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DIDP Request #19 - ICANN’s role in the Postponement of the IANA Transition

Posted by Asvatha Babu at Jul 29, 2016 04:37 PM |
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In March 2014, the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) of the United States government announced plans to shift the Internet Assigned Names and Numbers (IANA) functions from ICANN to the global multistakeholder community. The initial deadline set for this was September 2015.

See NTIA announcement here.

In August 2015, NTIA announced that it would not be technically possible to meet this deadline and extended it by a year. NTIA stated,

Accordingly, in May we asked the groups developing the transition documents how long it would take to finish and implement their proposals. After factoring in time for public comment, U.S. Government evaluation and implementation of the proposals, the community estimated it could take until at least September 2016 to complete this process.”

In our DIDP request, we asked ICANN for all documents that it had submitted to NTIA that were relevant to the IANA transition and its postponement from the date of the initial announcement— March 14, 2015 to the date of the announcement of extension — August 17, 2015. We specifically requested the documents requested by NTIA in May 2015 as referenced by this blogpost.

The request filed by Padmini Baruah can be found here.

What ICANN said

ICANN’s response terms our request as “broadly worded” and assumes that our request is only related to documents about the extension of the deadline. It was not.

After NTIA’s announcement in 2014, ICANN launched a multi-stakeholder process and discussion at ICANN 49 in Singapore to facilitate the transition. The organizational structure of this process has been mapped out according to the different IANA functions that are being transitioned. Accordingly, we have the:

  • IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG)
  • Cross Community Working Group (CWG-Stewardship)
  • Consolidated RIR IANA Stewardship Proposal Team (CRISP TEAM)
  • IANAPLAN Working Group (IANAPLAN WG)
  • Cross-Community Working
  • Group (CCWG-Accountability)

In addressing our request, ICANN references this multi-stakeholder community overseeing the transition. According to the response document, the ICG, CWG-Stewardship, CRISP Team, IANAPLAN WG and the CCWG-Accountability submitted responses directly to the NTIA leaving the ICANN with no documents responsive to our request.

ICANN's response to our DIDP request may be found here.


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Asvatha Babu

Asvatha Babu is a Master’s candidate in the International Communication program at American University's School of International Service in Washington D.C. Her research interests include using ICTs for inclusive development, internet governance and cyber security. Thus far, her work with CIS has dealt specifically with ICANN’s transparency and accountability policies. She tweets about tech and feminism at @fireflyclass.