuing an "internal model" for the IANA Stewardship Transition which has clearly been the "model" preferred by the U.S. Department of Commerce (NTIA) and ICANN since the NTIA announcement in March, 2014.

CWG-Stewardship Chairs' Statement | Summary of Istanbul Face-to-Face Meeting--Lise Fuhr & Jonathan Robinson, CWG-Stewardship Co-Chairs:

"The Cross Community Working Group on Naming Related Functions (CWG or CWG-Stewardship) held a face-to-face meeting in Istanbul on 26-27 March 2015. The CWG-Stewardship meeting followed the CCWG-Accountability meeting held on 23-24 March in the same venue. On the last day of the meeting, the Chairs concluded that this was a very effective and constructive week for the CWG. For the CWG-Stewardship, the meeting specifically illustrated the success of the revised working methods, in place since ICANN52 in Singapore in February and whereby; the CWG uses small, expertise-based subgroups, known as Design Teams, to focus on developing the many operational aspects of the proposal. Following the retention of independent legal counsel (Sidley Austin LLP) by the CWG, the commitment to have comprehensive legal input and associated consultation with the group regarding the post-transition arrangements, was also fulfilled in Istanbul... The CWG-Stewardship converged around a plan to have legal counsel focus on further evolving the detail and variants of an 'internal model'...."

The next milestone for the CWG-Stewardship is the publication of its 2nd draft proposal for public comment. The original opening date was planned for early April, but the date has now shifted back to 20 April 2015, giving the CWG-Stewardship additional time to finalize Design Team work. Key dates include:
  • 20 April – 20 May: Public Comment (30 days) on the Draft Proposal
  • 8 June: Delivery of the Final CWG Proposal to the Chartering Organizations
  • 25 June: Target to deliver approved Final CWG Proposal to IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG)
"The CWG-Stewardship revised its timeline, cognizant of the constraints relating to the broader ICG and IANA Stewardship Transition timelines and recognizing the requirements of the SO/AC chartering organizations to have final sign-off on the proposal, including utilizing the ICANN53 meeting in June 2015...." (emphasis added) Read the full statement here.

In addition, it is now clear that most of the heavy work and burden of the IANA stewardship transition has now shifted to the group known as CCWG-accountability--even the CWG-Stewardship Co-Chairs seem to acknowledge that in their statement--
"The [CWG-Stewardship] Chairs recognize that continued and close engagement with the CCWG-Accountability is essential to the elaboration of a complete proposal, since aspects of the CWG proposal will be conditional on the output of the CCWG-Accountability. Giving the CCWG-Accountability the input they have requested a key next step, as will be keeping the CCWG apprised of the evolution of key aspects of the proposal which are linked to their work." (source: CWG Chairs statement, emphasis added)

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