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ICANN’s Accountability and Transparency – a Retrospective on the IANA Transition

As we passed five years since the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority transition took place, my co-authors and I paused to look back on this pivotal moment; to take stock of what we’ve learned and to re-examine some of the key events leading up to the transition and how careful planning ensured a successful transfer of IANA responsibilities from the United States Government to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. I’ve excerpted the main themes from our work, which can be found in full on the Internet Governance Project blog.

In March 2014, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced its intent to “transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community” and asked ICANN to “convene global stakeholders to develop a proposal to transition the current role played by NTIA in the coordination of the Internet’s domain name system.” This transition, as announced by NTIA, was a natural progression of ICANN’s multi-stakeholder evolution, and an outcome that was envisioned by its founders.

While there was general support for a transition to the global multi-stakeholder community, many in the ICANN community raised concerns about ICANN’s accountability, transparency and organizational readiness to “stand alone” without NTIA’s legacy supervision. In response, the ICANN community began a phase of intense engagement to ensure a successful transition with all necessary accountability and transparency structures and mechanisms in place.

As a result of this meticulous planning, we believe the IANA functions have been well-served by the transition and the new accountability structures designed and developed by the ICANN community to ensure the security, stability and resiliency of the internet’s unique identifiers.

But what does the future hold? While ICANN’s multi-stakeholder processes and accountability structures are functioning, even in the face of a global pandemic that interrupted our ability to gather and engage in person, they will require ongoing care to ensure they deliver on the original vision of private-sector-led management of the DNS.

By Keith Drazek, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations at Verisign

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ICANN is a FAILED Organization John Poole  –  Sep 22, 2022 12:57 PM

With all due respect Keith, your (and your co-authors’) “work” is pathetic, complete with self-serving conclusions by a small self-selected group of individuals, each with vested interests in an ICANN (Board, Org, and “community”) which has repeatedly FAILED the global internet community, including REGISTRANTS, in so many ways. I COMPLETELY gave up on ICANN, its Board of Directors, its management & staff (ICANN Org), and its so-called “community” (dominated by lobbyists, lawyers, and ICANN’s “contracted parties”) after Phase 1 of the .ORG Debacle when ICANN proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, it is UNFIT for the mission it was given by the US Government.  After choosing to NOT follow the legal advice it was given by the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division—https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/baker-to-dengate-thrush-18dec08-en.pdf (pp 4-11)—followed by its many failings re: GDPR, the FUBAR “new gTLDs” program, and the complete .ORG debacle (Phases 1 & 2) which required an INTERVENTION by the California Attorney General acting in the PUBLIC INTEREST in accordance with California law and at the request of .ORG REGISTRANTS and others, it is now OBVIOUS to most who are not “ICANN insiders” (such as you & your co-authors), that ICANN is irretrievably broken, untrustworthy, INCOMPETENT, CORRUPT, & CAPTURED.

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