APC welcomes NTIA announcement on transition of key internet domain name functions



APC welcomes NTIA announcement on transition of key internet domain name functions

14 March 2014 – The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) welcomes the announcement made by the United States Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of its ‘intent to transition key internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community.'

NTIA’s responsibility under current agreements means it has served as the “historic steward” of the DNS (internet domain name system). The fact that a single government currently plays this role, even if it has not been a particularly “hands-on” role, has been cause for concern and debate among governments and other stakeholders for more than a decade.

We commend the NTIA for committing to the transition to a multi-stakeholder process that needs full involvement of civil society, governments, business and the internet technical community (to mention just some of the current stakeholders affected by internet decision making) and for requiring that the resulting transition plan maintains the openness of the internet.

“This is however not trivial, as mechanisms for ensuring really effective and inclusive participation of all stakeholders on equal footing in internet policy making, particularly those that currently lack power and influence, are still evolving. A further challenge lies in how to protect the broadest possible public interest in decisions about DNS and internet root zone management,” said APC Executive Director Anriette Esterhuysen. “Nevertheless, this is a very constructive step, definitely in the right direction, and a unique opportunity to make progress in the evolution of the internet governance ecosystem. This is particularly important for stakeholders from developing countries,” she added.

We recommend that ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), to which the NTIA is entrusting the development of the transition plan, look beyond its own internal multi-stakeholder processes in bringing together the larger community for the necessary consultations on how this transition should be undertaken. We also recommend that ICANN consider the submissions about how this transition can take place that were made to the upcoming NetMundial: Global Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance ‒ www.netmundial.br ‒ to be held in Brazil in late April 2014.

APC’s proposals can be read here

About APC
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international network and non-profit organisation founded in 1990 that wants everyone to have access to a free and open internet to improve lives and create a more just world. Since its formation in 1990 the APC network and its members have been committed to achieving universal and affordable access to a free and open internet.

Press contacts
Anriette Esterhuysen, APC Executive Director – anriette@apc.org
Valeria Betancourt, APC Policy Manager – valeriab@apc.org
Avri Doria, APC affiliate – avri@acm.org
PO Box 29755
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