ICANN Heads for .... Who Knows What?

By Paul Rosenzweig
Friday, December 18, 2015, 11:18 AM

Readers of this blog know that a consequential decision about internet governance looms on the horizon -- the decision of the US goverment to relinquish its contractual control over the Interent Assigned Numbers Authority and allow the Domain Name System to be operated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit corporation chartered in California. As part of that proposed transition of authority, a working group has been chartered to design a series of accountability measures that would replace US oversight of ICANN with an internal system of checks and balances. I've been participating in that working group process and, I fear, it is headed toward a conclusion that will leave many, including me, dissatisfied. The third report of the accountability working group is open for public comment, and I've joined with a Heritage colleage, Brett Schaeffer, in submitting some thoughts. Our reluctant conclusion is that, on both procedural and substantive grounds the current transition proposal should be rejected. Those who want the details can follow the link above.