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What is the IANA Transition?
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is transitioning from the purview of the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), to a new oversight mechanism by a global, multistakeholder community.
IANA Stewardship Transition Process: Where We Stand
The goal of the Cross Community Working Group (CWG-Stewardship) is to develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions. This includes producing a consolidated transition proposal for the elements of the IANA Functions relating to the Domain Name System (DNS).
In March of this year, the CWG-Stewardship managed to narrow down their list of seven post-transition structural models to two alternative structures, based on input from their first draft proposal, released in December 2014. According to an overview of their second draft proposal, the group has since agreed to focus on a structure that strengthens the separation between the policy development (for policies then implemented through the IANA Functions) and the operational aspects performed by the IANA Functions Operator.
Enhancing ICANN Accountability Process: Where We Stand
Last fall, the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) did an inventory of accountability issues that need to be reformed at ICANN. Their work can be divided into two work streams:
- Work Stream 1 covers accountability reforms that must be set in place before the stewardship can occur. This is to ensure that ICANN remains accountable in the absence of its contractual relationship with the U.S. Government. The work includes getting affirmation of commitments and incorporating them into existing accountability measures, such as ICANN bylaws, as well as fostering community empowerment to give members of the multistakeholder community more rights with respect to the consideration and development of the ICANN budget and the ICANN board, including the board’s oversight of the IANA operations and the ability to appoint and remove members.
- Work Stream 2 covers other topics that will be settled after the IANA transition takes place. The working group has specifically requested feedback from the global community on the issues they feel should be discussed in the post-transition phase. Currently, this track is discussing the ICANN information disclosure policy, whistleblower policy, as well as how to enhance ICANN diversity.
What is the role of civil society?
Civil society plays a central role in ensuring that the transition of IANA functions occurs in a transparent manner and with sufficient accountability mechanisms in place. Overall, there has been a greater call and emphasis for the working groups to liaise with civil society and garner greater participation and input. Opportunities for civil society and the general public to provide feedback and increase their participation include meetings, webinars, and the submission of public comments. Despite the complexity of the topics and the timeframe of the process, working group leaders have provided many resources on the transition and emphasized that it is not too late to join the process and to provide input.
Want to Follow the Process? Here are the Key Upcoming Dates:
Working Group Deadlines:
- May 20, 2015 – Closing date for public comments
- June 3, 2015 – Closing date for public comments
ICANN Multi-stakeholder Meetings:
For more information, check out the CCWG-Accountability infographic.
For more detailed information, including a timeline of the road ahead, you can refer to the CWG-Stewardship infographic.