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Reforms Needed Before U.S. Hands Over Control of ICANN

Posted on the 19 October 2014 by Worldwide @thedomains

Senator Mark Warren (D-Va) wrote a piece on Information Week that discusses the reforms that need to be addressed before the keys to ICANN are handed over. He touches upon things like, Who will hold ICANN accountable, transparency with the public and the sanctity of the DNS.

From the article:

The FCC recently received more than 3.7 million comments on its proposed rules to govern how Internet providers will treat traffic on their networks. However, there’s another pivotal discussion happening that could turn out to have an even bigger impact on how the Internet will be governed. Much of it boils down to how the international Internet community will oversee web addresses and domain names and how well it will protect the principles of a secure, stable, and open Internet.

Basic questions must still be answered. For example, without the current oversight provided by the US, who will hold ICANN accountable for its decisions? How will the public be informed about how ICANN makes policy? How will its membership be vetted to ensure that nations are represented appropriately, and that technical experts are always present? Following the NTIA’s announcement, I wrote a letter to the NTIA expressing some of those concerns. However, questions remain unanswered.

For nearly two decades, the DNS has been a model of reliability — something all of us take for granted. But if it were to fail to function correctly, it would be a disaster. It’s imperative that the NTIA use its oversight capabilities to see that ICANN adopts real reforms with clear enforcement and dispute-resolution mechanisms. ICANN needs to demonstrate that it is ready — and that it will remain a capable, responsive, and independent guardian of the Internet’s infrastructure long into the future — before the NTIA turns over the keys.

Read the full story on Information Week

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