At 05:49 PM 11/29/2003 +0000, Paul Robinson wrote:
John C Klensin wrote:
With regard to ICANN and its processes, I don't much like the
way a good deal of that has turned out, even while I believe
that things are gradually getting better. I lament the set of
decisions that led to the US Govt deciding that it needed to be
actively involved and to some of the risks, delays, and socially
undesirable statements that situation has created.
OK, the big issue for those countries that want ICANN to be disbanded and for
the Internet to be handed over to the ITU is quite simple: ICANN is a
US-government controlled entity subject to US/Californian law.
Please read the most recent MOU. The US Department of Commerce has gone to
considerable effort to outline the path by which ICANN becomes the party
responsible for the updating of the DNS root. The control you assert is quite
limited even today.
Any formal body has to have some jurisdiction in which it is constituted. One
can argue whether California non-profit law is better or worse than being a UN
entity. I believe there are arguments against the latter as much as there may
arguments against the former.
That's great if you're the US government and even semi-reasonable if you're an
American. Absolutely awful if you're Chinese or Korean.
that's not at all clear. ICANN has tried to promote the adoption of IDN, for
example, in a responsible way. John Klensin's efforts, and others, to promote
international compatibility to enhance the ability for parties to communicate
is commendable. What do you think is awful?
The IETF is about as close as we've got as an "authority" on the Internet that
is not bounded by geographic boundaries, governmental control or commercial
contract. You can make a reasonable argument that we should be running the
show here, not ICANN.
Not unless you want to take on the full burden of Internet Governance written
large. Not even ICANN wishes to do that. In fact, ICANN's role is very limited
compared to the full scope of Internet Governance. Issues such as fraud,
taxation, intellectual property protection, dispute resolution, illegal actions
are governmental matters and not even UN has the appropriate jurisdiction. It
will take cooperation among governments and thoughtful domestic legislation to
deal with many of these matters. ICANN has high regard for IETF and IAB and for
that reason there is an IAB liaison appointed to the Board of Directors.
The UNITC meeting needed to happen several years ago, but now we're there,
realistically there is only one option left for a single, cohesive Internet to
remain whilst taking into account ALL the World's population: ICANN needs to
become a UN body.
nonsense - as constituted today, ICANN is a better forum for interested
constituencies to debate policy FOR THOSE AREAS THAT ARE IN ICANN'S PURVIEW
(not shouting, just emphasis on limited purview of ICANN).
The problem with the arguments I have heard, including yours, is that you may
be thinking of Internet Governance in the large while ICANN's role is small and
should stay that way. We need other venues in which to deal with the larger
problems and perhaps UN or some of its constituents have a role to play.
Probably WIPO and WTO do as well.
general". So, while ICANN, IMO, continues to need careful
watching -- most importantly to be sure that it does not expand
into "governance" issues that are outside its rational scope-- I
don't see "give it to XXX" or "everyone runs off in his own
direction" as viable alternatives.
Neither do I, but ICANN have clearly demonstrated:
1. They don't listen to us, or those parties who have a genuine vested
interest in the Internet, UNLESS that party is a US Commercial or Governmental
I disagree - please consider the last ICANN meeting in which the Board went
some distance to making changes in its policies in response to international
2. Their incompetence at politcal levels has actually caused a delay in making
the Internet available to those countries that need access to affordable
communications infrastructures the most.
Sorry, it is a lot more complex than you seem to think - the question of who
should have responsibility for a CCTLD is often very complex - it is sometimes
not even clear who the government of country X is.
3. Putting Computer Scientists in charge of anything is fundamentally a bad
idea. In fact, they have shown they are worse at being in charge than
politicians and lawyers... they will never get another chance after this
The Board is not made up of computer scientists alone; nor is the staff of
ICANN. By your assertion, IETF should not be in charge of anything either. I
disagree with that, too.
In ICANN's support, the alternative - the "ITU idea" - is *horrible*. The ITU
is not about open communications infrastrucutres - it's about *closed*
infrastructures with contracts and licensing and costs and the other
paraphenalia we want to limit the effect of in the context of the Internet.
On the other hand, one of the nice things about the network as
it is now constituted is that anyone has the option of
opting-out: disconnecting, setting up a private DNS and a
private addressing system, and communicating, if at all, through
a restrictive, address-and-protocol-translating gateway. We
No, no, no, NO. To allow this would to happen would be a genuine shame. How
popular is Internet2? Why? I rest my case...'
there are any number of virtual private networks, some of them running on top
of the public Internet - that's fine as long as we also keep a fully connected,
public Internet in operation. Moreover, the creation of new name spaces such as
instant messaging handles has created new and useful infrastructure - what's
wrong with that?
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