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ICANN retires Affirmation of Commitments with US gov

Kevin Murphy, January 9, 2017, 21:20:21 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN has terminated its last formal oversight link with the US government.

Late last week, ICANN chair Steve Crocker and Larry Strickling, assistant secretary at the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration mutually agreed to retire the seven-year-old Affirmation of Commitments.

The AoC, negotiated during the tail end of Paul Twomey’s leadership of ICANN and signed by successor Rod Beckstrom, laid out ICANN’s responsibilities to the US government and, to a lesser extent, vice versa.

It included, for example, ICANN’s commitments to openness and transparency, its promise to remain headquartered in California, and its agreement to ongoing reviews of the impact of its actions.

Ongoing projects such as the Competition and Consumer Trust Review originate in the AoC.

The rationale for concluding the deal now is that most of significant provisions of the AoC have been grandfathered into ICANN’s revised bylaws and other foundational documents following the IANA transition, which concluded in October.

Reviews such as the CCT and the lock on its California HQ are now in the bylaws and elsewhere, ICANN said in a blog post.

It’s worth mentioning that the US gets a new administration led by Donald Trump in a little over a week, so it probably made sense to get the AoC out of the way now, lest the new president do something insane with it.

The letters from Crocker and Strickling terminating the deal can be read together here (pdf).

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Comments (1)

  1. Philip Corwin says:

    This significant statement regarding ICANN corporate jurisdiction appears on the first page of the January 3, 2017 letter signed by ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker:

    ICANN’s commitment to remain a not-for-profit corporation, headquartered in the United States of America with offices around the world is embedded in ICANN’s Articles of Incorporation, which requires community agreement to modify, and in the Bylaws, which specify that ICANN’s California office is its principal place of business.

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