The US National Telecommunications and Information Administration has formally thrown its weight behind the community-led proposal that would remove the US government, itself in effect, from DNS root oversight.
Assistant secretary Larry Strickling held a press conference this afternoon to confirm the hardly surprising development, but dodged questions about a Republican move to scupper the plan in Congress.
The IANA transition plan, which was developed by the ICANN community over about two years, meets all the criteria NTIA had set out in its surprise 2014 announcement, Strickling confirmed.
Namely, NTIA said in a press release that the the plan would:
- Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
- Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
- Meet the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners of the IANA services; and
- Maintain the openness of the Internet.
Probably more importantly, NTIA agrees with everyone else that the plan does not replace NTIA’s role with more government meddling.
US Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Sean Duffy see things differently. They yesterday introduced the Protecting Internet Freedom Act, which would stop the transition going ahead.
Strickling said that NTIA has been talking to Congress members about the transition, but declined to “speculate” about the new bill’s likelihood of success.
“We’ve been up on the Hill doing briefings and will continue to do so with any member that wants to talk to us,” he said.
Currently, NTIA is forbidden by law from spending any money on the transition, but that prohibition expires (unless it is renewed) at the end of the current federal budget cycle.
The plan is to carry out the transition after that, Strickling said.
The current IANA contract expires September 30. It may be extended, depending on how quickly ICANN and Verisign proceed on their implementation tasks.