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NTIA to Allow IANA Functions Contract to Expire October 1

NTIA today informed ICANN that it intends to allow the IANA functions contract to expire as of October 1: "On Friday, ICANN informed NTIA that it has completed or will complete all the necessary tasks called for in the transition proposal by the end of the contract term. NTIA has thoroughly reviewed the report. We informed ICANN today that based on that review and barring any significant impediment, NTIA intends to allow the IANA functions contract to expire as of October 1."

NTIA: "The IANA stewardship transition represents the final step in the U.S. government's long-standing commitment, supported by three Administrations, to privatize the Internet's domain name system."

Update Aug 17: "NTIA Violates Federal Law with IANA Transition," TechFreedom statement. "The NTIA announcement of its intent to allow the IANA functions contract to expire is a direct violation of the current law prohibiting any use of taxpayer funds 'to relinquish the responsibility ... with respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority [IANA] functions.'"

Berin Szóka, President of TechFreedom: "Making this decision obviously required NTIA staff time, and thus appropriated salaries Рin addition to NTIA's large expenditures on evaluating ICANN's proposed reforms. ... This is a deliberate affront to Congress. Doing something Congress expressly told the NTIA not to do is dangerously erosive of the rule of law and the Constitution's separation of powers. NTIA is also rushing forward before the GAO has answered the question Congress asked it: is the IANA function a government asset? If so, it cannot be transferred without affirmative Congressional authorization. We hope that Congress will act to protect its Constitutional prerogatives. ... We're not against the Transition in principle but we are against rushing it before key questions have been resolved and against allowing the Administration to ignore the law and Constitution."

Will this affect the domains that the U.S. government operates such as .Gov and .Mil? [from NTIA Q and A]: "The operation of and responsibility for .mil and .gov are not impacted by this transition as they are not part of the IANA functions contract or related root zone management responsibilities. Further, per the policies, procedures, and practices in place, .mil and .gov cannot be transferred without explicit agreement first from the current administrators of those domains – namely, the U.S. government. However, to address concerns that have been raised, NTIA and ICANN have formally reaffirmed that the U.S. government is the administrator of .mil and .gov and that any changes made to .mil or .gov can only be made with the express written approval of the U.S. government."

Vint Cerf speaks to Bloomberg's Emily Chang [Aug 17] on why the transfer of power is important and the challenges it is facing. Interview here.

Related topics: ICANN, Internet Governance

 
   
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