NTIA Directs Smoke Signals Toward LA

By Philip S. Corwin
Philip S. Corwin

On September 25th-26th the Cross Community Working Group developing enhanced accountability measures to accompany the IANA functions transition, and replace the "backstop" role played by the U.S., will meet in Los Angeles to review the 90 comments filed on their second draft Proposal and consider responsive modifications.

In advance of the meeting, on September 23rd Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling published a new blog titled "Reflections on the IANA Stewardship Transition Process". As NTIA will be the primary evaluator of whether the transition & accountability package that is eventually forwarded by ICANN meets the criteria it set when it announced the transition in March 2014, CCWG participants in LA will be carefully reading the tea leaves of this latest NTIA statement.

This is our summary of its key takeaway points, with relevant text:

We also have a few thoughts about the implications of this message:

Overall, NTIA's statement offers a useful perspective for the CCWG to consider as it gathers in LA. But it also indicates that the U.S. government agency that will evaluate the final transition and accountability package wants a great deal more work completed before it is delivered to its doorstep. The completion of a sufficient and workable accountability proposal earning consensus support is a key test for the multistakeholder model, one that it must pass if the community is to successfully replace NTIA's backstop role and enhance its participation in ICANN's internal governance.

By Philip S. Corwin, Founding Principal of Virtualaw LLC, a Washington, DC Law and Public Policy Firm. He also serves as Of Counsel to the IP-centric law firm of Greenberg & Lieberman. Views expressed in this article are solely his own.

Related topics: ICANN, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation