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Joining the Global Discussion at ICANN 52

7 février 2015

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With ICANN's 52nd Public Meeting taking place this week in Singapore, I wanted to highlight the numerous opportunities to get involved in the conversation on the IANA Stewardship Transition and Enhancing ICANN Accountability processes. To date, the community has logged more than 90 public calls or meetings, over 5,200 working hours and some 10,000 email exchanges during the various stages of proposal development necessary to transition the stewardship of the IANA functions to the multistakeholder community.

Alissa Cooper, Chair of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG), published a well-received opinion piece during which she says, "The efforts of the individuals in each of the operational communities have been nothing short of extraordinary." I couldn't agree more.

The numbers reflect the hard work and dedication that has gone into this transition, but we still have a long way to go.

IANA Stewardship Transition

January 15th was the target date for each operational community of the IANA functions to submit a transition proposal as requested by the ICG. Each community was asked to assess their use of the IANA functions with a description of those functions, their existing arrangements, propose post-transition oversight and accountability arrangements and any transition implications.

The Protocol Parameters and Numbering communities met the target date, while the Naming community made good progress but continues its work.

One of reasons for missing the target date is due to the interdependence of the Cross Community Working Group on IANA Naming Related Functions (CWG-Stewardship) with the work of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability). The Chairs of both working groups created a schematic illustration of this interrelation with a flowchart that can be found here [PDF, 154 KB].

The ICG has begun its initial assessments of the protocol parameters and naming community proposals both over its publicly archived mailing list and at its two-day face-to-face meeting in Singapore on 6-7 February. In addition, members are working on an updated anticipated timeline to reflect the extended amount of time the CWG-Stewardship needs to complete its proposal.

Enhancing ICANN Accountability

Meanwhile, the CCWG-Accountability held a two-day meeting in Frankfurt, Germany on 19-20 January, attended by more than 50 members and participants with an additional 40 participants and observers attending remotely. The meeting was considered to be a success, leading to an initial agreement on a problem statement, a list of "stress tests" and requirements for Work Stream 1 – those accountability measures necessary to complete the IANA stewardship transition.

Since the meeting, the group has created two new Work Parties to further organize the dialogues of Work Stream 1.

  • Work Party 1: Community Empowerment
  • Work Party 2: Review & Redress

The working group is currently recruiting members and participants for each Work Party, and will continue its discussions further in Singapore.

Lastly, the Public Experts Group (PEG), tasked with selecting up to 7 external Advisors to the CCWG-Accountability selected the last  Advisor to join the working group. Lee Andrew Bygrave will join the discussions of the CCWG-Accountability as an expert in International Law/Jurisprudence.


In addition to an Informational Session on Sunday evening in Singapore, the ICG, CWG-Stewardship and CCWG-Accountability will be hosting several individual sessions at ICANN 52. Here's the list:

Overview: ICG and Working Group Sessions at ICANN 52 - As of 2 February 2015

All of these sessions will be live-streamed, and non-working session meetings will also be interpreted into the six UN languages plus Portuguese. So whether you have the opportunity to join us in Singapore or want to engage in the discussions from home, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.

You can also follow along with all of these discussions through the ICANN twitter (@ICANN), where we will be live-tweeting many of the events.

I am confident that our community will come out even stronger at the end of this undertaking. As Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling reinforced at the State of the Net Conference in Washington D.C. last month, "We all have a stake in this transition and in ensuring the Internet remains an open, dynamic platform for economic and social progress." Remember, it's never too late to have your voice heard.

Safe travels to everyone coming to Singapore, and be ready to work!



Theresa Swinehart

Theresa Swinehart

SVP, Global Domains & Strategy