Top Internet engineers get ready for the IANA contract rebid

One of the looming milestones in Internet governance is the impending renewal of ICANN's contract for the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions. The IANA contract is the mechanism through which the US government delegates control of the name and numbers space to ICANN. As such, it is the source of all of ICANN's real authority over domain name industry and IP address policy; take away that contract and ICANN is a shell. Thus, the contract could be used as a fairly heavy accountability club to wave around ICANN's head (“behave or we'll give IANA to someone else!”). Also, other governments and civil society are deeply interested in the fate of this contract, as the contract-granting authority could be used to either internationalize or de-nationalize the governance of the Internet. In her opening speech at the ICANN meeting in Brussels, European Commission Vice President Nellie Kroes, with some encouragement from various sources (wink), pointedly said, “I am hopeful that the expiry of the IANA contract next year will be turned into an opportunity for more international cooperation serving the global public interest.”

Kroes is not the only one eagerly anticipating the rebid. Late last month the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) announced a program related to “IANA evolution.” The memo was released July 28 (sorry for the slow reporting, but it's summer and even IGP gets to have holidays!).

The IAB is, effectively, the governing board of the IETF. The IETF has felt bereft by the US commerce Department's assertion of control over the IANA function back in 1997 and its delegation to the circus that is ICANN. With this program, IAB announces that it is a major stakeholder in the future of IANA (“The IETF has very specific needs with respect to the protocol parameter registries and the Internet technical community has a strong interest in stable evolution of all IANA functions…”). It also announces that it will appoint a team to offer advice on this topic and to develop and implement a position for the IAB that it can take into “the context of the IANA functions contract rebid by the US Department of Commerce.”

It will be interesting to see what position the IAB develops. IGP will continue to track and monitor this issue.

13 comments

  1. Anonymous

    http://www.iab.org/documents/iabmins/iabmins.2010-05-12.txt
    8. IN-ADDR background
    Olaf described that IN-ADDR.ARPA is currently being operated by
    ARIN and that there are plans in development to move the
    function under IANA. He had recently discussed the move with John
    Curran (ARIN President), and the board discussed coordination that
    might be needed with ARIN and IANA in order to properly structure
    the transfer.

  2. Anonymous

    http://www.merit.edu/mail.archives/nanog/1997-11/msg00424.html

    You asked how Jon Postel came to be on our board. As far as I know, it is
    the only board he sits on. He sits in one of my two board positions. He
    helps me provide the Internet's view to the Bechtel side of the board, so
    that the decisions they make are for the Internet, not against it. He
    helps me lend weight to making sure that we help, not hurt. We've funded
    well into 6 figures of software development through Vixie and Associates.

  3. Anonymous

    http://www.cookreport.com/whorules.shtml
    Mike Roberts Management Style
    This mornings' email brings detailed complaints about Mike Roberts modus operandi…. from senior internet people….
    That he mixes a combination of self righteousness and disdain for those who don't see the world his way. his response to me a month ago when I expressed dismay that ICANN backers with no indication of support from the US government had gone ahead and completed the process of incorporation….. was in effect darn right….what did you expect? why should you be surprised?
    That when he is given something to run, he runs it as he pleases without oversight and without accountability from membership.
    That he pretends to listen and then does whatever he wants.
    That he has an unwavering belief in his ability to always make the right decision and is unwilling to listen to criticism or to views of those who see things differently.

  4. Anonymous

    http://mailman.nanog.org/pipermail/nanog/2010-April/021162.html
    On Apr 12, 2010, at 2:36 PM, David Conrad wrote:
    > John,
    >
    > On Apr 12, 2010, at 5:23 AM, John Curran wrote:
    >> On this matter we do agree, since allocations prior to ARIN's formation were
    >> generally made pursuant to a US Government contract or cooperative agreement.
    >
    > As we're both aware, Jon was funded in part via the ISI Teranode Network Technologies project. Folks who were directly involved have told me that IANA-related activities weren't even identified in the original contracts until the mid- to late-90s (around the time when lawsuits were being thrown at Jon because of the domain name wars — odd coincidence, that) when the IANA activities were codified as “Task 4”. IANAL, but it seems a bit of a stretch to me for ARIN to assert policy control over resources allocated prior to ARIN's existence without any sort of documentation that explicitly lists that policy control in ARIN's predecessor (ever). Like I said, it'll be an interesting court case.
    >
    > Regards,
    > -drc
    >

  5. Anonymous

    Obama promised to bring Off-Shore jobs back to .USA
    Who was the moron that gave .ORG to Ireland ?

  6. Anonymous

    ICANN's New HQ ?
    US may relax Cuba travel restrictions
    Move would make it easier for US academics, religious organisations, sports teams and others to visit Cuba

  7. Anonymous

    It was agreed that as a matter of normal procedure, the Board would observe Roberts Rules of Order.

  8. Anonymous

    How cool would that be ? ICANN would own their own island. Frankie would be a neighbor.
    ICANN could also take over GIT.MO for all the netizens they plan to round up.