Last week, the process to transfer stewardship of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) from the U.S. government to the wider Internet community reached an important milestone: transmittal of the community-developed transition proposal to the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). This helps keep the process on track for the planned handover later this year. That’s a good thing.
ITI continues to support transitioning IANA stewardship. It is consistent with industry’s unequivocal support for multistakeholder governance of the Internet, where the policies and technical processes are developed and implemented by an array of experts in a bottom-up approach, rather than handed down by governments or multilateral organizations. Current management of the Internet is multistakeholder, a model that has and will continue to contribute greatly to the integrity and stability of today’s free and open Internet. The development of the IANA stewardship transition proposal has been a long, sometimes messy process, fueled by the investment of tens of thousands of volunteer hours and dollars. No matter what one may think of the outcome, the vigorous participation of various Internet communities and individuals is a tribute to, and a powerful validation of, multistakeholder governance. The system works. It’s as simple as that.
Even so, ITI, like many others, felt it was critical to use this opportunity to enhance ICANN staff and board accountability in order to build trust and confidence. We believe this has been achieved. The transition proposal lays the foundation for creating a more equitable balance in the governance of ICANN itself. Again, that’s a good thing.
ITI applauds all who helped achieve this significant milestone. We hope that the various stakeholders will continue their collaboration to further improve and strengthen ICANN and the multistakeholder ecosystem.