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Internet Architecture Board comments on the ICG Proposal

Document Type IAB Statement
Title Internet Architecture Board comments on the ICG Proposal
Published 2015-09-07
Metadata last updated 2023-08-09
State Active
Send notices to (None)

On 7 September 2015, the IAB sent correspondence to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group on the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal. The text of that correspondence is as follows:

To the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group:

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) appreciates the opportunity to
respond to the ICG's "Proposal to Transition the Stewardship of the
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions from the U.S.
Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) to the Global Multistakeholder
Community" (henceforth, "the proposal").

The IAB strongly supports the transition of IANA Stewardship from NTIA
to the Global Multistakeholder Community.

The IAB supports the overall ICG proposal.  We believe that it meets the
criteria laid out by the original NTIA announcement (http://
key-internet-domain-name-functions) and subsequent remarks.  In
addition, the proposal was developed in accordance with the early
remarks from the IAB about how to proceed (
The proposal was developed by the three directly affected communities,
and existing coordination mechanisms were used to ensure overall
coherence.  As did other groups, the IAB appointed direct participants
to the ICG.  The resulting proposal demonstrates the multistakeholder
process functioning correctly.  We believe that the proposal maintains
the security, stability, and resiliency of the global DNS and maintains
the openness of the Internet.

Naturally, there are some details to be worked out during
implementation.  The IAB acknowledges and agrees with the IETF IANAPLAN
working group consensus that the draft ICG proposal does not pose
problems for the protocol parameters function or interfere with the
development or safe use of IETF standards.

As the party responsible to the protocol parameters community for the
oversight of the protocol parameters IANA functions, the IAB wishes to
draw particular attention to some of the remaining details.  In
addition, in its role as with regard to the overall architecture of the
Internet, the IAB wishes to share some additional remarks.

1.  Details particular to the protocol parameters registries

The IAB is pleased that the proposal reflects the consensus of the IETF,
and we believe that the proposal is therefore adequate to deliver the
necessary stability for the protocol parameter functions.  We look
forward to the necessary positive affirmations that the registry
contents are in the public domain and that any future transition would
be appropriately supported, as requested in ¶3062 of the proposal.

We observe that the ICG proposal creates a new ICANN affiliate to
perform the IANA duties, the Post-Transition IANA or PTI.
Notwithstanding that, we understand that the existing MoU between the
IETF and ICANN will continue without change.  That is, the MoU remains
the basis for the administration and maintenance of the protocol
parameters registries.  This means that ICANN will be effectively
subcontracting the performance of its obligations to the PTI.  We have
no objection to this mode of operation because we understand that the
obligations themselves will remain with ICANN.  As a matter of
implementation, we expect ICANN to make provisions for the continued
delivery of service at the level of historical norms.  The IAB observes
that the ICG proposal confirms that expectation; it is expressed
especially clearly in ¶3061.  We are pleased that the creation of PTI
does not affect the continued operation of any of the existing MoU,
including the ability of ICANN or the IETF to end that agreement with
appropriate notice.

2.  Remarks more general to IANA

The IANA function function is purposefully limited and intrinsically
constrained to lie outside of policy determination, yet the IANA is
still a critical function.  Therefore, large changes to how it operates
must be undertaken with care.

The IAB understands that the plan to create the PTI is intended to
address issues identified by the names community.  Some portions of the
proposal, including much of Part I, contemplate significant
participation by the various operational communities in new bodies and
committees.  However, the IETF continues to be satisfied with the
existing working arrangements with the IANA staff and their delivery of
the protocol parameter functions.  We believe these arrangements will
remain as effective as before the transition. Because the existing MoU
and annual SLAs govern the relationship with ICANN as relates to the
IANA functions, we have no current intent to place IETF representatives
on additional committees whose primary duty is to judge the
effectiveness of IANA (or ICANN more generally) for other IANA
functions, though we are thankful for the opportunity to provide
representatives to monitor the operations.

The IAB currently has liaison relationships with the ICANN Board and
RSSAC, and additional liaison relationships can be established with
other communities if this is mutually desired.  Perhaps more
importantly, the IAB and IETF have many cross-community informal
relationships that enable cooperation without resorting to bureaucratic
channels of communication.  Informal and loosely-coupled coordination
has worked well in the past, and it produced the coherent ICG proposal
without formal liaisons among the communities.  We believe that this web
of relationships is a strong expression of the multistakeholder model,
and that there is no need to concentrate these relationships within new
ICANN structures.  The IAB does not oppose additional formal links in
principle if they are found to be useful in the future, and we believe
we have all of the necessary mechanisms for adding them.  In general,
however, we prefer informal coordination and communication among the
communities, and we generally prefer to avoid creating additional
organizational structures.  We believe this organizational model
reflects the way the Internet works.

Respectfully submitted,

Andrew Sullivan
For the IAB