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Process and substantive concerns

  • To: "'Icg-Forum@Icann. Org'" <icg-forum@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Process and substantive concerns
  • From: "Richard Hill" <rhill@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:07:47 +0200

I refer to a presentation made at a recent ARIN meeting, published at:


Page 18 of the ARIN presentation says:

"ICANN has verbally represented that they will reject any proposed agreement
in which ICANN is not deemed the sole source prime contractor for IANA
functions in perpetuity.

"ICANN asserts that neither NTIA nor the US Congress will approve any
transition plan which leaves open the possibility of a future non-US IANA
Functions Operator."

I find these representations/assertions by ICANN to be deeply troubling both
for procedural and substantive reasons.

 From the procedural point of view, NTIA asked ICANN to convene an open
consultation process.  ICANN convened the ICG which invited the various
communities to present proposals. So the process used to date is the process
that ICANN itself convened and thus, in my view, represent the results of
the process that NTIA asked ICANN to convene. Thus the outcome of that
process is (or should be) ICANN's response to NTIA.

I don't understand how some particular bit of ICANN (whether its legal staff
or its Board or whatever) could override and/or attempt to modify and/or to
influence the outcome of the consultation process initiated by ICG and that
resulted in the numbers community proposal.

It seems to me that this sort of interference invalidates the entire

 From the substantive point of view, I have a real problem accepting that
anything should be granted to anybody "in perpetuity". Surely that would
stifle innovation and lead to lack of accountability.

In the past, there was no expectation that ICANN would operate the IANA
function in perpetuity. Page 26 of the ARIN presentation makes that clear.

If NTIA cannot accept a transition plan that leaves open the possibility of
a future non-US IANA Functions Operator, then they should say so publicly
and up front, so that the people working on the transition plan can take
this requirement into account.

And I wonder whether there are any other secret requirement that we don't
yet know about?

I am also deeply troubled by what ICANN's CEO said, cited on page 30 of the
ARIN presentation:

"Because the CWG is so busy not doing its job -which is to tell us how
operationally IANA should work- it is busy telling us how it's going to turn
ICANN into a membership organization, I think we have an issue."

The reference is to CWG-Stewardship. I think that it is impermissible
interference for ICANN's CEO to state that the CWG-Stewardship is not doing
its job because it is considering issues that CWG-Stewardship considers to
be relevant for the transition.

Again, in my view this sort of interference invalidates the whole process.

I would appreciate ICG's clarifications regarding these matters.

Thanks and best,

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