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[bc-gnso] Breaking: U.S. Government Funding Bill Delays IANA Transition

  • To: BC List <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [bc-gnso] Breaking: U.S. Government Funding Bill Delays IANA Transition
  • From: Steve DelBianco <sdelbianco@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 22:33:50 +0000

Thought BC members would like to hear about breaking news on US Congressional 

See Phil Corwin’s CircleID post 
 and below).

A reporter just asked me about this, and here’s the answer I gave (speaking 

This policy rider is not an attempt to stop the transition, as far as I can 
tell.   It seems designed to prod NTIA to do a short extension of its current 
IANA contract, since it allows NTIA to resume using funds to plan the 
transition after September 2015.

I don’t think this should alarm global stakeholders or the ICANN working groups 
already planning the IANA transition.  We have lots of work to do and aren’t 
depending on NTIA funds to help us.   And given the aggressive timelines we saw 
on yesterday’s initial call for the Accountability project, we may need the 
extra time an IANA extension would allow.

Phil Corwin in CircleID:

Breaking: U.S. Government Funding Bill Delays IANA Transition
On the evening of Tuesday, September 9th, Congressional leaders unveiled a 
1,603 page, $1.01 trillion FY 2015 appropriations bill to fund the U.S. 
government through the end of September 2015. One provision of the omnibus bill 
would delay the IANA transition until after the September 30, 2015 expiration 
of the current contract between the NTIA and ICANN.
Language in the 
SEC. 540. (a) None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to 
relinquish the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and 
Information Administration during fiscal year 2015 with respect to Internet 
domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the 
authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority 
(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall expire on September 30, 2015.
That language, a modified version of the “Duffy Amendment” that was contained 
in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, would allow 
NTIA to start spending funds on a transition after exercising its first option 
to extend the contract.
In addition, the explanatory report language of the Commerce-Justice-State 
portion of the omnibus spending bill, in which the above language is contained, 
states the following:
Internet governance.-The agreement reiterates House and Senate language 
regarding the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and 
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) matters and modifies Senate language 
by directing NTIA to inform appropriate Congressional committees not less than 
45 days in advance of any such proposed successor contract or any other 
decision related to changing NTIA's role with respect to ICANN or IANA 
activities. In addition, NTIA shall submit a report to the Committees on 
Appropriations within 45 days of enactment of this Act regarding any recourse 
that would be available to the United States if the decision is made to 
transition to a new contract and any subsequent decisions made following such 
transfer of Internet governance are deleterious to the United States.
This language appears to require NTIA to inform Congress 45 days prior to 
extending the IANA contract or taking any other decision in regard to it; as 
well as to submit a report to Congress within 45 days after the spending bill’s 
enactment regarding whether the US would have any post-transition recourse if 
subsequent decisions were deleterious to the U.S.
This final bill language has already been negotiated with and accepted by 
Senate Democratic and House Republican leaders and is likely to be enacted and 
sent to President Obama by the weekend. It is unlikely that the White House 
would veto the bill and risk a government shutdown over this IANA language 
(although other provisions could become sticking points between the 
Administration and Congress).
Rumors were already circulating in Washington that NTIA was prepared to extend 
the current IANA contract by at least six months in recognition of the fact 
that it may be impossible for the ICANN community to design and stress test 
enhanced accountability measures by the end of the current contract term, much 
less have them in place by then. So the bill may have little effect on the 
actual timetable for the transition. It remains to be seen what reaction to its 
enactment comes from ICANN, the ICANN community, and other nations.

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