Steve CrockerTerm limited. Steve writes, 

We have term limits for directors, no more than three consecutive three year terms.  I have reached my limit and am leaving the Board.  The Board’s chair is chosen each year by the Board.  The formal election of the next chair takes place at the end of the Annual General Meeting in Abu Dhabi.

He has been active literally since the beginning of the Internet. He was part of the UCLA team, led by Len Kleinrock, that connected the first Internet node, back in DARPA days. Wired has a great interview about the early days, including how Steve developed the RFC system. There's also an oral history of the early days Steve did back in 1991.

Americans Avri Doria and Sarah Deutsch have been nominated and will likely join the ICANN Board at the October Abu Dhabi meeting,

I once called Deutsch a hero because of her work on some basic Internet protections while she was with Verizon. She now works with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Avri, a friend, has been active in ISOC and U.S. policy issues for many years. 

VInt Cerf has "known and worked with Steve since we were teenagers together at Van Nuys High School in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles." He writes:

"Steve deserves enormous credit both for his early leadership in computer networking that culminated in the host level protocols for the ARPANET and the creation of the RFC series. It also anointed Jon Postel as the Numbers Czar, the RFC Editor and eventually the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority that eventually also encompassed management of the domain name system for many years.

Steve also deserves recognition for his very long service to ICANN and the Internet Community as the inaugural chairman of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, Board member and eventual chairman of the Board. He has been the right person at the right time in all of these roles. The transition of control of the IANA functions from the contractual era under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to ICANN and its community took place during his time as chairman and his steady hand and unflappable style contributed greatly to the final success of that effort.

I can say without hesitation that he is one of a handful of the smartest and most thoughtful people it has been my privilege to know. The Internet community has benefited from his lasting commitment to network technology and it is fitting that we now offer our best wishes in the next phase of his career."

George Sadowsky, a board member at ICANN, writes

Steve is a giant of the Internet, from writing RFC-1 to providing stable and progressive leadership of ICANN for the last five years.  For me, he has been a valuable and trusted colleague.  I think that he still has a couple of significant contributions to make, and I look forward to being pleasantly surprised by them. 

Update from Steve: We — Vint, Jon, I and the other grad students — got involved in the Arpanet project in 1968.  The first IMP was installed at UCLA  in September 1969, but we had been involved for over a year in the planning, discussions, organizing, etc.  I good starting date might be August 1968 when the people from the first four sites got together at UCSB.  Elmer Shapiro from SRI chair the meeting, and it was the first time we met our counterparts from the other sites.  That kicked off the protocol design process.  Over the next several months we visited each other’s laboratories, formulated general ideas, and developed mutual respect and communication.  The RFCs emerged from those meetings in spring 1969.

Here's Crocker's Wikipedia article and the official NomCom release.

Stephen D. Crocker (born October 15, 1944, in Pasadena, California) is the inventor of the Request for Comments series,[1]authoring the very first RFC[2] and many more.[3] He received his bachelor's degree (1968) and PhD (1977) from the University of California, Los Angeles.[4] Crocker is chair of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN.[5]

Steve Crocker has worked in the Internet community since its inception. As a UCLA graduate student in the 1960s, he was part of the team that developed the protocols for the ARPANET which were the foundation for today's Internet.[6] For this work, Crocker was awarded the 2002 IEEE Internet Award.[7]

While at UCLA Crocker taught an extension course on computer programming (for the IBM 7094 mainframe computer). The class was intended to teach digital processing and assembly language programming to high school teachers, so that they could offer such courses in their high schools. A number of high school students were also admitted to the course, to ensure that they would be able to understand this new discipline. Crocker was also active in the newly formed UCLA Computer Club.

Crocker has been a program manager at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a senior researcher at USC's Information Sciences Institute, founder and director of the Computer Science Laboratory at The Aerospace Corporation and a vice president at Trusted Information Systems. In 1994, Crocker was one of the founders and chief technology officer of CyberCash, Inc. In 1998, he founded and ran Executive DSL, a DSL-based ISP. In 1999 he cofounded and was CEO of Longitude Systems. He is currently CEO of Shinkuro, a research and development company.

Steve Crocker was instrumental in creating the ARPA "Network Working Group", which later was the context in which the IETF was created.

He has also been an IETF security area director, a member of the Internet Architecture Board, chair of the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee, a board member of the Internet Society and numerous other Internet-related volunteer positions.

In 2012, Crocker was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.[8]


ICANN 2017 Nominating Committee Announces Selections

This page is available in:


LOS ANGELES – 01 September 2017 - The ICANN 2017 Nominating Committee is pleased to announce its selections for eight leadership positions within ICANN. The selections include:

ICANN Board of Directors

Avri Doria (North America)
Sarah Deutsch (North America)

At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)

Hadia Elminiawi (Africa)
Kaili Kan (Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands)
Ricardo Holmquist (Latin America, Caribbean Islands)

Council of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)

Marita Moll (North America)

Council of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

Carlos Gutierrez (Latin America, Caribbean Islands)
Syed Ismail Shah (Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands)

Selectee photos and biographies will be posted to in the coming days.

Those selected will take up their positions after the end of ICANN’s Annual General Meeting, which will take place during ICANN60, scheduled for 28 October – 3 November in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

There will be an announcement coming soon about the Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) Board seats, which is also part of the Nominating Committee work for this year.

The Nominating Committee is charged with recruiting and selecting a portion of ICANN’s leadership. The Nominating Committee is mandated to ensure that ICANN’s overall leadership is diverse in geography, culture, skills, experience, and perspective. Selectees should have the following basic criteria:

  • Have integrity, objectivity, and sound judgment.
  • Support decision-making within groups.
  • Work effectively in English.
  • Understand ICANN’s mission and operation.
  • Are committed to ICANN’s success.
  • Have experience in world affairs.
  • Contribute to cultural, professional, and geographic expertise.
  • Can work long and hard, generally as volunteers, for the global public trust.

An Independent Body at the Community’s Service

Hans Petter Holen, the Chair of the 2017 Nominating Committee, shared the following statement about the 2017 Nominating Committee results:

“As Chair, it is my honor, pleasure, and duty to report that the 2017 Nominating Committee has completed the task assigned to it by the ICANN community and made the selections shown above.

I want to thank the Nominating Committee for its work and dedication, in working constructively and efficiently together to reach final agreement.

I want to extend special thanks to Joette Youkhanna and Jia Kimoto for excellent support to the committee. I also want to thank Zahid Jamil and Stephane van Gelder for supporting me on the Leadership Team throughout the year, and Stephane van Gelder for providing the Committee and the community with regular report cards on our work.

During this year's Annual General Meeting in Abu Dhabi, the Committee will present the ICANN community with a Final Report detailing its work and providing in-depth data on the applications received.”

Regional Breakdown of Applicants

As noted above, the 2017 Nominating Committee received 99 applications from candidates all over the world (36 women and 63 men) during its nomination period. This nominating period took place from 11 January 2017 to 21 March 2017.

The regional breakdown of this year's candidates is:

16 from Africa
23 from Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands
25 from Europe
13 from Latin America, Caribbean Islands
22 from North America

To learn more about the Nominating Committee, visit http://nomcom.icann.o

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


Professor Noam's "Many Internets"

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 . More from Noam

Russia Orders Alternate Root Internet System
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

ICANN Continues Excluding Russia & China From the Board
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,

Sorry, Ajit Pai: Smaller Telcos Did Not Reduce Investment After NN Ruling
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

Elders Bearing Witness: Vint, Timbl, & Many More
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,