[governance] NTIA says ICANN "does not meet the requirements" for IANA renewal

Lee W McKnight lmcknigh at syr.edu
Sun Mar 11 18:37:35 EDT 2012

If I may play Internet governance realpolitik analyst for a minute:

The nonrenewal of IANA while a surprise to ICANN, was likely - not at all  - a surprise to the EU + other OECD other governments.

Reading between the 'global community' lines in the NTIA statement, it is also safe to surmise that the Indian government for sure, quite possibly rest of IBSA crowd, plus or minus China, were pre-informed/consulted as well.

Because, what a coincidence, on the same day NTIA slaps ICANN upside the head, India drops its call for a new global Internet governance body, and humbly claims it was 'not well thought out.'

Coincidence?  I think not.

Therefore: there is a broader game underway; whose contours certain folks at NTIA know well; as do certain folks in certain other national governments who are - players - too.

Given the significance of the IANA function to the global economy, these players aren't playing around.

ICANN will have a new and improved plan inside 6 (- 9)  months, or lose the game. (My realpolitik calculus that the 6 month renewal will become 9 months, is that I seriously doubt the Obama admin will want to be talking much about - global Internet governance - September - November 2012. For some reason, I have this hunch that domestic politics and the Electoral College will be more on their minds then ; ).


From: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org [governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org] on behalf of Daniel Kalchev [daniel at digsys.bg]
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2012 5:16 PM
To: Milton L Mueller
Cc: governance at lists.igcaucus.org; michaelgurstein
Subject: Re: [governance] NTIA says ICANN "does not meet the requirements" for IANA renewal

About the same. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. Yet, Governments change in cycles - although it can be argued that the same (insert your favorite) sits behind the scenes no matter which 'party' rules. I have no doubt it is the same with ICANN and other power concentration bodies.

The problem with this type of 'governance', where you have central body that has the power to make decisions on their own is that it conflicts with the fundamental architecture of the Internet - a network of networks. Within Internet, each network is autonomous, has it's own governing and operational structures -- no matter how small or how large that network is. In fact, the smallest network is "equal" to the largest network in "rights" over the Internet governance, for both have to peer somehow for the Internet to exist.

ICANN was created with the concept that such an "organization for sharing the responsibility" will be able to handle the task, mainly because all stakeholders will be at parity and nobody will be able to point at others for whatever failure has happened… we have already seen some (mostly political and policy) failures. More are coming with the new gTLD program. Then, because ICANN grew "large" some came to the idea that it has to deal with international issues and even "infringe" on matters that are considered inter-governmental. This is not technical role. It is bound to fail and nobody can help it. Of course, there are no culprits, because of the "shared responsibility".

About the only way out, with regards to the current situation is if ICANN Is brave enough to spin off IANA as separate entity. Failing that, all other options will alienate ICANN with it's constituencies and might have it split in pieces.


On Mar 11, 2012, at 8:28 PM, Milton L Mueller wrote:

And the governments’ track record?

From: Daniel Kalchev [mailto:daniel at digsys.bg]

My take on this is that those lobbying will either lobby the Government(s), or ICANN (staff).
For the consequences this does not really matter, unfortunately.

So in the end, it all comes down to whether the community trusts ICANN to behave. Unfortunately for ICANN this is sometimes not the case.

Not saying Governments are any better - but we got to this situation by the ICANNs track record...


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