ICANN, the body that oversees the world's domain registries and internet policy, has formally asked the US government to let it be transferred to the private sector [.pdf alert]. It was originally set up by the US government in 1998, but its joint project agreement (JPA) with the government is due for a "mid-term review" in March, and it wants out.
The US government had originally said it wanted this transition to be completed by September 30, 2000 - an "outside date". As ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush says in this latest submission, we are now nine years and seven versions of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) down the line. Can we get out now, please?
From the submission:
Through this process, the ICANN community undertook the institution-building tasks necessary for it to take up the role envisaged in the White Paper. Just some of these achievements have included: • Introducing competition in domain name registration services for gTLDS, including the implementation of new TLDs; • Implementing the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy for resolving cyber-squatting and other intellectual property disputes; • Establishing formal legal arrangements with the regional Internet Registries, including the establishment of the Address Supporting Organization; • Establishing agreements with ccTLD operators, including the establishment of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization. ICANN-ccTLD agreements are now in place with ccTLD operators who represent over 60% of ccTLD registrants worldwide; • Developing a contingency plan to ensure continuity of operations; • Establishing a community consultative process for the integrated development of ICANN’s Strategic Plan, Operational Plan and Budget; and, • Implementing a financial strategy that delivers predictable and sustainable sources of revenue.
From the BBC, quoting ICANN president Paul Twomey:
"Has the process of the MoU and JPA towards building a stable, strong organisation which can do this transition, has that been successful? The board is effectively saying yes."
Instead of creating more hoops for ICANN to jump through, Mr Twomey said it was time for talk to move on and for thoughts about the future of the net body.