- The IANA functions are comprised of domain names, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and a standard set of protocol parameters. They work together to enable your computer to reliable find and connect to other devices, things, or information sources on the Internet no matter where you are physically located in the world.
- ICANN has been performing the domain names related IANA functions under a contract with the US government (specifically, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration - NTIA), along with the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) for IP addresses and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) for protocol parameters. In March 2014, the US government announced its intent to end the contract with ICANN and transition its stewardship role to the global Internet community.
- Various groups were set-up for the design of the transition plans. At-Large community appointees in each of the groups not only actively participate, but also often held Chair or Vice Chair positions in leading the work and shepherding the processes.
- The ALAC coordinated the action of its appointees through its own working group on IANA Stewardship and ICANN Accountability by holding weekly calls with its stakeholder community.
- The transition proposal has been approved by the ICANN community and NTIA, and the post transition implementation is currently underway.
- In the proposed transition plan, an ALAC Liaison is involved in the operational oversight, previously performed by the NTIA and will then performed by a Customer Standing Committee (CSC), as it relates to the monitoring of ICANN’s performance of the IANA naming functions.
- The ALAC will also appoint representatives to the IANA Functions Review Process as per proposal’s requirements.
Why should end users care?
- Although the IANA functions are operational functions, they do require global governance and stewardship, in which end users play an important role.
- Within the ICANN’s multistakeholder environment, end users don’t have any vested commercial interests or political agendas in the IANA transition. They simply want the DNS to remain secure, resilient, and interoperable. End users are a stabilizing influence in the transition process.
- Ultimately, the Stewardship Transition matters to every end user, as its success will allow for the continued expansion, diversity, and innovation of one open, unified, and interoperable global Internet.
Learn more at the IANA Stewardship Transition and ICANN Accountability Miscrosite: https://www.icann.org/stewardship-accountability