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US Government Withdraws IANA Contract From ICANN 140

mbone writes "The 'no cost' contract between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN over hosting the Internet Assigned Names and Number Authority (IANA) was supposed to be re-let this March. Now, it has been withdrawn, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) says that 'we are cancelling this RFP because we received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community.' This is a pretty stunning vote of no confidence in ICANN by the U.S. government, on the eve of the 43rd ICANN meeting in Costa Rica. Speculation is that this is related to the attempts of the ITU-T to take over Internet governance, but it also could be over the new global top level domains. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more about this in the weeks to come."
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US Government Withdraws IANA Contract From ICANN

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  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by sideslash ( 1865434 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @05:52PM (#39314185)
    It's a direct quote from some mangled editing in this recent slashdot summary: [] It seems to be an unparseable phrase, which apparently GP decided was worthy of meme-ification:

    "Apple Inc. plans to create a $304 million campus in Austin, Texas, which will add 3,600 jobs over the next decade, more than doubling its labourforce in the city. The Cupertino, California, customer device huge already employs thousands in Austin, whose tasks include handling customer issues and support."

  • Misleading Headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by GeorgeK ( 642310 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @05:55PM (#39314209) Homepage

    The headline is a bit misleading. What NTIA did was withdraw the RFP. The IANA contract still stays with ICANN (contract extended until the end of September), and there will likely be another RFP.

    However, it is indeed a big rebuke, because in the NTIA Notice [] they stated that " we are cancelling this RFP because we received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community" which is another way of saying that ICANN has not been acting in the global public interest.

  • by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:04PM (#39314263)

    Beat me to it ;) The relevant part of this is here:

    On November 10, 2011, the Department of Commerce issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) SA1301-12-RP-IANA for a new IANA functions contract with a deadline of December 19, 2011. The government may cancel any solicitation that does not meet the requirements. Accordingly, we are cancelling this RFP because we received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community. The Department intends to reissue the RFP at a future date to be determined (TBD) so that the requirements of the global internet community can be served. Interested parties are encouraged to visit for updates.

    Apprently they requested some policy changes from IANA, and IANA never submitted that they had made the changes requested. The changes requested related to allowing countries to have a higher degree of latitude within their borders:

    Based on the input received from stakeholders around the world, NTIA added new requirements to the IANA functions’ statement of work, including the need for structural separation of policymaking from implementation, a robust companywide conflict of interest policy, provisions reflecting heightened respect for local country laws, and a series of consultation and reporting requirements to increase transparency and accountability to the international community.

    This seems reasonable, at least at this point. I suspect this is a non-issue, but worth watching.

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:10PM (#39314633)
    Collaborating? The US Government created ICANN in 1998 owned it until 2009. But thanks for your insight.
  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:13PM (#39314657)

    I don't think you know much about the Puritans, they drank, had tonnes of sex and dressed in bright colours. What they did not do was get drunk, have sex with people they were not married to or dress like emos.

  • They were saying that fifteen years ago. [] The domain name system isn't going anywhere because that shit works.

  • Re:ICANN is corrupt (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dan541 ( 1032000 ) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @01:46AM (#39316281) Homepage

    .com does not belong to the United States. The fact that Verisign was assigned control of the registry by ICANN does not change this. Similarly if ICANN gave the registry to an operator in France it would not mean that France now owns .com.

    Since Verisign is a private company it is incorrect to say that the US Government controls .com. Sure they can (and do) abuse the unique position they are in by bullying the registry operator. But to conclude that they control .com is similar to concluding that they control Windows updates, since Microsoft also has its headquarters in the US.

    I for one find it deeply concerning that the US is asserting jurisdiction over international domains. Many of which are registered outside of the US by foreign registrants and registrars.

  • by Arrogant-Bastard ( 141720 ) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @07:16AM (#39317165)
    It's not a just a perception that .info has been overrun by spammers, it's a measurement. I've been working in this area for a very long time, and have done extensive number-crunching at the scale of "tens of millions of domains". It's certainly true that there are non-spammer-owned .info domains, but it's also true that spammers buy them BY THE THOUSANDS. (Registrars approve of this, of course; bulk customers are terrific for them. Even better: repeat bulk customers, because spammers who burn through all those domains will be back for more.) Of course, without inventorying all .info domains, I can't give an exact percentage; but based on what I've seen, it looks to me like 97-99% of .info domains are owned by abusers. And whether the "true" number is 98.2 or 99.3 or whatever, it doesn't really matter in a practical sense: blacklisting .info in toto and making exceptions is extremely effective.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong