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Author Topic: Breaking: ICANN Transition Even Endangers '.gov' and '.mil' [internet giveaway]  (Read 3126 times)
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« on: September 15, 2016, 08:19:12 AM »

ICANN transition insider Paul Rosenweig warns:

1. Foreign powers will "indisputably have increased influence".

2. Transition a "leap in the dark".

3. ICANN planning to move overseas.

4. '.gov' and '.mil' "not assured by any enforceable mechanism".

So no domain name is safe.

Who is Paul Rosenweig?

He was invited to testify at yesterday's "internet giveaway" hearing because of his involvement and extensive background:

1. Department of Homeland -- deputy assistant secretary for policy.

2. Currently he runs a consulting organization for Homeland.

3. Rosenweig authored and edited numerous books on cyber-security and freedom of speech. [He also produced DVDs on those subjects.]

4. As for his politics, He's been writing Heritage Foundation columns all the way back to 1977.

[I zipped past the impressive bonafides section to 'get on with it'.]


Paul Rosenweig

My testimony today is the product of more than two years of working within ICANN on the proposed IANA transition. I (along with many others, including my Heritage colleague Brett Schaefer) participated extensively in this process through testimony, research and publications ... [he lists very specifically his involvement] ... and some of my suggestions have been incorporated into the final CCWG-Accountability proposal and the revised bylaws.

In my testimony today, I want to address five key issues that I think warrant substantial caution:

? The IANA transition is a leap in the dark. Nobody can reasonably tell you that there is certainty about how it will work out. Yet the safe and secure functioning of the network is vital to economic and political freedom around the globe. It would be prudent to develop experiencewith the new governance model during a trial period before the transition is made irrevocable.

? ICANN is incorporated in California. Yet some around the globe question that decision and are working, as part of follow on work, to see ICANN moved to another jurisdiction. Assuredly, the American role in overseeing ICANN?s operations should not be terminated until that issue is resolved.

? The US government is delegated as the operator of the .Gov and .Mil top level domains. Rather than guaranteeing the permanent continuation of that role by way of contract, the NTIA and ICANN have chosen to exchange letters which, in the end, promise the US that ICANN will follow its policy and notify the government before any re-delegation is made.

Thus, American control of .Gov and .Mil (which are essential to the continued stable operations ofAmerican government IT systems) is not assured by any enforceable mechanism.


? In the new ICANN, other governments will indisputably have increased influence over the corporation. [snip]

? And, finally, there is reason to think that the newly Empowered Community will not be well-situated to exercise realistic oversight of ICANN and its staff. There are too many barriers to effective exercise of the EC?s new powers and too many practical and cultural reasons why the EC will not serve as an effective check on ICANN.

Without that check, ICANN risks becoming an unregulated monopoly with no effective outside oversight and control. [snip]

[EMPHASIS: 'ICANN risks becoming an unregulated monopoly']

... As you know, that transition is scheduled to occur on September 30, 2016 ... I have suggested that the formal transition proceed with a two-year trial period ... [Even that desperate plea is being ignored.]

[ICANN Might Go Overseas]

ICANN is a non-profit corporation incorporated in California. Some say that this is a check on ICANN?s activities, since it would be subject to suit in America?s impartial, professional court system. Indeed, in July, Assistant Secretary Strickling confidently declared ?ICANN is a California corporation and will remain so,? noting that a three-quarters vote of the Board would be required to change this requirement of ICANN?s Article of Incorporation, or to amend the ?fundamental? bylaw requiring ICANN to maintain its primary place of business in California.6

I wish I were as confident as Assistant Secretary Strickling... The idea that ICANN would pack up and move has been contemplated by ICANN?s leadership.

Back in June 2014, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade announced, in testimony to the French Senate, that the Board had authorized him to begin, as one of five major initiatives, the creation of a ?parallel legal, international structure (maybe in Switzerland) for ICANN.?8 [snip]

... These changes were recommended even though some Members of Congress have explicitly opposed this outcome. Specifically, a 2014 letter from Senators John Thune (R?SD) and Marco Rubio (R?FL) made clear that from their perspective, government influence should not be expanded in the transition: First, ICANN must prevent governments from exercising undue influence over Internet governance. In April we led 33 Senators in a letter to NTIA regarding the IANA transition. We wrote that ?[r]eplacing NTIA?s role with another governmental organization would be disastrous and we would vigorously oppose such a plan. [snip]

[more info and links coming up]
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