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CONTACT: Berin Szoka
June 9, 2009
(202) 289-8928
ICANN 3.0 Should "Refocus" on Original Purpose
Palage Files Comments for NTIA Notice of Inquiry

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has strayed from the technical coordinating mandate originally envisioned in the 1998 White Paper and has become "a quasi-monopolistic regulator accountable to no one but itself," states PFF Adjunct Fellow Michael Palage in comments filed yesterday with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). 

In this submission, Palage sets forth a clear path to deconstruct the failed ICANN 2.0 governance model and put in place an ICANN 3.0 governance model incorporating a "back to basics" approach (restoring ICANN's original mission) and implementing important "lessons learned" to make ICANN more responsive and accountable to its stakeholders.

Palage also criticizes ICANN's haste to escape its Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with the Department of Commerce, saying that ICANN "points to its completed [independent review] reports and subsequent public comments and declares 'Mission Accomplished!' without having fully implemented the changes recommended in those reports."  

Palage addressing four broad overarching issues in his submission:

  • ICANN's Periodic Review of its internal operations and supporting organizations has failed, and has become nothing more than a "perpetual motion machine of public comments and documentation producing no meaningful results." Only a second Evolution and Reform Process can solve ICANN's current deficiencies;
  • ICANN must hardcode into its policies and its contracts the principle that its policies cannot supersede national laws;
  • ICANN must cease any operational role in technical infrastructure as required by its bylaws and focus instead on its mission as a technical coordinator; and
  • Congress must avoid "kicking the JPA can down the road" and instead provide much-needed leadership by creating a solid foundation for ICANN 3.0 in legislation after proper consultation with the Government Accounting Office.

The comments are available on the PFF website.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



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