ICANN-320Dominated by U.S and Europe. Don't flame me; I supported the ICANN transition.  I also am aware of the limitations of ICANN that are generally ignored. In particular, some who know better called this a victory of the global Internet community. 

Unfortunately, this isn't true. 
 
The global Internet community is not represented in ICANN in a meaningful form. The Board and the staff they appoint make essentially all the decisions. ICANN is a model of community participation in discussion, a good thing. But a close look at the detailed process shows the community neither makes decisions or chooses those who do. An early process of elected members was shut down.
 
One-third of the Internet - Mainland China - is not represented. According to ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadi, they could not be represented while NTIA had control. In addition, the board members are European, American, or mostly in sympathy.  (I have traced the ties of the handful from the global South.)
 
The majority of Internet users are not in the countries well represented in ICANN. The gap is growing rapidly.
Around late next year, Africans with 3G and 4G Internet connections will pass 320M, the U.S. population. The 4G revolution in India will very quickly add 200M more. China is already over 600M, as well as 270M with landline broadband, about as many as the U.S. and Western Europe combined. About 2/3rds of the world's Internet users have minimal representation in ICANN.
 
I take the position that effective Internet governance is impossible with half the Internet users excluded. I am not blind to the authoritarian nature of China and other regimes, but they are part of the world. We need a "Nixon goes to China" moment.
 
Unfortunately, the board is essentially self-perpetuating. Unless the board members choose to change things, ICANN does not represent the global Internet community.
 
The Internet Society has a $30M/year subsidy from dot org registrations. We can and should be the most powerful consumer advocates on the Internet. Accurate analysis is an important first step.  Dave

Internet Society congratulates global Internet community on successful IANA stewardship transition.

 
01 October 2016

The Internet Society Board of Trustees joins the Internet community in celebrating today’s historic milestone whereby the stewardship of the IANA functions will be transitioned to the global Internet community.

Today’s IANA stewardship transition fulfills a vision of multistakeholder governance set forth nearly 20 years ago. The work undertaken by the global Internet community to develop a robust, consensus proposal for the IANA stewardship transition demonstrates the legitimacy of the collaborative approach to governing critical Internet resources. By allowing its contract with ICANN regarding IANA oversight to expire, the U.S. government has demonstrated its continued support for the multistakeholder model.

“Today’s outcome confirms the strength of both the community and the multistakeholder process in tackling issues important to the continued growth and evolution of the Internet,” said Gonzalo Camarillo, Chair of the Internet Society's Board of Trustees. “We commend the NTIA for its trust and confidence in the multistakeholder Internet community to achieve this important accomplishment.”

As an interested party to the transition, the Internet Society has been involved in the IANA stewardship transition since the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intention to withdraw from these core technical functions of the Internet in March 2014. Throughout the development of the plan, the Internet Society strongly supported the transition as the means to ensure the continued smooth operation of the global Internet.

“The expiration of the IANA contract is a remarkable testament to the persistence and courage by many individuals and organizations to do what is best for the Internet,” said Kathryn Brown, President and CEO of the Internet Society. “We look forward to working with ICANN to implement the processes set out in the proposal to ensure its success. We are confident that, working with (and through) ICANN, the Internet community is committed and prepared to carry out stewardship of the IANA functions in an open, inclusive, transparent and accountable manner.”

The IANA transition is a powerful illustration of the multistakeholder model and an affirmation of the principle that the best approach to address challenges is through bottom-up, transparent, and consensus-driven processes. To fulfill our shared vision of a global Internet of opportunity, the multistakeholder community must apply the same level of commitment to connecting the unconnected and strengthening global trust in the Internet. The Internet Society is fully committed to playing its part to ensure the Internet grows as a platform for innovation and collaboration.

Finally, the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society would like to thank all those actively committed to this transition. In particular, the Board notes the significant contributions of the IANA Coordination Group, especially ISOC appointees Narelle Clark and Demi Getschko.

 

Steve Crocker | Chair

Selected by: Nominating Committee

Term: November 2008 – Annual General Meeting 2017

Committees:

Cherine Chalaby

Cherine Chalaby | Vice Chair

Selected by: Nominating Committee

Term: December 2010 – Annual General Meeting 2016

Committees:

Rinalia Abdul Rahim

Rinalia Abdul
Rahim

Selected by: At-Large

Term: October 2014 – Annual General Meeting 2017

Committees:

Ron da Silva

Ron da Silva

Selected by: ASO

Term: October 2015 – Annual General Meeting 2018

Committees:

Chris Disspain

Chris Disspain

Selected by: ccNSO

Term: June 2011 – Annual General Meeting 2017

Committees:

Asha Hemrajani

Asha Hemrajani

Selected by: Nominating Committee

Term: October 2014 – Annual General Meeting 2017

Committees:

Rafael Lito Ibarra

Rafael Lito Ibarra

Selected by: Nominating Committee

Term: October 2015 – Annual General Meeting 2018

Committees:

Markus Kummer

Markus Kummer

Selected by: GNSO

Term: October 2014 – Annual General Meeting 2017

Committees:

Bruno Lanvin

Bruno Lanvin

Selected by: Nominating Committee

Term: November 2013 – Annual General Meeting 2016

Committees:

Erika Mann

Erika Mann

Selected by: Nominating Committee

Term: December 2010 – Annual General Meeting 2016

Committees:

Göran Marby

Göran Marby | President & CEO

 

Ram Mohan

Ram Mohan

SSAC Liaison Since 2008

Committees:

George Sadowsky

George
Sadowsky

Selected by: Nominating Committee

Term: October 2009 – Annual General Meeting 2018

Committees:

 

Thomas Schneider

Thomas
Schneider

GAC Liaison

Term: First GAC Meeting 2015 – First GAC Meeting 2017

Committees:

Mike Silber

Mike Silber

Selected by: ccNSO

Term: May 2009 – Annual General Meeting 2018

Committees:

 

Jonne Soininen

Jonne Soininen

IETF Liaison

Term: 2013 – Annual General Meeting 2017

Committees:

  • Risk | Non-Voting Member
Bruce Tonkin

Bruce Tonkin

Selected by: GNSO

Term: June 2007 – Annual General Meeting 2016

Committees:

Lousewies van der Laan

Lousewies
van der Laan

Selected by: Nominating Committee

Term: October 2015 – Annual General Meeting 2018

Committees:

Suzanne Woolf

Suzanne Woolf

RSSAC Liaison Since 2004

Committees:

Kuo-Wei Wu

Kuo-Wei Wu

Selected by ASO

Term: April 2010 – Annual General Meeting 2016

Committees:

The world needs a good news source on Internet and telecom policy. I hope to create one. Catch a mistake? Email me please.  Dave Burstein

Latest

Professor Noam's "Many Internets" http://bit.ly/ManyNets

Until about 2010, everyone agreed the Net was a "network of networks," not a monolithic entity. There was a central authority, ICANN, keeping track of domain names, but that was a minor administrative function.
Columbia Professor Noam suggests we might be better off accepting that some nations or groups might want to organize their networks differently. It's easy to see demand for an Internet with much more effective filters against material some think harmful to children. (Any 10 year old can easily find porn today. Many do.)
Internet translation is getting better very quickly. You might want an "Internet" that translates everything into your language. Google Chrome translation isn't perfect but I was able to research most of this story on Russian language sites. With a few more years progress, I might welcome an alternate that brings me everything in English, including caching for better performance.
De facto, Internet news is already split, as hundreds of millions only get their news from Facebook. Google AMP pages, including for news, also favor selected parts of the net
Centralizing the DNS doesn't prevent censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. There are many Jewish and Muslim fundamentalists who want to block what they consider blasphemy and limit free speech. See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/nyregion/ultra-orthodox-jews-hold-rally-on-internet-at-citi-field.html . More from Noam http://bit.ly/ManyNets

Russia Orders Alternate Root Internet System http://bit.ly/RussiaDNS
It's actually practical and not necessarily a problem.The Security Council of the Russian Federation, headed by Vladimir Putin, has ordered the "government to develop an independent internet infrastructure for BRICS nations, which would continue to work in the event of global internet malfunctions ... This system would be used by countries of the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa." RT
Columbia University Professor Eli Noam and then ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé have both said such a system is perfectly practical as long as there is robust interconnection.
Actually, the battle over ICANN and domain names is essentially symbolic. Managing the DNS is a relatively insignificant task, more clerical than governing. ICANN Chair Steve Crocker pointed out they had very little to do with policy.
Some will claim this is about blocking free speech but that's rhetoric. Russia doesn't need to fiddle with the DNS for censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. The wonders of the Internet will continue so long as the resulting nets" are robustly connected. The ICANN and U.S. policy goal should be to help create that system for interconnection.
I expect contentions that “The Russians are taking over our Internet” and “They are splitting the Internet.” The Internet is a “Network of Networks.” It is not a monolith so what would “splitting” it mean or do?
After the WCIT, China realized that ICANN and the DNS are side issues not worth bothering about. They have been building alternate institutions including the World Internet Summit in Wuzhan and the BRICs conferences.  The Chinese have put their main work where decisions that matter are made. Wireless standards are set by 3GPP, where nothing can be approved without China's consent.
The American battle at ITU is proving to be a historic mistake.
Why does Russia want an independent Internet?
They fear that Western sanctions on Russia could cripple the Russian Net. Communications minister, Nikolay Nikiforov, worries about, "a scenario where our esteemed partners would suddenly decide to disconnect us from the internet." I think that's highly unlikely but Nikiforov points out, “Recently, Russia is being addressed in a language of unilateral sanctions: first, our credit cards are being cut off; then the European Parliament says that they’ll disconnect us from SWIFT."
It makes sense for the Russians to be prepared for such a contingency as the Cold War has been warming up on both sides. "Britain's top military chief Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach just made headlines warning Russian subs "could CRIPPLE Britain by cutting undefended undersea internet cables." Much more http://bit.ly/RussiaDNS

ICANN Continues Excluding Russia & China From the Board http://bit.ly/CEOPromises
No wonder Russia wants an alternate root. Three years ago, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé promised "a seat at the table" to Chinese Premier Li. ICANN welched and this year added two more Americans.
Almost all the ICANN board is from the U.S. and close allies; only about 4 of the 18 board members are from countries on the other side of the North/South divide in Internet policy.  Claiming ICANN represents the Global Internet is inappropriate. China is 1/3rd of the Internet but has no representation on the board.
I know many of the board members. They are all basically honorable but generally share a strong opinion on North-South issues.
Larry Strickling of the U.S. government knew just what he was doing with the IANA transition. He handed over to a board with similar positions as the U.S. government.
"The system is unsustainable while it excludes half the world," I have been saying since 2012. More, including the transcript of Fadi's statements,http://bit.ly/CEOPromises

Sorry, Ajit Pai: Smaller Telcos Did Not Reduce Investment After NN Ruling http://bit.ly/SorryPai
Pai justifies his NN choice with the claim, "The impact has been particularly serious for smaller Internet service providers." #wrong (Actually, NN has minimal effects on investment, up or down, I’m convinced. Competition, new technology, customer demand and similar are far more important.)
The two largest suppliers to “smaller ISPs” saw sales go up. Adtran's sales the most recent nine months were $540M, up from $473M the year before. 2016 was $636M, 2015 $600M. Calix the last nine months sold $372M, up from $327M. The full year 2016 was $459M, up from $407M in 2015. Clearfield, a supplier of fiber optic gear, was up 8% in sales in the smaller ISPs.
There is nothing in the data from others that suggests an alternate trend. Anyone could have found this data in a few minutes from the company quarterly reports.
The results in larger companies are ambiguous. I can "prove" capex went up or went down by selecting the right data. The four largest companies' capex - two/thirds of the total - went up from $52.7B in 2015 to $55.7B in 2016. The result remains positive after making sensible adjustments for mergers and acquisitions. That's as close to "proving" that NN led to increased spending as the facts chosen to prove the opposite.
Actually, whether capex went up or down in 2016 tells us almost nothing about the choice on neutrality. Everyone knows a single datapoint could be random or due to other causes. Much more, including the source of the errors http://bit.ly/SorryPai

Elders Bearing Witness: Vint, Timbl, & Many More http://bit.ly/VintTim
Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak and more than a dozen true Internet pioneers wrote Congress to protect Neutrality. The best Congress money can buy didn't listen but I wanted to reproduce their letter.
I hope they are wrong believing "is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create." My take is the impact will be moderate in the short run.
From the letter:
We are the pioneers and technologists who created and now operate the Internet, and some of the innovators and business people who, like many others, depend on it for our livelihood. ... The FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology. These flaws and inaccuracies were documented in detail in a 43-page-long joint comment signed by over 200 of the most prominent Internet pioneers and engineers and submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2017.
Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings, but instead premised the proposed Order on the very technical flaws the comment explained. The technically-incorrect proposed Order ... More, including the full list, http://bit.ly/VintTim