Centre for Internet & Society

Following NTIA's announcement to give up control over critical Internet functions, the discussion on how that role should be filled has gathered steam across the Internet governance space.

This post maps the discussion across the NETmundial submissions and presents six emerging evolution scenarios related to the IANA functions:

  1. Separation of IANA from policy/ICANN, control of IANA to a multilateral body
  2. Separation of IANA from policy/ICANN, control of IANA to a non-multilateral body
  3. No separation of IANA from policy/ICANN, control of IANA to a multilateral body
  4. No separation of IANA from policy/ICANN, control of IANA to a non-multilateral body
  5. Multiplication of TLD registries and root servers
  6. Maintenance of status quo

I. Separation of IANA from policy/ICANN, control of IANA to a multilateral body

The proposal under this category demands for the separation of IANA function from technical policy making, and suggests that the IANA function be transferred to an intergovernmental body.

Such proposal is listed below:

Sl.No.Proposal No.Name of ProposalOrganizationSectorRegionLink
1 186 The Next Best Stage for the Future of Internet Governance is Democracy Global Geneva Civil Society Geneva, Switzerland http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/the-next-best-stage-for-the-future-of-internet-governance-is-democracy/305

This proposal by Global Geneva seeks the establishment of an intergovernmental organisation called World Internet Organisation (WIO), under which IANA (which is understood to be essentially technical and concerning safety and security of the Internet would be located. WIO would additionally have a special link/status/contract with IANA to avoid unwanted interference from governments. A 75% majority at WIO would be requested to act/modify/contest an IANA decision, making it difficult for governments to go beyond reasonable and consensual demands. WIO would act in concert with World Internet Forum, under which ICANN would be located, whereby it would make policy decisions regarding gTLDs apart from its other present functions.

II. Separation of IANA from policy/ICANN, control of IANA to a non-multilateral body

There are certain proposals whereby it is proposed that IANA function should be separated from technical policy making, or ICANN, and IANA function, which is perceived to be a purely administrative one in such submissions, should be handed over to some sort of non-multilateral organisation, which take different forms in each proposal.

Most such submissions have emerged from the civil society or the technical community.

The Internet Governance Project submission envisions the creation of a DNS Authority under whose umbrella IANA would function. The DNS Authority would be separate from ICANN. This proposal has been endorsed by the submissions of InternetNZ as well as Article 19 and Best Bits. Avri Doria’s submission, along with the submission of APC, envisions the establishment of an independent IANA, separate from the technical policy function. Such independence is sought to be preceded by a transition period by a body called IANA Stewardship Group which would be constituted mostly by members from the technical community. IANA is sought to be governed via MoUs with all stakeholders, on the same lines as the MoU between ICANN and the IETF, as described in RFC2860, RFC6220. The focus of these MoUs would not be policy but will be on performance and adherence to service level agreements.

These submissions are listed below:

Sl. No.Proposal No.Name of ProposalOrganisationSectorRegionLink
1 19 Roadmap for Globalising IANA: Four Principles and a Proposal for Reform Internet Governance Project Civil Society North America http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/roadmap-for-globalizing-iana-four-principles-and-a-proposal-for-reform-a-submission-to-the-global-multistakeholder-meeting-on-the-future-of-internet-governance/96
2 26 Roadmap for the Further Evolution of the Internet Governance Ecosystem- ICANN Article 19 and Best Bits Civil Society
Global http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/roadmap-for-the-further-evolution-of-the-internet-governance-ecosystem-icann/109
3 42 Content Contribution to NetMundial on the Roadmap for the Futher Evolution of the IG Ecosystem regarding the Internationalisation of the IANA Function InternetNZ Technical Community New Zealand http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/content-contribution-to-netmundial-on-the-roadmap-for-the-futher-evolution-of-the-ig-ecosystem-regarding-the-internationalisation-of-the-iana-function/130
4 60 One Possible Roadmap for IANA Evolution Avri Doria, Independent Researcher Other USA http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/one-possible-roadmap-for-iana-evolution/153
5 162 APC Proposals for the Further Evolution of the Internet Governance Ecosystem Association for Progressive Communications (APC) Civil Society APC is an international organisation with its executive director's office in South Africa http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/apc-proposals-for-the-further-evolution-of-the-internet-governance-ecosystem/280

III. No separation of IANA from policy/ICANN, control of IANA to a multilateral body

These submissions propose that the IANA function should come under a multilateral body. However they do not suggest the separation of IANA function from policymaking, or from ICANN; or they are at least silent on this latter issue. 2 such proposals come from the civil society and 2 from the government.

A list of these submissions is provided below:

Sl. No.Proposal No.Name of Proposal
1 8 Roadmaps for Further Evolution of Internet Governance Association for Proper Internet Governance Civil Society Switzerland http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/roadmaps-for-further-evolution-of-internet-governance/65
2 45 Russian Parliament Submission to NET mundial State Duma of the Russian Federation (Parliament of the Russia) Government Russian Federation http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/themes/133
3 121 Contribution from the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Global Multiskaeholder (sic) Meeting for the Future of the Internet, 23-24 April 2014 Sao Paulo, Brazil Cyber Space National Center, Iran Government Islamic Republic of Iran http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/contribution-from-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-to-the-global-multiskaeholder-meeting-for-the-future-of-the-internet-23-24-april-2014-sao-paolo-brazil/236
4 125 Towards Reform of Global Internet Governance The Society for Knowledge Commons Civil Society India and Brazil http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/towards-reform-of-global-internet-governance/240

IV. No separation of IANA from policy/ICANN, control of IANA to a non-multilateral body

These submissions do not consider the issue of separation of IANA function from policymaking, or ICANN, or at least do not state an opinion on the separation of IANA function from ICANN. However, they do suggest that the control of IANA should be held by a non-multilateral body, and not the US Government.

Many of these submissions also suggest that the oversight of ICANN should be done by a non-multilateral body, therefore it makes sense that the IANA function is administered by a non-multilateral body, without its removal from the ICANN umbrella.

A list of such submissions is provided below:

Sl.No.Proposal No.Name of ProposalOrganisationSectorRegionLink
1 46 Norwegian Contribution to the Sao Paulo Meeting Norwegian government Government Norway, Europe http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/norwegian-government/137
2 50 Contribution from the GSM Association to the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance GSMA Private Sector Global http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/contribution-from-the-gsm-association-to-the-global-multistakeholder-meeting-on-the-future-of-internet-governance/141
3 51 Contribution of Telefonica to NETmundial Telefonica, S.A. Private Sector Spain http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/contribution-of-telefonica-to-netmundial/143
4 56 ETNO Contribution to NETmundial ETNO [European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association] Private Sector Belgium http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/etno-contribution-to-netmundial/148
5 61 French Government Submission to NETmundial French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Government France http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/french-government-submission-to-netmundial/154
6 63 Nominet Submission on Internet Governance Principles and the Roadmap Nominet Private Sector UK http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/nominet-submission-on-internet-governance-principles-and-the-roadmap/156
7 64 Submission by AHCIET to the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance. NETmundial AHCIET Private Sector Latin America http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/submission-by-ahciet-to-the-global-multistakeholder-meeting-on-the-future-of-internet-governance-netmundial/157
8 70 Spanish Government Contribution to the Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, Spain Government Spain http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/multistakeholder-human-rights-stability-gac/165
9 80 Roadmap for the Further Evolution of the Internet Governance Ecosystem European Commission Government Europe http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/roadmap-for-the-further-evolution-of-the-internet-governance-ecosystem/177
10 94 Roadmap for the Future Development of the Internet Governance Ecosystem Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina Government Argentina http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/roadmap-for-the-future-development-of-the-internet-governance-ecosystem/196
11 97 Orange Contribution for NETmundial Orange Group Private Sector Deputy to the Chief Regulatory Officer Orange Group http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/orange/199
12 106 Submission on Internet Governance Principles and Roadmap for the Further Evolution of the Internet Governance Ecosystem Kuwait Information Technology Society Civil Society Kuwait http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/kuwait-information-technology-society-kits-submission-on-internet-governance-principles-and-roadmap-for-the-further-evolution-of-the-internet-governance-ecosystem/214
13 111 Content Submission by the Federal Government of Mexico Secretara de Comunicaciones y Transportes, Mexico Government Mexico http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/content-submission-by-the-federal-government-of-mexico/219
14 114 Better Understanding and Co-operation for Internet Governance Principles and Its Roadmap Japan Internet Service Providers Association Private Sector Japan http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/better-understanding-cooperation-for-internet-governance-principles-its-roadmap/222
15 116 Deutsche Telekom’s Contribution for to the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance Deutsche Telekom AG Private Sector Germany / Europe http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/deutsche-telekom-s-contribution-for-to-the-global-multistakeholder-meeting-on-the-future-of-internet-governance/225
16 148 NRO Contribution to NETmundial NRO (for AFRINIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC, RIPE-NCC) Technical Community Mauritius http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/nro-contribution-to-netmundial/259
17 146 Evolution and Internationalisation of ICANN CGI.br- Brazilian Internet Steering Committee Other Brazil http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/evolution-and-internationalization-of-icann/263
18 176 Addressing Three Prominent “How To” Questions on the Internet Governance Ecosystem Future Luis Magalhes, Professor at IST of University of Lisbon, Portugal; Panelist of ICANN’s Strategy Panel on the Role in the Internet Governance System Academia Portugal http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/addressing-three-prominent-how-to-questions-on-the-internet-governance-ecosystem-future/294
19 183 NETmundial Content Submission- endorsed by NIC Mexico NIC Mexico Technical Community Mexico http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/netmundial-content-submission-endorsed-by-nic-mexico/302

V. Multiplication of TLD registries and Root Servers

These submissions are based on the assumption that reform in the current ICANN/IANA administrative structure is impossible as the US government is unlikely to give up its oversight role over both. Instead, these submissions suggest that multiple TLD registries and root servers should be created as alternatives to today’s IANA/ICANN so that a healthy market competition can be fostered in this area, rather than fostering monopoly of IANA.

A list of such submissions is provided below:

Sl.No.Proposal No.Name of ProposalOrganisationSectorRegionLink
1 41 Internet Governance: What Next? EUROLINC Civil Society France, Europe http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/internet-governance-what-next/129
2 175 The Intergovernance of the InterPLUS INTLNET Civil Society France http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/the-intergovernance-of-the-interplus/293

VI. Maintenance of status quo

These submissions are based on the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” principle, and are of the opinion that there is no need to change the administration of IANA function as it functions efficiently in the current system.

A list of such submissions is provided below:

Sl.No.Proposal No.Name of ProposalOrganisationSectorRegionLink
1 12 United Kingdom Government Submission Department For Culture Media and Sport, United Kingdom Government Government
Government http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/united-kingdom-government-submission/79
2 133 Perspectives from the Domain Name Association Domain Name Association Private Sector Private Sector http://content.netmundial.br/contribution/perspectives-from-the-domain-name-association/249

Read more on ICANN/IANA: Role and Structural Considerations (PDF Document, 1215 Kb)

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