[Internal-cg] Statement regarding transition

Mueller, Milton L milton at gatech.edu
Sat Oct 1 12:37:22 UTC 2016

One member of the community tweeted:
"Cowboy AGs shoot blanks" ;-)

Congrats, all


From: Internal-cg [mailto:internal-cg-bounces at ianacg.org] On Behalf Of Drazek, Keith
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2016 9:38 AM
To: Lynn St.Amour <Lynn at LStAmour.org>
Cc: IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group <internal-cg at ianacg.org>
Subject: Re: [Internal-cg] Statement regarding transition

Hello all,

The State AGs of Arizona, Texas, Utah and Nevada (all Republicans) have filed suit to block the transition. The media report is below. Unclear whether it will have any impact before Saturday.


Brnovich sues to halt handoff of Internet oversight
*         By Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- Saying the move will harm First Amendment rights, Attorney General Mark Brnovich late Wednesday asked a federal judge to block or at least delay Sunday's proposed handover by the federal government of the agency in charge of coordinating Internet names and addresses.
The lawsuit comes barely 48 hours before the Department of Commerce and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration are slated to turn over the reins of a little-known organization responsible for assigning Internet domain names and addresses. Brnovich, in his lawsuit joined by three other attorneys general, listed a series of harms he said could befall not just government agencies like his but the ability of U.S. citizens to post their views for all the world to see, including the effective censorship of some Internet voices by making them impossible to find.
He acknowledged, though, that it could be difficult to get a federal judge to act fast enough.
At the heart of the legal spat is Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
In essence what ICANN does is assure that each web site has its own unique multi-digit address. As the Internet developed, it also allowed for unique domain names so someone could go to"http://Arizona.gov" instead of having to remember "" which is the official address.
Finally, it decides on appropriate suffixes for names, like .com, .gov and .org, specific suffixes for individual countries like .at for Austria, as well as authorizing new suffixes like .xxx for adult sites.
While ICANN has operated under contract with the federal government, that is set to expire at the end of the day Saturday. At that point, control would go to an international consortium of business, public interest groups and governments.
Congress has debated the advisability of the U.S. government losing control but has yet to approve any legislation. It also has become a political issue with even Donald Trump wading in against the transfer.
But with time running out, Brnovich is making a federal case of it, literally.
Part of the lawsuit is based on the contention that the authority to oversee ICANN is a "property right.''
"Absent congressional permission, government officials may not release or otherwise dispose of government property,'' he argues.
But Brnovich said there are bigger concerns for individuals.
He said Commerce Department oversight ensures "accountability'' that the system is fairly administered. Brnovich said an international organization, one potentially under the influence of terrorist states, could make changes that would undermine all that.
"We all want the Internet to be free of state control,'' he said. "You could end up in a situation where you could have other third parties controlling the Internet.''
For example, he said the key to people having access to publish information on the Internet lies with that "root zone file,'' the list of unique addresses. It is that, coupled with the attached name, that ensures others can find the site.
"Without inclusion in the root zone file, a person wishing to speak on the Internet could publish content, but that content would be near-impossible to find and the speaker would be virtually deprived of any audience that could hear the speech,'' Brnovich is arguing to the federal court.
He also said it amounts to requiring people to get a license to use the Internet from a group that would have "unbridled discretion'' of who gets one. And that, he said, becomes "prior restraint that may result in censorship.''
Brnovich acknowledged to Capitol Media Services that he is working on the premise that the United States government would do a better job protecting the Internet than a new international group. But the attorney general said there is reason to be wary.
"If you like what the United Nations has done for peace in the world, that's what you can expect an international organization will do for the Internet,'' he said. He specifically mentioned the kind of resolutions that are passed by the U.N. Security Council, resolutions that sometimes are stopped only by the fact the United States exercises veto power.
That still leaves the question of timing, with Brnovich and AGs from Texas, Nevada and Utah seeking federal court action between now and Sunday.
Brnovich acknowledged that he and the others have known for months about the handover plans. But he said they were hoping that Congress would have acted by now.

On Sep 29, 2016, at 3:18 PM, Lynn St.Amour <Lynn at LStAmour.org<mailto:Lynn at lstamour.org>> wrote:
Thank you Alissa,

I fully support the letter, and am happy to have been a part of this team.  It has been a long road, and at the end it is both a large step and a small step.  Congratulations to all!  Great working with everyone

Warm regards,


On Sep 28, 2016, at 2:31 PM, Alissa Cooper <alissa at cooperw.in<mailto:alissa at cooperw.in>> wrote:

Hi all,

I've prepared the attached statement for posting to the ICG web site in the event that the NTIA contract expires on Friday. The expiration is still not 100% guaranteed, but I thought it would be good to be ready if it happens. Please send feedback/edits if you have them. I will also share this with the ICG comms group for feedback.

You'll note the final paragraph says the following:

"With the expiration of the IANA functions contract, the ICG's work is complete and the ICG will formally conclude its existence as a group. The ICG web site will remain archived at http://ianacg.org for future reference."

If the contract expires on Friday, I think we can officially declare our work to be complete. Patrik, Mohamed, and I will work with the secretariat to wrap up any loose ends.


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