MOSCOW, SEPTEMBER 16, 2016. PIR PRESS – “Broad public discussion of the IANA Stewardship Transition has demonstrated remarkable efficiency of the multistakeholder model. It was a challenging process that took quite a while, the stakeholders exchanged their opinions – but we have succeeded and it proves that the multistakeholder model functions successfully. The procedures that the community managed to go through during IANA Stewardship Transition may also be useful to take on the problems in other areas of international politics and security,” – Mikhail Yakushev, Vice President for Stakeholder Engagement in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, ICANN.
Recently subscribers received the new issue of the CyberPulse e-journal on IANA Stewardship Transition, which is the process of the transition of IANA functions stewardship from the US government to the global stakeholder community.
The CyberPulse answers the most topical and frequently asked questions on the IANA Stewardship Transition process.
The goal of IANA Stewardship Transition was to make the management of IANA functions less dependent on one state (the US), thus more balanced and internationalized. Moreover, the process was meant to be based on the engagement of all the stakeholders. Still there are some concerns about possible limitation of governments’ rights – which was highlighted by Mr. Rashid Ismailov, Deputy Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of Russian Federation in his address at the GAC Marrakech High Level Governmental Meeting: “Ignoring governments and not letting them fully participate in the global governance of the Internet generates the risk of promoting corporate interests instead of the values of the community and stakeholders”.
Mikhail Yakushev, Vice President for Global Stakeholder Engagement in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, ICANN, in his interview with the CyberPulse shares his opinion on the interim outcomes of IANA Transition. According to Mr. Yakushev, the obtained results guarantee the continuity of the governing institutes and fit into the principles of the multistakeholder model. He points out, that the Transition process proved the efficiency of the model mentioned: “Broad public discussion on IANA Transition has shown high efficiency of the multistakeholder model. It was a difficult process that took quite a while, the stakeholders exchanged their opinions – but we have succeeded and it proves that the multistakeholder model functions successfully. The procedures that the community managed to go through during IANA Transition may also be useful to take on the problems of international politics and security”.
Mikhail Medrish, Head of Operations, OJSC “Comcor” in his article “Who runs IANA now” gives a detailed description of the Stewardship Transition process and dismantles some of the associated myths: “It has been said that IANA Stewardship Transition changes the whole system of global governance of the Internet. It is not true though. It is impossible to govern the Internet, because its technical identifiers do not let any centralized governing procedures to be put in place. So IANA Stewardship Transition is all about the system of technical identifiers and their functioning, that is a cornerstone of the Internet’s sustainable operation”.
The CyberPulse collected the opinions of the representatives from different stakeholder groups in Russia and CIS countries on the problems, which were left unsolved by IANA Stewardship Transition, and on the engagement of the regional stakeholders in the process.
Though it is assumed that IANA Stewardship Transition excludes the US government from the business processes of management of the Internet’s unique identifiers, certain reservations should be made. The PIR Center consultant Oleg Demidov highlights this topic in his article “The Steward is dead: All hail the Steward!”: “No matter if NTIA is now out of the business process of the DNS root zone management – the US government still has the legislative leverage to control it if necessary according to the new draft Root Zone Maintainer Service Agreement between ICANN and Verisign”.
Aside from some technical specifics there is a list of legal issues linked to IANA Stewardship Transition, which is in focus of Madina Kassenova’s article. Professor Kassenova, Chair of Private International Law at the Diplomatic Academy, points out the following: “Contractual relations with regard to IANA functions are still in place. It is debatable whether the legal nature of ICANN remains the same. On one hand its principal role will not change, as it still will be the parent company for the future PTI (Public Technical Identifiers). Moreover, the formal ties between the US government and ICANN basically will continue to exist account of the Affirmation of Commitments of 2009. On the other hand, as long as IANA functions are implemented on contractual basis, the contractual relations’ configuration transforms only to become more tangled. This, in turn, changes the scope of ICANN competence with regard to the unique identifiers management”.
Alongside with IANA Stewardship Transition one could witness the ICANN Accountability Process. Tatiana Tropina, senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, highlights its importance: “No one wants the result of IANA Stewardship Transition to be a nontransparent organization with a huge budget and full decision making power, but without any accountability mechanisms. It was essential to frame those mechanisms while preserving the multistakeholder model that is used by ICANN. In fact, the formulating of the accountability mechanisms was held in accordance to the principles of multistakeholder approach. The CCWG-Accountability Working Group has been collecting all the propositions for ICANN Accountability reorganization since its creation in 2014”. Read more on this topic on the PIR Center website.
The new issue of the CyberPulse is available at the PIR Center website (in Russian).
Subscription to the CyberPulse e-journal and the archive of previous issues are also available online.