[bestbits] Civil Society Letter on IANA Transition

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Mon May 30 11:16:06 EDT 2016

On May 30, 2016, at 9:54 AM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net> wrote:
> On Monday 30 May 2016 06:07 PM, John Curran wrote:
>> The meaning of the term “community” often varies based on the context in 
>> which it is used.   
> Thanks Curran, lets then speak about the meaning of the term "community" in the specific context of the current process of IANA transition, or, how NTIA (US gov) calls it, 'transition of key Internet name domain functions". As per NTIA's announcement <https://www.ntia.doc.gov/press-release/2014/ntia-announces-intent-transition-key-internet-domain-name-functions> , these functions were to be transferred to "the global multistakeholder community".
>> The phrase “ICANN community” is often used to refer to all of those parties that
>> participate in the various aspects of DNS policy development.  It is sometimes 
>> used to mean all those participating in the ICANN processes of any type, e.g. 
>> ICANN overall governance processes.  
> Agreed, John. Andrew Sullivan, chair of IAB, used this term with similar meaning in his recent testimony to the US congress on the transition. But then, this you would agree is not what can be called as "global multistakeholder community" of NTIA's announcement.

I would disagree with you on that point -  there is no reason that the referenced
“global multistakeholder community” is not synonymous with the union of the 
affected communities for the Internet identifiers. 

> Andrew also agrees that the "empowered community" to which the oversight powers over ICANN are being transitioned is this same "ICANN community" as more or less you describe. To quote his testimony, "......depends on the newly empowered community. We already know what that community is like, because it comprises the very same structures that ICANN has relied upon for many years.” 
> It is therefore evident that oversight power has been transitioned to the "ICANN community" and not as asked for by NTIA to the "global multistakeholder community". Do you see this as a problem?  I see a big political problem - a really big one. What US gov asked for and promised has not at all been done - something quite different has been done. 

As noted above, I disagree with your premise.  Please state clearly why 
you believe that the "global multistakeholder community” is something 
different that the coordinated action of the Internet names community, 
Internet numbers community, and the Internet protocol community.

> What I am trying to understand is, where is the "global multistakeholder community" here, which was supposed to exercise the new oversight? (If you are now going to establish a representative relationship between the two communities that would be interesting, and we should discuss it.)

You must first provide a definition for "global multistakeholder community”
which distinguishes it from the collected set of the affected communities 
of the Internet identifier systems.

> Not that the concerned people dont understand that there is a world outside the narrow ICANN community, the global public whose interests are implicated. But that public is not invoked when decision making processes are working - as mentioned, the transition proposal was developed by the "ICANN community" itself (anyone arguing against this?). But when political rhetoric is to be employed to claim political legitimacy, see how the language twists (the below is from the same testimony of IAB chief)

To the extent that the public, civil society and governments wish to participate
in the development and implementation of Internet identifier policies, they are
most certainly part of the global multistakeholder community… (indeed, it is 
the diverse nature of the participation that is the multi-stakeholder character
of the model.) 


Disclaimer:  My views alone; please recycle these electrons when you are doing using them.

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