Nearly 17 months ago, NTIA kicked off activities to complete the privatization of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS) as promised in 1998 by transitioning our stewardship role over certain technical functions related to the DNS.
We have reached an important milestone in that process as the two working groups tasked with developing proposals related to the transition have released them for final comment.
These technical functions, known as the IANA functions, play an important but limited role in how the DNS and Internet operate. The DNS allows users to identify websites, mail servers, and other Internet destinations using easy-to-understand names (e.g., www.ntia.doc.gov) rather than the numeric network addresses (e.g., 126.96.36.199) necessary to retrieve information on the Internet.
The IANA transition will advance our commitment to ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for global economic growth, innovation and free speech.
Since March 2014, the Internet community – made up of technical experts, businesses and civil society – has spent hundreds of hours devising a transition proposal that aims to meet the principles we outlined, including preserving the openness, security and resiliency of the Internet.
The global Internet community also developed a proposal to enhance the accountability of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which currently performs the IANA functions under a contract with NTIA, in advance of NTIA transitioning its stewardship role.
In recent days both the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) and the Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) on Enhancing ICANN Accountability have posted their proposals for review and final public comment. Comments are due September 8, 2015, for the ICG’s proposal and September 12, 2015, for the CCWG’s proposal.
I urge all parties with an interest in the IANA transition to review these proposals and provide feedback to the working groups. This is the best way to make your voice heard and make a difference. It is particularly important that stakeholders everywhere evaluate whether these plans meet the criteria that we have said must be part of the transition.
I greatly appreciate the time and effort the community has put into developing these proposals. With the participation of as many stakeholders as possible, I am confident that this transition will result in a stronger ICANN and an Internet that will continue to grow and thrive throughout the world.