Just five years ago, in September 2016, a significant change in the operation of the internet occurred.
Latest in Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
I reported last week on the ICANN and IANA transtion end game. This week, Congress left town having passed a continuing resolution WITHOUT including a prohibition that would stop the Administration from letting the IANA functions contract lapse. It seems that it is "game over" and the transition will occur ... with one further complication. Four states, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nevada, have sued in Federal district court to stop the transition.
One sometimes thinks that consistency is the stock-in-trade of attorneys. We insist (sometimes even foolishly, pace Emerson) that words have consistent meaning and that the implications of how we use them are well worked out.
Two years ago, the Obama Administration announced its decision to allow a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to lapse. The practical implicaiton of that decision will be for ICANN to assume sole responsibility for the development of policy over the naming and numbering function of the Internet.
Two years ago, the United States government, acting through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced its intention to sever the last contractual control it had over the administration of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (also known as the IANA function) and allow that function, in the future, to be performed by a non-profit company, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (a/k/a ICANN).
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.
For those following the decision of the United States to give up its contractual control of the Internet naming function, news today that the Deparment of Commerce has extended the contract for another year, to allow time for the international community to figure out how the transition should work.
Suppose you were the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)—a unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Suppose further that in March 2014 you had announced your intention to offload your management of certain functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and to hand that competence over to a broader, mulitnational group. How would you go about doing so?
As is well known, NTIA has mulled the question for roughly a year and a half, and all the while sought input from a diverse group of stakeholders and experts.
The United States is in the midst of a transition that will, when completed, give up its contractual control of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). That authority is currently conducted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) under contract to the Department of Commerce. Current plans are for Commerce to end the contract in September 2015, and let ICANN manage the IANA function on its own.