USCIB Applauds Plan to Transition Stewardship of Key Internet Functions, Urges U.S. Government Approval

Digital GlobeNew York, N.Y., March 10, 2016 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomed a comprehensive package of proposals developed by numerous Internet stakeholders including the private sector, which will enable global stewardship of the domain name system (DNS) and enhance accountability of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages the global domain name system.

The proposals, if approved, would permit the transfer of the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a set of core functions necessary for the running of the Internet domain name system, from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to the multi-stakeholder Internet community, with safeguards to enable active involvement by the in processes designed to hold ICANN accountable as an independent entity.

“While some have argued that the Internet should be overseen by governments, the two-year process that culminated in this plan demonstrates that the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance works,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “This model is clearly the most appropriate means for considering issues that could affect the operation of the global Internet as we move forward.”

At an ICANN meeting wrapping up today in Marrakesh, Morocco, ICANN’s board approved the proposal and immediately transmitted it to NTIA.

“USCIB worked actively to help shape this ground-breaking initiative,” said Robinson. “We believe that the final product will meet NTIA’s criteria for the transition of the IANA stewardship role and ensure the continued stability, security and resiliency of the domain name system as well as fundamental openness of the Internet. We urge NTIA to approve the plan.”

The package combines the technical requirements for the IANA stewardship transition with important, interrelated enhancements to ICANN’s accountability to replace the “backstop” function provided by NTIA’s current contract with ICANN.

“USCIB believes this package will best ensure the continued security and stability of the domain name system and preclude its capture by a government or governmental entity, which is one of NTIA’s important criteria,” according to Barbara Wanner, USCIB’s vice president for information, communications and technology (ICT) policy.

On ICANN accountability, USCIB said the proposal would empower the Internet community through use of a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder model. “There are details that still need refinement, such as the drafting of bylaws,” said Wanner. “We look forward to helping shape these as part of the continued open and consultative implementation process.”

According to Wanner, USCIB contributions to the processes of encouraging the IANA stewardship transition and enhancing ICANN’s accountability have reflected cross-sectoral and cross-community perspectives. She noted that, as an association composed of more than 300 multinational companies, law firms and business associations, the organization’s membership represents a broad cross-section of leading global companies in the ICT sector. Moreover, USCIB members come from both the “contracted house” of ICANN – those companies that serve as registries and registrars of Internet domain names – as well as the “non-contracted house,” which encompasses others in the private sector.

About USCIB:
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.

Contact:
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 917.420.0039, jhuneke@uscib.org

More on USCIB’s ICT Committee

Staff Contact:   Kira Yevtukhova

Deputy Director, Marketing and Communications
Tel: 202.617.3160

Kira Yevtukhova manages USCIB’s print and online publications, including the website, e-newsletter and quarterly magazine, and serves as the organization’s digital media strategist. Prior to this role, Kira worked for over five years within USCIB’s Policy Department, focusing on climate change, environment, nutrition, health, and chemicals related policy issues. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and is currently pursuing an MBA at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
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