Well At Least Microsoft Is Happy About The US Giving Up Oversight of ICANN

In a statement issued by Microsoft today they “applaud The  US NTIA’s transition of key Internet domain name functions”

The statement was made on behalf of Microsoft by David Tennenhouse Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Technology Policy

“”The U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s recent announcement of its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community is a significant and welcome development.

Unlike the other major international communications networks (e.g., the telephone system and postal systems), there has been no single government-led organization that has guided the evolution and growth of the Internet. Instead, “Internet governance” has been the responsibility of literally dozens of different organizations, involving academics, technologists, government and business working collaboratively to create and implement the key standards, shape business practices, and develop norms that have enabled the Internet to grow at an astonishing rate over the last 20 years. This model has served the world well and led to countless innovations that have transformed our world. Initiating the final steps in the transition of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions now is a clear recognition of the value and success of this unique model.

The IANA functions are critical to the operation of the Internet – and the Internet technical organizations have worked carefully and collaboratively to ensure that we can all rely on the Domain Name System (DNS). The U.S. government has had a stewardship role over the IANA functions since their inception and, as part of the group that began the transition process in 1997, I can personally attest that our goal since that time has been to fully transfer stewardship to the global multi-stakeholder community.

As a worldwide leader in providing devices, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential, Microsoft relies on the stability, resilience and security of the DNS system to enable our cloud services – and we are confident that now is the right time to complete this transition. It is the logical next step in the evolution of the greatest technological innovation of our time, and we look forward to participating in the process with ICANN, IETF, IAB, ISOC and all other stakeholders.””

Who Should Oversee The Web ?

Who Should Oversee The Web ?

PBS covered the topic of just who should oversee ICANN and what part government should have in that role. Host Judy Woodruff sat down with Vint Cerf from Google and Randolph May of the Free State Foundation.

There is a full transcript on the site if you do not wish to watch the video.

Cerf and May discuss their concerns with how the process may turn out, I think May summed up what a lot of people are concerned about.

RANDOLPH MAY: I do have some concerns.

And my concerns relate to what will happen at the end of the process. Vint talks about a process almost as an end in itself, but ultimately there has to be — the U.S. is proposing at the end of the day that there be some new entity or some — you can call it what you will, but there has to be some organization that’s managing the Internet, this assignment of domain names.

And my concern is, we don’t know now, at the beginning of the process, what that entity will look like. But we do know, based on proposals that have been made by several countries in the past, Russia, China, Iran, that their vision of who should control the Internet includes some form of government control and government supervision.

So you have to be concerned about, at the end of the day, whether there can be an organization, entity, whatever, that is doing what ICANN does today, the entity that now controls the Internet, and whether there will be insulation from government control and how that will work.

There are certainly contrasting ideologies on the free flow of information, there are countries vastly opposed to the definition the majority of the world holds.

Cerf touches upon the fact that certain requirements need to be met before there is a transition.

VINT CERF: Yes, well, the question is can they get the upper hand or not.

And I want to point out very clearly, first of all, that NTIA’s announcement on the 14th of March specifically said they wouldn’t accept a solution to…

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, again, this is this federal…

VINT CERF: That was only governmental.

That’s important, because they don’t have to accept anything. At the end of this current contract period, in September, they can continue the contract if they decide that they don’t like the proposed outcomes.

Can I make one other point? It’s a technical point. It’s not possible for any government to force any other government to use anything other than the ICANN-produced root zone, which points to all the places in the Internet. There is no way to force that because of the technology.

Former CEO Of ICANN Beckstrom: US Surrender of Internet Governance Leads to Turbulence & Risks

In an email to subscribers of his newsletter, the former CEO of ICANN Rod Beckstrom says the US surrender of Internet governance role will leadsto new turbulence and risks

Here is his statement:

“During my tenure as CEO of ICANN, I signed both the 2009 Affirmation of Commitments and the 2012 IANA contract that governs changes to the global Internet’s root zone – the authoritative database of top-level Internet domain names and addresses. These are the definitive agreements that codify the relationship between the U.S. government and ICANN.

Last Friday the U.S. government effectively surrendered its historic authority over the Internet with its surprise announcement of its intention to pass this responsibility to the global multistakeholder community.

From its inception, ICANN was designed for this transition. That it is finally taking place is a hallmark of the good work of thousands of people involved in ICANN, its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the broader global Internet community.

As a staunch advocate of a free, open, unified Internet governed by the global community, I strongly support this transition. The U.S. should live up to its 1998 commitment to end its special role.

So why did the U.S. government do this now? Because they face the serious risk of losing even more at the upcoming NETmundial conference on Internet governance in Brazil. This event could potentially lead to greater United Nations control over the Internet and open the door to increased influence by countries opposed to a free and open Internet.

With the suddenness of this announcement we are entering a new, risky and chaotic process without a clear plan, and nothing less than the future of the Internet is at stake. “

ICANN: Important Corrections To Inaccuracies and Misconceptions Regarding U.S. Announcement

ICANN in a blog post today, entitled Important Corrections to General Inaccuracies and Misconceptions Regarding U.S. Announcement and IANA Functions tries to quite the outrage coming from many in the domain community and Congress.

Here is some of the blog post (edited)

On Friday, March 14 the U.S. Government announced its intention to transition its stewardship responsibilities of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions to the global multistakeholder community—a key component of the Internet ecosystem. The IANA Functions are the Internet’s technical identifiers, specifically, the top-level domain names of the Domain Name System, IP addresses, and protocol parameter registries.

Unfortunately, some critics of the U.S. Government’s announcement have begun to speculate and report through the media a number of inaccurate arguments. I would like to correct the record on some important claims.

  1. The announcement is NOT a final decision to surrender control of the Internet.On Friday, the U.S. government asked the global community to develop a proposal for transferring its stewardship of the IANA Functions. The government was not announcing a new law, rather initiating an inclusive, global discussion. The government also set clear boundaries for that discussion, including a very clear statement that it will not release control of these functions to any government-led or inter-governmental organization solution.

    Instead, ICANN will lead a transparent dialogue among governments, the private sector, and civil society to determine the transition process and establish a governing body that is globally accountable. This process ensures each of the Internet’s diverse stakeholders has a voice in its governance.

    In addition, the U.S. government has made it clear that the transition proposal must address the following four principles:

    • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model
    • Maintain the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet DNS
    • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services
    • Maintain the openness of the Internet

    In other words, any proposal that affects the openness of the Internet and its multistakeholder governance will be rejected.

  2. The announcement is NOT a response to disclosures by Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency and its policies.One media report claims ICANN lobbied the U.S.Government to relinquish its oversight “using the Snowden leaks as a lever.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. The government first envisioned this transfer when it began contracting with ICANN in 1998. For the past 16 years, ICANN has protected the open Internet with increasing operational excellence – itself accountable to the global community. The March 14 announcement was the final step down a path paved years ago.
  3. The announcement will NOT lead to a division of the Internet into smaller, less technically resilient pieces.”A digital Iron Curtain” will not be imposed resulting from this announcement. An opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal claims that by stepping back, the United States will divide “425,000 global routes of the Internet into less technically resilient pieces.” In fact, the exact opposite is true.

    The March 14 announcement is an important step toward preserving and protecting the open Internet. U.S. oversight will not be usurped by authoritarian governments eager to censor free speech – or by any other inter-governmental institution. Instead, a globally accountable, multistakeholder governing body will ensure the Internet continues to promote the free exchange of ideas, propel innovation and drive economic development.

  4. The announcement transfers stewardship of an administrative and clerical function. ICANN does NOT serve a policing function in the Internet ecosystem.Let me be clear, ICANN coordinates one technical component of the Internet ecosystem – the names, numbers and protocol parameters of the Internet. ICANN does not control content on the Internet. ICANN has no role relating to Internet content and cannot enact Internet censorship.

    These technical components of the Internet have been working well for nearly two decades underneath a multistakeholder process with the U.S. government holding a stewardship role. In reality, ICANN has successfully administered the IANA Functions with increasing autonomy for the past 16 years and this announcement will not alter its commitment to the security and stability of the Internet’s Domain Name System.

  5. The announcement will NOT affect the billions who use the Internet every day.Some have speculated through the media that the U.S. announcement will “put the open Internet at risk” for everyday users. This concern is not rooted in reality. The transition of stewardship will not affect the functionality of the Internet.  The coordination of the IANA functions will continue unchanged. The announcement reinforces the principles that the Internet belongs to everyone and is responsible to everyone.

    Instead of politicizing the debate over the U.S. Government’s decision to transition stewardship of the Internet’s technical functions, let’s move forward with the discussion we need to have – how to engage in the necessary discussion to develop an effective transition process, one that continues to ensure an open Internet that belongs to everyone.

My issue is the .com/.net contract that is up in 2018.

What happens with that?

As we know under the the last Verisign contract it was the US Department of Commerce that stepped up at the last moment to stop the 4 out of 6 year rate increases of 7%.

Who would overlook that contract in the new ICANN?

ICANN Last Resort Contention Auctions Look Like a Go With 1st Planned For June 4th

ICANN just published a schedule of contention resolution Last Resort Auction and they start on June 4th with a goal of having 20 a month and resolving all of them in 1o months.

This should push many applicants to go into a private auction where the funds go to the other applicants or in the RightoftheDot.com model even to Charities and other non-profits.

There is a schudule of auctions and 10 pages of very firm rules on how the Last Resort Auctions will be conducted.

One of the advantages of private auctions is that parties can agree to terms like amounts of Escrow.com timing of deposits an winning bids.

Those applications in contention can be seen on the ICANN Current Application Status page or the Contention Set Status page as having an application status of In Auction.

Applicants that have received an intent to Auction notification must respond within 28 days of the notification date and submit completed pre-auction materials including the Bidders Agreement and Bidder Forms.

These materials are available within the Auctions resources section of the Auctions landing page on the New gTLD microsite as well as within the web form in the Customer Portal. Auction dates for each contention set will be confirmed at least 21 days prior to the Auction.



Should all contention set members agree that they would like to postpone the auction, ICANN may accommodate such requests per the Auction Rules. To request a schedule postponement, each member of the contention set should make the request using the web form in the Customer Portal when submitting the bidder information. Requests from any fewer than all active members of a contention set will not be honored.


Should all contention set members agree that they would like to advance the schedule, ICANN may be able to accommodate such requests. To request a schedule advancement, each member of the contention set should contact ICANN via the customer portal and submit a request identifying the earliest auction date they can support. Requests from any fewer than all active members of a contention set will not be honored.


The scheduled dates and times of the auctions are as follows:


New gTLD Auction Dates