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Volume 12: An Update on IANA Stewardship Discussions

15 January 2016
By Samantha Dickinson

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22 months after the big announcement by NTIA, the transition is within reach 

It has been a full 22 months since NTIA first announced its intention to transition its stewardship of the IANA functions. In that time, the three operational communities (names, numbers, and protocol parameters) have spent thousands of hours meeting, writing and reviewing documents, and reading emails. The combined IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal is ready to be submitted to the ICANN Board and NTIA, pending the completion of the final report on the Work Stream 1 Recommendations of the CCWG-Accountability.

Note: The last status update on this series of IANA Stewardship Transition updates was published 2 November 2015. This update, therefore, includes major events since that last update.

IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal 

On 30 November 2015, the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) published its Summary Report on Comments Received during the Public Comment Period on the Combined Transition Proposal

The public comment period for the Proposal to Transition the Stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to the Global Multistakeholder Community ended on 8 September 2015. 

The ICG is now awaiting confirmation from the Cross Community Working Group to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions (CWG-Stewardship) that the Work Stream proposal by the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) meets their needs.

IANA Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

The CWG-Stewardship is working to finalize its position on IANA IPR. The goal is to find a mutually acceptable way forward on the IPR issue for all three IANA operational communities to allow the IANA Stewardship Transition to take place on schedule, in September 2016. In December 2015, the CWG-Stewardship’s Design Team on IPR (DT-IPR) published its latest version of draft principles and requirements to which the two operational communities provided feedback in early January. Following the CWG-Stewardship's confirmation on a position, representatives from each operational community will work together to refine an outcome.

Implementation work

ICANN is facilitating monthly community discussions and providing implementation preparation updates on Transition Facilitation Calls held between ICANN staff and the leadership teams of the CCWG-Accountability, CWG-Stewardship, CRISP Team, IANAPLAN WG, GNSO, ccNSO, IETF, IAB, and the RIRs. The latest call was held on 13 January 2016. 

To keep up to date with implementation activities, see ICANN’s IANA Stewardship Implementation page.

CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 1 Recommendations

The CCWG-Accountability is currently in the process of finalizing its recommendations for Work Stream 1, following the 8 January 2016 release of the staff report and summary on the public comments received on the 3rd Draft Proposal on Work Stream 1 Recommendations. Between 12 and 21 January, the CCWG-Accountability is conducting a series of readings via teleconference of its revised 12 recommendations. The upcoming teleconferences that will complete the series of readings are:

•    19 January 2016, 12:00-15:00 UTC
•    21 January 2016, 12:00-15:00 UTC

Details of the group’s working methods and time plan for this phase of the proposal finalization are available in this Work Plan

The two recommendations that generated the most feedback in the public comment period, and therefore have required the most significant amounts of discussion amongst the CCWG-Accountability to finalize are:

•    Recommendation #5: Changing aspects of ICANN's Mission, Commitments and Core Values 
•    Recommendation #11: Board obligations with regards to Governmental Advisory Committee Advice (Stress Test 18) 

Consideration of the recommendations By Chartering Organizations 

The CCWG-Accountability has requested that all Chartering Organizations of the CCWG-Accountability indicate whether they support the recommendations in the proposal by 21 January 2015 at the latest. The Chartering Organizations are the GNSO, ALAC, ccNSO, GAC, ASO, and SSAC. The GNSO, ccNSO and GAC are currently working on responses to the CCWG-Accountability.

Timeline for finalization of proposal and submission to the ICANN Board

The CCWG-Accountability had, at the time of the publication of the 3rd Draft Proposal, planned to complete its final report and send it to the ICANN Board by the end of January 2016. This timeline is likely to be adjusted following feedback from all Chartering Organizations. When feedback is received from all six Chartering Organizations, the CCWG-Accountability will be in a better position to judge how much additional work may be needed to finalize the report and will adjust its timeline for the Work Stream 1 Final Proposal.

Feedback From the CCWG-Accountability’s legal counsel

Following a teleconference on 8 January 2016 between the CCWG-Accountability co-Chairs and the group’s legal counsel, it was agreed that legal counsel would provide its input on the 12 recommendations in two steps:

•    After the first reading, legal counsel will share high level feedback and/or concerns that could then be discussed as part of the second reading on the recommendation.
•    After the second reading, legal counsel will provide detailed edits where appropriate. If the input would result in a substantial change to a recommendation, there will be a discussion on the CCWG-Accountability mailing list to consider how to proceed with the input. If there is no substantial change involved, the recommendation will be amended to incorporate the legal counsel’s input. 

Drafting of ICANN Bylaws

On the teleconference on 8 January 2016 between the CCWG-Accountability co-Chairs and the group’s legal counsel, counsel noted that final drafting of the Bylaws, based on the recommendations in the CCWG-Accountability’s final report, would need to be primarily the responsibility of legal counsel. This would then include representatives of the CCWG-Accountability providing an oversight role to ensure the Bylaws meet their requirements, rather than have all members of the CCWG-Accountability participating in line edits of the drafted Bylaws.

The CWG-Stewardship is currently reviewing a draft of the ICANN Bylaws that are to change as a result of the CWG-Stewardship’s requirements. The draft was submitted by the group’s legal counsel on 7 November 2015.


The CCWG-Accountability will meet in Marrakech during ICANN55, but at this point, the main focus of the CCWG’s work in Marrakech is planning Work Stream 2 activities. Work Stream 2 focuses on accountability topics that extend beyond the IANA Stewardship Transition.

Key documents

Jan 2016 CCWG-Accountability Final Report (Work in progress)
14 Dec 2015 CWG-Stewardship IANA Intellectual Property Rights - Draft Principles and Requirements
30 Nov 2015 ICG - Summary Report on Comments Recieved During the Public Comment Period on the Combined Transition Proposal 

You can play a role in IANA’s future…

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


Compiled on behalf of ICANN by Samantha Dickinson                

15 January 2015


Samantha Dickinson