ICC Document & publication

ICC BASIS response to NTIA

ICC BASIS response to NTIA announcement regarding the transitioning of IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community.

On Friday, 14 March 2014, the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community.

The current Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions contract with NTIA expires on 30 September 2015, but at present, there is not a set timeline for the proposed NTIA transition.

The NTIA announcement indicates that the first step in this process will be for the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to convene the global stakeholder community to develop a proposal for the transition. NTIA stated that it will not accept any proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution, and that any transition proposal must not only have the broad support of the multistakeholder community, but also satisfy four critical requirements for any proposed solution:

  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model of Internet governance
  • Maintain the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet domain name system
  • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services
  • And maintain the openness of the Internet

The International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) takes note of the NTIA announcement and its important message of globalization for the Internet Governance ecosystem. ICC BASIS welcomes the opportunity to be an active participant in these discussions. Any transition of the IANA contract and functions must be considered and conducted in a deliberate and cautious manner, to ensure that no incremental risk or instability is introduced into IANA’s functions, including to the root zone management process, and must recognize and respect other existing agreements related to the IANA functions. The global stakeholder community would need to be fully engaged, both in developing and implementing milestones and timelines for the “globalization” of these critical functions. It is important to ensure that any changes would contribute to maintaining or enhancing the security, stability, resiliency, and interoperability of the global Internet. A critical goal in all facets of Internet governance is to ensure consumer and user trust in the Internet as a means of speech, creativity, innovation and legitimate commerce in a secure environment that respects user privacy. Business is committed to its role in the multistakeholder process, and in the context of the NTIA statement, to safeguard these objectives.

While business recognizes the importance of this announcement and the discussion process that will ensue, we also note the importance of other processes that business is vitally engaged in the broader Internet Governance mechanisms, such as the WSIS evaluation, the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation, and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

ICANN and the IANA functions are part of a larger Internet Governance ecosystem, and business notes the importance of credible and appropriate multistakeholder engagement in all discussions about governance of the Internet.