IANA Transition

To Fear or Not To Fear

What are IANA Functions?

Listkeeper of the Internet

  1. Domain Names
  2. Numbers
  3. Protocol Parameters
  4. Miscellany (tzdata, etc.)

Jon Postel (USC) was IANA

Domain Names

Layered Telephone Book

(we'll get to this in a moment)

Intermediary between ICANN and NTIA/Verisign

(we'll get to this in a bit)

Also, the Internet would exist even without names

Number Resources

IPv4, IPv6, and Autonomous System Numbers space

But mostly handled by NRO (RIRs) as ASO in ICANN

Protocol Assignments

IETF outsources this.

What is the Root Zone?

The foundation of the hierarchical DNS system.

518 KB (and growing) file.

13 Root Zone Operators

      Verisign     USC-ISI     Cogent     UMD     NASA-ARC     ISC     DOD-NIC     ARL      Netnod     RIPE NCC     ICANN     WIDE

(8 are head-quartered in the US; 3 are USG)

1 Root Zone Maintainer


What Is the Transition?

There are three documents:

1. IANA Functions Contract

(put out for bid in 2012, but ICANN sole applicant; this lays out functions, but also the oversight mechanism)

2. Affirmation of Commitments

(ICANN and NTIA are co-parties)

3. NTIA-Verisign Contract

(ICANN processes changes (like adding .guru), tells IANA to implement it in root.zone, which forwards to NTIA, which checks and forward to Verisign)

What is the Transition?

NTIA is exiting from its role as the body giving out the IANA functions contract, and wants to give this function to "the global multistakeholder community".

What happens to the contract with Verisign is unclear.

ICANN is conducting the process of getting community inputs for the transition. 

(But ICANN is insular and will try to protect its current role and interests)

Thesis 1

much of this has been decided in 1998 and the resultant path dependency (but the interesting coalition of IGP-InternetNZ, etc., pushing for a DNSA needs to be watched)

Thesis 2

positions of status quoists and anti-status quoists in re the importance of this transition have reversed:

former are now proclaiming this monumental, latter are now saying it's only one step.

Thesis 3

idea of 'jurisdictional resilience'

(and kicking the Verisign habit)

Thesis 4

oversight mechanisms are important, but nothing that's a big shift will gain 'community' approval since that itself is status-quoist

IANA transition: to fear or not to fear

By Pranesh Prakash

IANA transition: to fear or not to fear

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