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Vol. 2: Update on IANA Stewardship Discussions

17 March 2015
By Samantha Dickinson

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Download PDF version of Vol. 2: Update on IANA Stewardship Discussions - 17 March 2015 [PDF, 384 KB]

ICANN is compiling bi-weekly updates on the community discussions and progress of the IANA Stewardship Transition and Enhancing ICANN Accountability Processes. This information is positioned to help inform interested stakeholders in the recent developments in the processes, upcoming key dates, latest documents and drafts and a snapshot of any news coverage that occurs over the timeframe.‬‬

In brief

  • The protocol parameters and numbers proposals submitted to the ICG in January 2015 have moved into Step 2 of the Proposal Assembly and Finalization Process [PDF, 92 KB].
  • The work in the CWG-Stewardship and CCWG-Accountability have intensified, and both have activated a number of specialized teams focusing on specific issues.
  • CWG-Stewardship and CCWG-Accountability will hold face-to-face meetings in Istanbul at the end of March.
  • U.S. Senate Committees have questioned witnesses about the IANA Stewardship Transition and its implications for a variety of domestic and international issues.


  • The IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) is now using a website independent of ICANN: http://www.ianacg.org. (Note that ICANN, as convener and facilitator of the IANA Stewardship Transition process, will continue to provide information on the transition, as well as the Enhancing ICANN Accountability process, on its website, https://www.icann.org.)
  • The ICG is planning to hold a face-to-face meeting 18-19 June in Buenos Aires before ICANN 53. If necessary, the ICG may also meet on the morning of 20 June.

Timeline of work:

  • Following discussions at ICANN 52 in Singapore about the possibility of extending the ICG timeline for finalizing the IANA Stewardship Transition proposal, the ICG has decided to proceed as much as possible with the protocol parameters and numbers proposals and revisit the timeline in the future once there is clearer information on how much work the names proposal requires of the ICG and the wider community.
  • With regard to the protocol parameters and numbers proposals, the ICG has moved forward into Step 2 of its Proposal Assembly and Finalization Process [PDF, 92 KB]. Step 2 examines the compatibility and interoperability, accountability, and workability of the submitted proposals.

Additional output of the ICG:

  • At its 25 February teleconference, in addition to the final consolidated proposal to be submitted to the ICANN Board for transmission to the NTIA, ICG members decided to also produce a report of the information it collects during its work to ensure the three components of the stewardship proposal – protocol parameters, numbers and names – are not in conflict.


  • The pace of work in the Cross-Community Working Group to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions (CWG-Stewardship) is increasing as the CWG-Stewardship enters a new phase of work using "Design Teams." In addition, the CWG-Stewardship will hold a face-to-face meeting in Istanbul, 26-27 March 2015. As of 9 March, 18 CWG-Stewardship members and 15 participants have confirmed onsite attendance for the meeting.

Updated draft proposal:

A new way of working:

  • CWG-Stewardship has introduced a new way of working on the names proposal: small groups of CWG-Stewardship members are to form "Design Teams" that each work on a very specific issue related to the names proposal. The aim is for each Design Team to deliver the results of its work back to the CWG-Stewardship for its consideration and action within two weeks of the Design Team's creation. Approved Design Teams will maintain publicly archived mailing lists of their communications. As of 5 March, there were 11 proposed Design Teams.

Legal counsel:

  • CWG-Stewardship's "Client Committee" has selected Sidley Austin LLP as legal counsel to the CWG-Stewardship. Sidley Austin will provide legal advice and consultation to the CWG-Stewardship as they develop their proposal.


  • The work of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) continues to gather speed with the formation of three new Work Parties (see "New Work Parties underway" below). The CCWG-Accountability will meet face-to-face in Istanbul, 23-24 March 2015, just prior to the CWG-Stewardship's face-to-face meeting at the same location.
  • The expected outcome of the Istanbul meeting is broad consensus on the work stream 1 mechanisms CCWG-Accountability will propose for public comment, launch date of 6 April 2015.

New Work Parties underway:

Legal counsel:

  • The CCWG-Accountability's Legal Sub Team has been working on a draft document outlining the issues it wishes to ask of legal counsel (see also "Legal counsel" in the CWG-Stewardship section above). The CCWG-Accountability hopes to use the same firm as chosen by CWG-Stewardship, but remains open to the possibility of choosing a different legal counsel if the CWG-Stewardship's choice proves not to be the most appropriate one for CCWG-Accountability.

Updates on other transition-related activities

US Senate hearings:

  • Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation

    On 25 February, a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation hearing, Preserving the Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance, focused on the IANA Stewardship Transition and the changes to ICANN's accountability needed to facilitate that transition. There were three witnesses before the hearing: Lawrence Strickling, NTIA Administrator, ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé and U.S. Ambassador David Gross on behalf of the Internet Governance Coalition. The witnesses were asked about the relationship of the IANA stewardship transition to a variety of issues, including intellectual property rights, net neutrality, human rights online, openness and innovation, international diplomacy and U.S. security.

  • Senate Committee On Appropriations, Subcommittee On Commerce, Justice, Science, And Related Agencies

    On 27 February, during the Subcommittee's hearing, Financial Year 2016 Department of Commerce Budget, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker was asked why there was a need to remove the U.S. Government from the IANA stewardship role. The webcast can be viewed here.

Upcoming key dates

19 Mar 2015 CWG-Stewardship Meeting #30, 11:00-13:00 UTC
23-24 Mar 2015 CCWG-Accountability Face-to-Face Meeting, Istanbul
25 Mar 2015 ICG Call #14, 20:00-21:00 UTC
26-27 Mar 2015 CWG-Stewardship Face-to-Face Meeting (Meetings #31 & #32), Istanbul
18-19 Jun 2015 ICG Face-to-Face Meeting, ICANN 53, Buenos Aires

Latest documents and drafts

10 Mar 2015 CCWG Accountability - Draft Legal Scoping Document
7 Mar 2015 CCWG Accountability Stress Test Work Party - Draft 7: Using Stress Tests to evaluate existing & proposed accountability measures
9 Mar 2015 CWG Stewardship - Draft of Principles and Criteria that Should Underpin Decisions on the Transition of NTIA Stewardship
26 Feb 2015 CWG Stewardship - Draft Transition Plan version 2 [PDF, 232 KB]
ICG - Process Timeline version 8

IANA Stewardship Transition in the news

27 Feb 2015 Internet, Stati Uniti a marcia indietro: in pericolo la nuova governance, corrierecomunicazioni.it, [IT]
26 Feb 2015 奥巴马不会把互联网控制权交给中国, Qiushi [CN]
Internet-Verwaltung: Schlagabtausch im US-Senat zur IANA-Reform, Heise Online [DE]

You can play a role …

Anyone can participate in discussions about the future of IANA's stewardship and ICANN accountability.For information on joining CWG-Stewardship, contact grace.abuhamad@icann.org. For information on joining CCWG-Accountability, contact accountability-staff@icann.org.

This update can also be found here: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/iana-stewardship-discussion-2015-03-17-en

Compiled on behalf of ICANN by Samantha Dickinson | 17 March 2015


Samantha Dickinson