Timothy M. Denton

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Tolja

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Prediction is risky, especially about the future. As of 29 September, the US House of Representatives has passed a bill continuing government finances, without the rider that had expressly forbidden the NTIA from discontinuing the IANA functions contract. So the IANA functions contract will expire, and the transition to the management of IANA will now be placed in the hands of the constituencies that concern themselves with names, numbers, and protocol parameters. Halleluiah!

What I wrote before is, to this extent, obsolete. And what was Trump trying to do, anyway?

 

It seems that candidate Trump has clearly signalled his opposition to the transfer of the IANA functions contract from the supervision of the US Department of Commerce. I have declared on several occasions in relevant Internet forums that there was no way the Republicans would allow Obama to do this in an election year. Whether their reasons amount to a hill of beans or not - in my opinion they do not - there is no upside to Republicans letting Obama have a victory, particularly a globalist internationalist one, on behalf of people whose relationship to the United States is well expressed as "flyover country".

The Commerce website explains the IANA functions contract as:

Critical to the DNS is the continued performance of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.  The IANA functions have historically included:  (1) the coordination of the assignment of technical Internet protocol parameters; (2) the administration of certain responsibilities associated with Internet DNS root zone management; (3) the allocation of Internet numbering resources; and (4) other services related to the management of the .ARPA and .INT top-level domains.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) currently performs the IANA functions, on behalf of the United States Government, through a contract with NTIA.

ARIN and every regional Internet registry supports the transition.

They would not do so unless they had been satisfied (unless we had been satisfied) that no harm and real benefit would have ensued. The oversight of the IANA would have passed to the assemblage of organizations of which ICANN is constituted. As ARIN explained:

 

Over the last two years, Internet stakeholder groups from around the world have come together to formulate a comprehensive IANA Stewardship transition plan. ARIN community representatives and staff, together with the other four Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), worked in conjunction with the Numbers community to contribute to the IANA stewardship transition plan to ensure that the Internet remains open, stable, resilient and secure. To read about the work of the Consolidated RIR IANA Stewardship Proposal Team's (CRISP) work, visit:
https://www.nro.net/nro-and-internet-governance/iana-oversight/consolidated-rir-iana-stewardship-proposal-team-crisp-team

I will not dilate further on the merits of the proposal. It is sound, and Lord God Trump's opposition to it is in substance mistaken.

But that was never my point. I have predicted that it would not pass, and I feel like Cassandra. It is a very dry emotion.

Gotta catch a plane now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Timothy Denton is a lawyer by training who practices principally in telecommunications and Internet policy and domain name issues, with a strong concentration on explaining what the technology is and what it means.

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Guest Wednesday, 23 August 2017
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