[arin-ppml] IANA transition and the risk of a failed RIR process

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Sep 8 16:41:33 EDT 2014


Today the IANA stewardship coordination group<https://www.icann.org/stewardship/coordination-group> (ICG) released a request for proposals for changing the IANA in ways needed to compensate for the end of US government oversight.

I am assuming that since the RIRs were signatories to the Montevideo Declaration<https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2013-10-07-en>, which called for globalization of the IANA functions, that most of their members and participants support the IANA transition and want to see it happen expeditiously.

The ICG, of which I am a member, has proposed a very open and bottom up method for the transition. It has broken the problem down into three types of IANA 'customers' - names, numbers and protocols - and has asked each of these operational communities to convene open, transparent processes to develop proposals with widespread public support for a new IANA that can function without oversight by the US government.

The IETF has convened a reasonably open process, creating a mailing list (ianaplan at ietf.org<mailto:ianaplan at ietf.org>) and chartering a working group<https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/ianaplan/charter/> to develop a proposal.
Likewise, the names community has chartered a cross-community working group<https://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/draft-charter-ccwg-iana-stewardship-21aug14-en.pdf>, led by the GNSO and CCNSO, to develop a names proposal.

I am sorry to report that ARIN and the NRO have not risen to this challenge yet. We have not seen any call for input about how to convene an open process - something which is _required_ by both NTIA and the ICG.

The RIR's proposed "process" for developing a proposal has  never been discussed among the ARIN Advisory Council, nor has it been announced or raised on the ARIN PPML. There was never a discussion as to whether the process should be convened at the global level or at the regional level. No mailing list for general discussion of that specific topic has been convened by the RIRs as a whole. The web page ARIN has thrown together about the transition<http://teamarin.net/education/internet-governance/iana-globalization/> does not describe or propose a process. There seem to be no methods for interested stakeholders to submit proposals for the IANA transition to the RIR community, and no plans for receiving public comment about their draft proposal.

Instead, the assumption seems to be that ARIN, and APNIC and other RIRs, will collect random "input" from poorly publicized face to face sessions at their regional meetings, and then their staff will decide what the proposal will be. There seem to be no plans for collating and analyzing that input. There are not even plans for opening the RIRs proposals to public omment.

Even worse than ARIN's vacuum, APNIC has started off its "consultation" process by putting in front of the community the staff's own view as to how the new IANA should look, which calls into question the neutrality of the process.

These process failings make the RIR's proposed transition proposal extremely vulnerable to challenge. Any aspect of the IANA transition that cannot demonstrate a fair process and broad support from across the spectrum of stakeholder groups is likely to attract criticism and to fail the NTIA's test. I am urging the RIRs to wake up and take this transition process more seriously. In my opinion, the following criteria need to be met before the RIRs can claim to have run a legitimate process:


1)      There must be a global, open mailing list devoted specifically to the numbers part of the IANA transition. Not existing regional lists.

2)      The draft proposal developed jointly by the RIRs must explicitly respond to public input

3)      The final proposal developed jointly by the RIRs must be subject to public comment on a global basis before it is submitted to the ICG


Milton L Mueller
Laura J and L. Douglas Meredith Professor
Syracuse University School of Information Studies
http://faculty.ischool.syr.edu/mueller/


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