Convene Global Stakeholders: Transition Of Of Internet Domain Name Functions Must Be Done Efficiently

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Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling

[Secure Global Internet Technology]

On March 14, 2014, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community.

The NTIA's responsibility includes the procedural role of administering changes to the authoritative root zone file - the database containing the lists of names and addresses of all top-level domains - as well as serving as the historic steward of the DNS.  NTIA currently contracts with ICANN to carry out the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions and has a Cooperative Agreement with VeriSign under which it performs related root zone management functions.  Transitioning NTIA out of its role marks the final phase of the privatization of the DNS as outlined by the U.S. Government in 1997.

And as the first step, NTIA is asking the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to convene global stakeholders to develop a proposal to transition the current role played by NTIA in the coordination of the Internet's domain name system (DNS).

ICANN is an organization that introduced and has endeavored to promote the 'multi-stakeholder model' that allows for input from all participating organizations and individuals. Indeed ICANN's move to globalize and become a truly international body is welcome.

DotConnectAfrica believes the move to cede the USA oversight on ICANN must be managed and transitioned in a proper way.  It is understandable that such a move may have been accelerated or catalyzed by the Snowden revelations; however, the move should not be made quickly but slowly and carefully so that proper mechanisms are in place with checks and balances. 

Accountability and transparency are facets that will promote the resilience of the ever growing internet. As the NetMundial gathers we hope this will become the genesis of greater discussions as regards to ICANN's future and the need to maintain a secure, stable, single, resilient, trusted internet.

As an early and long term supporter of the ICANN process, DotConnectAfrica together with its partners in Africa and globally will continue to actively contribute appropriately to the global debate and deliberations that will lead to an informed and structured role of ICANN and NTIA in the future of internet management and governance.

Indeed as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling says, "The timing is right to start the transition process," We commend that such a step should be properly discussed documented not as a solution to existing problems but as a basis to strengthen the DNS Root management and the thriving of the internet.

DotConnectAfrica Trust is an independent, non-profit and non-partisan organization that is based in Port Louis, Mauritius with its registry operations located in Nairobi, Kenya. Its main charitable objects are: (a) for the advancement of education in information technology to the African society; and (b) in connection with (a) to provide the African society with a continental Internet domain name to have access to Internet services for the people of Africa as a purpose beneficial to the public in general.

DotConnectAfrica through its affiliate DCA Registry Services Ltd. intends to channel surplus resources gained from the .Africa registry operation to sponsor foundations that will cater to various charitable projects including the already launched and, as well as capacity building for African ccTLDs, with the general objective of improving the African Internet and business landscape.



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