Keep up with the latest developments and legal issues in the telecommunications and emerging technology sectors, with exclusive access to a comprehensive collection of telecommunications law news,...
May 27 — The primary domain name system overseer approved May 27 bylaws amendments designed to recreate the organization as a self-governing entity free of U.S. government oversight, two directors announced in e-mails.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers directors Chris Disspain and Bruce Tonkin announced in separate e-mails to an ICANN working group mailing list that the board of directors approved a slate of bylaws changes implementing a series of structural and governance changes for the organization.
The amendments embody a proposal, two years in the making, to remove the U.S. government from the process of approving technical operations changes that allow the Internet to function. ICANN's board approved the proposal March 10 and transmitted it to the U.S. Commerce Department, which is currently reviewing the plan.
The move comes as several U.S. senators are questioning the Obama administration initiative to remove the U.S. government from its unique Internet oversight role. The administration conditioned the transition on not increasing the role of other governments in the absence of U.S. oversight. But some Republican senators claim that the bylaws changes could increase the influence of governments working within ICANN's policy-making processes.
The bylaws incorporate outputs from two concurrent processes. One process created an ICANN subsidiary to house the technical functions that are currently performed within ICANN itself under a federal contract. The second process made governance changes designed to provide enhanced accountability in the absence of federal oversight.
The technical functions in question relate to the naming, numbering and protocols conventions that allow computers worldwide to interoperate as a global network. The Commerce Department must approve changes, although it has said these approvals are purely secretarial. Removing the U.S. from this process has been a joint Commerce and State Department initiative to counteract the impression elsewhere in the world that the U.S. government controls the Internet.
The bylaws changes are part of ICANN's efforts to prepare for a transition at the end of ICANN's current functions control, which expires on Sept. 30. The Commerce Department holds options to extend the current contract for up to three years.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is currently circulating a draft bill that would prohibit the oversight transition ( see related story ). And a group of five Republican senators, led by Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) sent Assistant Commerce Secretary Lawrence Strickling a May 24 letter calling ICANN's revised governance model “untested” and suggesting a “parallel testing” process before the transition should be allowed to take place. Such testing would require an extension of the Commerce Department's current ICANN contract.
To contact the reporter on this story: Joseph Wright in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexis Kramer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rubio's letter is available at http://src.bna.com/fpn.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)