CITI Governance - ICANN Independence, Seven Years On?
3:45PM Feb 23, 2023
Lowcountry by a multi stakeholder institution.
And you know, as people are debating the possible need for new types of governance systems pertaining to new technologies that have come down the pike in recent years, the question of whether I can multi stakeholder model and experience may offer lessons for other issuers. It was pretty relevant to me. So I think it's very much worth taking stock of ICANN 's ecosystem and how it's digested the transition in light of seven years of experience. The wider lessons may apply for Internet and digital governance. could talk a little bit about as by way of introduction about the IANA transition and nature, the guiding assumptions, but looking at the people who are on the call right now. It seems completely irrelevant to do that. I'm not going to give you a bunch of background about Tiana although we can bring this in as the discussion evolves. But needless to say, the functions associated with Anna managing the red zone and practicing grits on file changes, coordinating global pool of IP and AAS, numbers, protocol assignments and so on. were performed by Ken under contract with the US government for many years and in 2016, the US government pulled back from that and handed it over, handed over responsibility to the ICANN community to manage on a multi stakeholder basis. So we have a very important free standing global monthly stakeholder governance mechanism. That is, I think, have some relevance to the global digital economy going forward. So we're gonna talk about that and to do it, we have a panel of leading personalities from the ICANN sphere and I should, I guess, maybe say a couple things about that. I can of course brings together a wide variety of tribes, from industry registries and registrar's resellers, domainers business users, intellectual property interests, ISPs, governments, civil society groups, technical community, all kinds of different groups. So all of which have bettered vigorously over endless years, even decades on wide variety of issues. So whenever you try to organize an event, about ICANN, so people always say, Well, why did you include that stakeholder group and that this stakeholder group, I have decided that you know, with a small panel, it's just impossible to even think about doing that. So I just went with three very interesting people who have represented a range of interests in ICANN. And I think as will become clear, although all participated in ICANN for years, they hardly are singing from the same hymnal indeed, all of us, including me, have been on different sides of many different issues over the years. So I think there's plenty of grounds for some robust and lively debate. Let me just introduce our panelists. We have Olga Cavalli, coming in from Buenos Aires Olga is the National Director of cybersecurity in Chico cabinet of the President of Argentina. She is a former undersecretary of information technology and adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Argentina, was also known as you know her, the co founder and Academic Director of the South school and Internet governance which runs these large annual governance training capacity building sessions that are attended by hundreds of people from the Global South, particularly Latin America. And in ICANN, Olga has served on the government advisory committee for years including US Vice Chair and has also been a member of the GNSO generic names supporting organization in the country code, supporting organization councils. So he has been involved in many different dimensions of the community. Gannon is the Vice President's didn't have quality, trust and safety at the pharma ledger Association re manages technology governance for the pharmaceutical industry's first not for profit dedicated to separate use of emerging technologies. And ICANN James is the chair of the board of Directors of Public Health Technical identifiers PTI, about which we will be talking more during the i Anna transition. He led the design team focused on continuity, Eliana operations and post transition. He served on the GNSO Council representing non contracted parties including the private sector on the customer Standing Committee, which is the body responsible for overseeing the Ayana functions. And lastly, Milton Mueller is professor at Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy, the director of the school's Internet governance Governance Project. He's the author of some books, many journal articles, reports, blogs, etc and Internet governance. And in ICANN, he has been involved from the beginning debates on the organization, structure and operation and CO initiated the creation of the civil society coalition within the GNSO. The non commercial user constituency served in various positions, including on the Guyana stewardship Coordination Group. Maybe I should also say by way of disclosure that I, too was involved in ICANN for a decade and served on the GNSO council for two terms and three years as the chair of the civil society coalition. And so it also on the eighth nominating committee in the board of the European that large organization and so on. So we are all people who've been involved a lot in ICANN, yet have very diverse views. About ICANN and its role in the larger Internet governance ecosystem. And I think, as you'll see, as the conversation goes, the views that we have are pretty diverse. So I have basically in the announcement listed five odd topical areas that I thought we could talk about a bit and transitions consequences geopolitically, the implementation of the transition and the accountability framework what we've learned over the past seven years since the transition in 2016. isn't much independence of ICANN from the US government. The fact that ICANN is ability to meet new challenges in the environment, ICANN is rolling engagement in the wider global Internet governance ecosystem and lessons from Ikea as experience with regard to multi stakeholder cooperation in other arenas. So I think these are five basic questions and their focus really on the sort of political and institutional types of questions that are interested in to me as a as a governance person. So obviously, they're not the questions that somebody who's involved in the domain or segment of the business community would necessarily think are the most important etc. And I recognize that, that we're focusing less here and the business aspects more on the institutional aspects. I guess today. So that's my brief introduction. Let me go then to our panel and start by talking about the geopolitical and institutional consequences of the iron transition in 2016. And so I think we've got good people to ask about this. So a question I would start with is, you know, those of us who were around back then were Internet guardians, veterans recall that for years, ICANN relationship to the US government was a central Flashpoint to debate global Internet governance circles and their demands for by many developing countries and non democratic countries for sort of inter governmental control over ICANN or indeed, for ICANN to be replaced by inter governmental mechanisms. And all these handles were deeply intertwined with the whole question of the INF functions being performed under contract with the US government. So the the Obama administration has severed that tie and the question is, given that that was done or the government's and others that were unhappy, then prior to the transition, are they now happy with or at least resigned to Dan's role in management of Ayana. Functions and its larger relationship to the Internet governance environment is I can free and clear as some people seem to think of concerns about intergovernmental workplace and so on, or do we think that the recruiting proposals from Russia, others for inter governmental control are still in un settings are still very much I have issues. So the geopolitics is I think is a good place to start thinking about this. And let me turn to our panel. Try to get some initial conversation about that. How about Olga? Why don't maybe you could start since you were very involved with the government advisory committee and very tightly connected to the people that were raising concerns please give
us your Thank you. Thank you for inviting me. Always a pleasure. To contribute with your activities and Hello, friends that I haven't seen some of you in a while and I hope to see you again after this break with the pandemic. Well, at that time of the transition, I was a member of the the gap representing my country, Argentina, and I was vice chair. What I what I see I see two sides of this issue, I think it was a very interesting multi stakeholder process and an achievement of a good outcome.
In general, I think it was very positive for the whole community. From the governmental perspective, especially from developing countries perspective, I would say that it was somehow disappointing. The general mistrust that we felt through all the process. There was this idea that governments were going to behave in a bad manner in the new structure, and so there was not going into details to carve out so the board could reject ECE in an easier way. The advice from the Governmental Advisory Committee and there was this several stress test that they were limiting the the, the role of governments within the multi stakeholder infrastructure of ICANN, that was felt by several several governments. Some mistrust failing that was not fair. I mean, not all the countries in the world behave the same way. And we have some of us some countries we felt that we were we were treated in the same way with with this kind of mistrust. And but in general, I think it was it was an interesting process, but from the governmental perspective, I think it was somehow a missing opportunity. If you see the involvement of governments in the CAC after the Ayana transition, it's slower so the the turnover of the gag representative is very high, many countries are not sending representatives or senators or representatives of not hire a hair key in their in their structure. And many other meetings are capturing attention from governments like industry meetings like the Barcelona mobile for example. And container sends a big delegation with people from private sector governments, academia, ITU is changing. Itu is changing a lot. And for example, our government is very much involved with this partners to connect initiative which is multi stakeholder and they have a new leadership. So what I see is a shift in the in the interest of, of governments in participating more in our lead industry led meetings or United Nations like the global digital compact process, and we see this process then in ICANN. I see I can doing well and all the technical aspects, but very much focused on the entire community. And I don't see them looking to the future. I don't see any group then I can, thinking about what will happen with artificial intelligence or blockchain or how that will impact the DNS system. And I was Tom here. Thank you, Bill for inviting me. Thanks. So just to clarify, Olga. So empirically, it is it is evident that that there's been a drop off and engagement though that's that's my I'm not in the duck anymore, because I don't work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since two years so far. But I see I am being permanent contact with them. And when I go to ICANN meetings, where I'm engaged as an academic now and GNSO now in the CCNSO, I'm in contact with many friends in the GAC, and I see I see that there. There was no election for the DAC chair.
But it was only one candidate, and they say, Okay, fine. And before it was a big issue, as you can remember, I was a candidate and it was other candidates, and there was a lot of a lot of interest in that in that election. And now it's just this one candidate, and that's fine.
That talks about interest.
Okay, Milton, I'm sure you lament the erosion of government engagement and ICANN, so maybe you could share. Sure.
So I I am actually writing a book about the whole transition process. It's kind of completing the trilogy that I've developed, starting with ruling the route the networks and states and now the the and transition. So some of you have been interviewed by me and some of you will be interviewed. By me about this, including you, Olga.
But I think the thing that strikes me with that historical perspective is that ICANN was started with a very particular vision as to what kind of governance we wanted. And it was based on this idea of a global Internet community. That was not, not nation states, right. And the GAC was kind of this quarantined elements that was supposed to give advice, kind of, in a very vague consultative sense in the early days. And by the way, nobody talked about multi stakeholder ism or multi stakeholder governance in for the first five, six years when ICANN was founded, it was about private sector, non governmental governance, right. And of course, the World Summit changed all that. And gradually, governments became kind of a stakeholder. But I think the big problem with ICANN from the beginning and what made the transition significant was the issue of accountability. That is to say we were creating this completely new institutional structure out of thin air, and it was making important decisions, policy decisions as well as board decisions about its own governance as an organization. And there was simply a vacuum regarding to who this entity was accountable. We experimented with elections, we could get into that debate, but I think the the initial board simply did not want to be accountable to a membership. And so we had this huge accountability vacuum and if you review the history, it's just incredible how we went back and forth on this and how many problems and issues arose because of that lack of accountability. And so the US became the default accountability check. And the reason the US hung on to control for so long, was not because the US got some big geopolitical advantage out of it. And not because we were upholding American values of free speech or anything like that. And not because we were afraid the Russians or the Chinese would take it over if we left. We were in there the US government was in there, I should say because we needed some kind of fundamental accountability. And so it was entirely appropriate that after when we thought okay, the US government is going to get out when the government decided it was going to get out that we should have to solve the accountability issue at the same time. And so we went through this massive bylaw change and and did indeed try to create a system a mechanism for accountability that involve the global Internet community. Now from my point of view, governments are far more empowered
now than they were the origin of ICANN
because they are considered a an AC within the empower community. The fact that they're not so interested in exercising that power now probably has to do with the fact that there be policy issues that are being considered by ICANN, notably, new TLDs are, are fairly minor, right? So, but I'll leave it at that. And I just think that governments may indeed be less interested now. But the structure of ICANN has empowered them. They've made them part of the empowered community. They have more power than they were meant to have in the original design of ICANN. And I think the US is, you know, pretty much in the place it should be that is it's one member of the GAC.
We have one view that governments are more influential than one that governments are less influential. So that's I think that's dialectical James from the standpoint of somebody who's involved with public technical identifiers, obviously, as the Chair chair, I mean, speaking for yourself, of course, by the way, I should say you are not speaking on behalf of any organization or process you're involved with. The governmental side of this has, Have you guys noticed any change or any relevance to since the transition?
And I'm gonna I'm actually going to step back a little bit before my time at PTI, I had the opportunity to serve on two of the key accountability mechanisms that we designed during the Obama transition. The first was the CSC, which is essentially the operational oversight of IATA, you know, on a monthly basis. And also I served on the IATA functions review, which is again, a more big picture strategic view. And I will I'd have to agree with Olga that you know, post transition we had designed these things but then we saw a massive drop off and governmental participation in both of those key accountability mechanisms that we put a lot of time and effort into designing and operating. And we had very little participation in both of those from government governments. I think to Milton's point, some of it is yes, it's a different policy area. That is the focus has shifted. I think it's interesting to see, though that I think there's probably less focus on the true technical mission piece, which is what the Ayana functions really underplay. And be honest, that's boring from a governance point of view. You know, it's not a policy objective for an SLA to be matched 99.5% of every single month, you know, so, from a governmental point of view, it's both a success and maybe a bit of a failure that it's successful that we designed an accountability mechanism that was so focused on the actual mission of ICANN, which is to deliver the Ayana functions and functions are delivered very well. You know, this was one of the key things throughout the transition, those SLAs that we designed, were implemented and they'd be met almost entirely every single month ever since then, like I think we've had five months and the entirety of those six, seven years that those SLA s have not been met. And we've actually determined that most of the times the SLA is we're not match we're outside of PTI as actual control. So it is interesting, though, that we designed these mechanisms that almost encourage less participation from folks on the governmental side because we made it a little bit boring from a governance point of view.
So that being the case, then if we've got this kind of situation where government's level of engagement and interest around in and involvement in ICANN activities is sort of withering away. But does that constitute then a I mean that the transition was a success in terms of d politicizing permanently, the the fundamentals around ICANN, and that ICANN is its position in the ecosystem is unassailable, stable and not to be threatened by Russian proposals to replace it and things like that. I mean, what's our net takeaway in terms of
seven years experience? My net
takeaway is that yes, it was successful in deep politicizing the Ayana functions however, there are the policymaking functions, particularly for the DNS which remain somewhat political and those remain a matter of engagement. And there are some other issues which the.org You know, sales situation is an interesting case of how can stumbled into a policy decision regarding the ownership requirements. So basically, ICANN is they always like to say we're not a regulator, but they are they are a private sector, government agency for the domain name industry in terms of setting policy and enforcing it through contracts. And you know, the questions about ownership and who you license to be registrar and registry are still significant policy issues. I do agree with you build that with your suggestion that post transition there's very little for the rest of the world to complain about in terms of trying to move the ICANN functions to another entity. And we saw a very good exercise of ICANN proper role when the Ukraine delegation asked for ICANN to get involved in foreign policy matters into sanction or remove Russian top level domains from the root. I think that was a good example of how whole experiment was successful and deep politicizing the situation.
Well, good, you have something.
Yeah. And I think Malcolm brought a very interesting point. One of the issues that that may capture the attention from many countries was the new gTLD process started in 2012. And and that for me was a very interesting process, which somehow was another missing opportunity to have more engagement with governments, so many countries from Latin America. Were interested in the process because of that Amazon and Patagonia and other environments as well. from Belgium and and other countries. And whether I think that law says to be respected and I'm an engineer, not a lawyer, so you may disagree with me. And intellectual property regulations are to be respected. I think that I can miss an opportunity to mediate in between parties. And so there was a big disappointment from many governments, especially in Latin America. And there's a part that also depends on governments that was not perhaps very well managed by that's Argentina, it's not an Amazonian country. But I think that was also a missing opportunity. And that, as you can see, many governments stopped participating or getting involved after that. We'll have to see what what would happen with the next round. I think that's a new opportunity after the first round me some countries from Latin America we started try to find a way to protect Geographic Names and when we organize the working group and then work track in in all that process, I was not very, very happy with the outcome because in general, all the intellectual property focuses prevails in check, which I understand but there shouldn't be some some space for for negotiation or for changing that that perspective, but we'll see what happens that I see another way. Another reason that maybe some government stopped paying attention to it.
Okay. Well, this is interesting that to note the the divergence, though, on the one hand, I mean within ICANN government engagement we atrophying a bit within the UN Environment. You still get periodically, lots of proposals from governments that would very much impinge on what I can is doing, sometimes quite strongly. And if you talk to people I've been there 20 years, I was in Geneva hanging around the UN to talk to a lot of developing country representatives. And, frankly, if there was a proposal to shift the whole system to a different model that they thought could be accepted. They would they would go first and second. So we're in a kind of funny equilibrium here, where this situation is locked in, but levels of happiness divided are variable. I
think that's the critical point bill is that the whole creation of ICANN was an attempt to not be part of an intergovernmental system. And so much of what Olga says or what many people in the GAC say is sort of like, why isn't ICANN more like an intergovernmental organization? And I think the the
know the answer
to that is we don't want it to be the the global Internet community is trying to be out of the sovereign system and in
into a more
cooperative globalized environment in which you do not have. Governments are using the Internet infrastructure for their own national interest, but they're trying to create a global public interest.
Correct something I never said that I think that I can should be an intergovernmental organization and never was said from from my government. We are not in that group of countries which I understand your concern and Milton and I share the concerns with you. But I also understand that the the infrastructure where ICANN is base within the United States has some limitations in relation with the participation of governments. And we understand that what I say is that sometimes you don't need to change the structure, but you have to be somehow more flexible and trying to mediate. So you capture the attention because when you talk about names that are related with mountains, rivers and regions, it's not technical, something related with community with geography, with the feeling of sovereignty, and that you go into another stage. So there I see amazing opportunity, but I agree and I never said that. I wanted to be an intergovernmental organization, which I like it very much, you know.
Thanks, Olga. And I didn't mean to prompt every litigation of the Amazon case. It was only just raising the larger question. You know, I did move on to another question, but that just to say I, I recently taught a capacity building course for a group of developing country government people, a couple of dozen from around the world, to a person they all worked in ministries, where the attitude was ICANN is that American thing? No. It's controlled by American corporations. We have no say no interest. And I just thought wow, that's breathtaking to still be hearing this 20 years after with us but okay.
And just just before we move on, Bill one last point, because I don't want it to be I wanted to be clear that like I think I Ken's engagement in certain forums has changed as well. So like I know all the you mentioned, you know, there's a whole new world out there that I kind of may not be paying attention to, you know, Blockchain AI, you know, quantum computing, etc. I think I can see engagement. It's not the same as it used to be think icons engagement in those for now is very technical. So for example, we have Octo papers, the office of the CTO at ICANN writes extremely detailed technical research papers, rather than maybe the more socio political engagement that had happened previously. So I think it's a shift in how the organization operates in the ecosystem as well that's happened since the transition.
What would do we want ICANN to say anything about AI? I mean, seriously, what what is, how is that part of their mission?
Can we come back to this question, engagement and larger ecosystem later just to round off first, the discussion of mechanisms within its within ICANN, I'd like to hear some thoughts from people first of all about how independence from the US government has affected I can't operations
if at all.
It's an interesting situation. We've established on the one hand technical identifiers to have this role. These are the performance of the ANA function, and we have these accountability mechanisms. They're established with the empower community, which are very unique and interesting. And so I think it's worth like talking just a little bit of you know, how's it going with these things? I mean, I had the benefit of experience. So seven years experience have we seen any change in enhancement in the capacity of ICANN, the org the community, the entire ecosystem to manage itself effectively? Are things on us, is the institution stronger than before in some really noticeable ways? So I'd like to just get an internal look for a second on how implementation of all this is going, for example, with the PTI games. I mean, you're sharing the board in terms of operational challenges, political challenges, other kinds of challenges, you guys are facing, the institutional mechanisms that we have are optimal. What are the kind of issues that you see,
speaking from a, you know, a very operational point of view, the transition was seamless, you know, there was zero impact on AI on its customers from the AI on a transition. And that's not just a you know, an educated guess. Like we have metrics and data that were generated, as SLA is during the transition to back that up. And, you know, it's also backed up with the the annual Lyanna customer survey. We see, again, high levels of satisfaction throughout all three of the communities that we serve on the provements that I think that that has brought, I think it has been measurable. So number one, I think is there was a lot of work done on implementing the SLAs. So these are, you know, key KPIs across 100 Plus areas of the ANA functions, and how does that operate on a daily basis? You know, is it working as per a set of defined metrics? That's something that wasn't in place before. I think, you know, from an operational point of view, and from a board perspective, you know, as a strategic oversight P piece, it's very key to be able to have that data. There's actually a live dashboard that everybody can just go to and see the current performance of the Ayana functions. So that was, I think, was a key element in the oversights change, you know, went from a more contractual oversight to a real live operational oversight. And then in terms of the evolution of the Ayana itself within ICANN. Yes, there was organizational changes, there was some internal governance changes that needed to happen, you know, people needed to move their employer of record, you know, they're still sitting in the same seat doing the same job, but they technically have a new employer that took some time to implement, but like seven years in that we're a clean slate, you know, it's it's really worked as we intended it to do. And that's a real testament to the amount of work that was put in during the transition. Usually, when you try and design something this large and this complex in a very compressed period of time, it usually doesn't work out as intended and in this case, it did you know, all of the processes all of the accountability mechanisms, worked as intended. And from an operational point of view, it really was seamless, and there really was no impact politically, you know, that's a bigger picture for more of the ICANN side of the house, but from an operational and slash PTI perspective, it really worked as intended.
So let's differentiate now between the Ayana reform and the policy making reform within ICANN. So I agree with everything that James said about the PTI story. The idea was, we would make PTI accountable because number one, they have to contract with each of the stewards of the registry system, the addresses the names and the numbers, and they can lose that contract if they misbehave, although that's a lot less clean of a system then I would have preferred but they did in fact, legally separate PTI from from ICANN work. If you look at the policymaking side, you still find a lot of politics and you find a somewhat uneven record. Regarding the success of the transition. So let's talk first about the success with respect to the GDPR. It was long and somewhat painful, but I cannot imagine ICANN responding as appropriately as it did to the implementation of the GDPR in 2018. Had it still been under us control. People don't realize how much political pressure via the mechanism of the Ayana contract and the supervision of the Commerce Department. Affected ICANN 's policy decisions when it came to things like the GDPR and intellectual property in various aspects of policymaking. So that's one I think, important success. I do think that under CEO Yoran Marvy ICANN was a bit timid, I don't think I'm not sure that you're on. This doesn't get me into trouble. I'm not sure he fully understood and was committed to the idea of a private sector based governance organization and it's still sort of viewed, either wanted ICANN to be more governmental or, or was a little bit intimidated by governments, particularly the European Union. But in general, he did the right thing. He got us, you know, this adjustment of the WHOIS system in a way that conform to global privacy requirements. And they did it No, in a very strange and slow way, but it got down. Now what do I consider to be the lack of success? Well, that has to do with the intervention of the California Attorney General in the.org controversy. So here's a situation again, in which ICANN had to make an important policy decision about the transfer of ownership of.org And instead of making it the board was very intimidated and they went and they let the California Attorney General got lobbied by essentially American policy oriented groups. And he intervened and basically said, I'm going to come after you if you don't make the decision that I think is right. And that is an example of governmental intervention, again, from the United States, not from Russia or China. Really just a totally influencing the the board decision of ICANN. I think in that case, now, they might have made the same decision anyway, but nobody really knows because they hemmed and hawed and they dragged their feet and didn't indicate on what basis they were going to make a decision because they were intimidated by the politics. So I consider that to be not such a good record. And it remains to be seen going forward how how they handle controversial policy issues, and the influence of governments.
So the GDPR presents a case where the transition did matter in terms of capacity of ICANN to respond to a new challenge and the independence and whereas the PTI operations, were saying there's not much difference in in terms of the way it's operating. Right. Well,
that was a difference in the California Attorney General had never intervened before. It's always been the Commerce Department or Congress pressuring ICANN No, it was California, right? So in some ways, you could say you know that to the Brazilians or people who thought that its location in the United States created imbalance in political influence. And we would all say no, it's just has to be incorporated somewhere which of course is correct. But the policy is supposed to be made by the organization which is internationally representative Well, here's a case in which the state attorney general had outsized influence on what ICANN did. Olga functions
Yeah, I think that the the what what James commented about? PTI is perfectly fine. I totally agree. What I see from the house I'm a technical person, I have no idea what is happening and I would like to know more, to be more communicate that should be more open. It is difficult at the national level to get involved because this has to be with the original Internet Registry and other organizations that has nothing to do with what's the national structure, but it could be good to have a more more information about what what they are doing, what what Milton said about it, or or was it a clear example that jurisdictional issue matters and and it was it was really for me and from from others very impacting because it was really not expected that I can couldn't be really influenced in that way. And it showed somehow or something that many, many countries have been have been talking about. That gonna mark the GDPR some were just saying a minute ago, what would it matter if sufficient intelligence or fake news or hate speech influence I can? Somehow some regulations may have an impact? So I think that this should be someone or small group or some thinking about strategically the future or the impact of regulations developed maybe in the European Union or in states or in other countries that could have an impact in the end of the mining system, as GDPR did. So this is why I think that I don't see that strategic view to the present and the future in ICANN, I see the silo structure, looking at their own issues that I follow at large and so now and I follow other groups from afar, I don't see that happening. And it may have an impact and Internet
thing I can sorry. Just a quick
second, respond. So here's actually another advantage that I didn't think about. So amusingly, literally flew in the other day from our board strategic workshop from PTI. And I'll get to your point about, you know, the transparency and maybe that external facing element of Ayana that wasn't there. Initially. That's actually a topic that came up at our workshop and it's something that we're going to put on our strategic plan and I think that reflects a bit of the wider scope of independent operations that I add on PTI now has that it's its own thing and the board sets its own strategy. We don't always need to link up to exactly what ICANN is doing, because we have different needs. You know, ICANN as everybody's saying you know, has a wider scope a lot more of a political element. ion is very technically focused, which is correct and right within our scope, and we have the ability Okay, let's do some more external engagement. Let's do some more outreach. Let's do some more training and development and capacity building. Now that we are our own thing to decide that for ourselves, we have that ability to do that. Whereas traditionally in the past that wasn't on the cards because it might not fit into the broader picture that was going on.
The name PTI selected for its lack of transparency. This is a way like we read a public technical identifiers is going to manage the Internet assign name 30 function, this is a great I will keep an eye out and you know not pay attention to what you're doing. As
as Milton just put in the chat PTI originally stood for post transition i Anna and due to the timelines involved that was never renamed in our documentation. So those a backronym of something had to be created to fit PTI to calling the Ayana legal entity something
back about path dependence. Why don't we turn to the accountability thing briefly and then we'll just do a last sort of round around the multistakeholder and engage with the ecosystem and open it up because we've got lots of interesting people in the room with us, but just on the accountability stuff. Okay, we were saying that the the overall the functioning of the INF functions not as substantial change, smooth transition post, post transition, etc. That's redundant. What about the accountability sign? Obviously, there's been no exercising of the community powers, yet. it anyway. But it has the mechanisms that have been put in place, have the mechanisms that have been put in place proved to be sufficient so far, in managing relationships between states and different stakeholder groups between the org the board the community, with ensuring some level of responsiveness or accountability to parties outside of the ICANN ecosystem, how is the accountability mechanism that's so many people worked on so hard? A couple of years. How's it working?
It's a benefit of seven years experience. The the
the basic empowered community concept has not really been put to the test yet. I personally was a little bit disappointed with the outcome because again, I think it essentially treated Essos and a C's on the same level. And it said if you can get three of the five SOA C's to agree on some major problem that has happened that needs to be redressed. For example, firing the board or recalling a board member then you have some accountability. The problem with that is that within the internal politics of of ICANN, and again this is not going to win me any friends but I think the large Advisory Committee is is not a serious organization in terms of its accountability and representation. It is fundamentally an internal part of ICANN funded by ICANN and supported by ICANN org. And during the transition process, they consistently repeatedly took the same position as the as the ICANN organization and in order to sort of protect it from being accountable. And then the GAC is another advisory committee that's been put on the same level as the GNSO. And the ASO and the, you know, the IETF. Really and yeah, and that's kind of problematic if you think let's suppose the one of the stress tests you're concerned about is the idea that ICANN will be sort of subordinated to geopolitical concerns of governments. Then, you know, an alliance of a lack and GAC which is something that happened consistently during the transition process, could block any accountability process. So I'm not too happy with that. Now, one of the good things that did happen is I think that the GAC has to have consensus that is to say unanimity among its members. Before they can produce a policy so we don't have a one country one vote system going on there, which is good. But I still think that the the role of the GAC and have a lack in the accountability process is a bit problematic. But the political realities dictated that the people who were participating in the process were going to make sure that they were represented in the key decision making roles when the process was finished. So that's pretty much what happened.
Okay, I think you didn't probably make yourself any friends there. But
that's what is the prize.
That's not new Milton, so that's okay. So, what do you think Alec and
I have been talking about a lot and have a lot of friends there. So I will
go so the position of gas
and some comments in the chat, which are very interesting.
unanimity great thing.
The thing with the vote in the GAC was, was an issue of long discussion within the GAC. There are pros and cons for that. The thing was the was the consensus is that one or few governments can block any kind of agreement with a majority, which is, is it's a long discussion in the GAC, and it was never solved. And I think that I will repeat again, what I said at the beginning, there was this feeling of mistrust, again, against government, which for some of us was very disappointing, like all of us will will really behave and is a bad actor. And that that is not the feeling that we had, there may be some countries but not all of us. were put in the same place and but it turned out to be that way. I think that the whole the whole system has not been tested as you have said recently. Maybe it's like, like security, you know, when everything is secure, nothing happens. Maybe it's because the system is so good, and it works so well that if it has not been tested, we will see. So
that's my comment on demand
to give a slight counterpoint to Milton, and I'll preface this with I'm a compliance guy, right. So my day job is compliance. And I would say that do actually test the accountability mechanisms that we put in place. We test them every single month. You know, we have so many monthly people that are monthly meetings that people are sitting in the background, doing the quiet, non sexy work, to make sure that every single month we're getting reports, both from PTI and from other areas of iKON, which go through the process of review and approval by the community. We've undergone fundamental bylaw changes since we did the transition, which was another key accountability mechanism that we put in place. You know, I shepherded one of those through the process when I was on the CSC and that was a the EC may be quiet on a month to month basis. But I can tell you there was a lot of meetings and a lot of debate and challenge to us as the proposers of that fundamental bylaw change, even though it was very administrative technical one community stood up and went, Hey, this is one of these accountability mechanisms we did. We're going to put a lot of time and effort into making sure this happens. And the last big one is every single year go through the rejection action period for the budget. That's another huge mechanism that we put in places that the community can turn around to ICANN and say either for the Ayana budget specifically or for the overall ICANN budget. No we disagree. On every single year, the EC is sat down and gone through that process or design of those governance structures was by definition boring. And this goes back to the point I was making earlier is we've made it so that does background work. It's quiet. It's not big and flashy, but I would say they really are working and we test them every single year in various aspects. So like that's a success. I think the fact that we often use the big picture ones. I agree, obviously, that's something but we designed those to be the exception rather than the rule.
I totally agree with what James was saying there. I'm sorry if I didn't make that distinction between the you know there were a lot of really good procedural accountability forms as part of this and James is in the middle of them so he sees them in operation, but I was indeed talking more about like, oh, did we ever fire the entire board? Did we ever recall a board member did we reverse a decision? Those are the big picture ones, and hopefully those never have to be invoked. Right. And so I think it's great that James made this point that there are mechanisms that are going on on a daily basis and those are mass vast improvements on what was happening before.
Okay, let me let me turn to the last question, and then we'll try and get to open it up and get some engagement from the other people that are here. Just this is speaking to ICANN involvement in the larger ecosystem. And it's the extent to which I can experience its multi stakeholder model is generalizable and relevant and something that can be built out. Many of us participated in the construction of this whole multi stakeholder discourse and enterprise over the past years, it was something whether in IGF or lysis, or ICANN or other settings, that people put a lot of energy into trying to think about and trying to tweak and improve. And indeed, we had the whole kind of notion emerge of multistakeholder as an ism, which Larry stricken. I know this pick is a good term. But I mean, there was a lot of commitment to the idea. And there was a lot of people who thought that the ICANN model perhaps could be applied elsewhere in the world. I mean, you remember, the former CEO, fatty chahti used to say the world needs lots of different little icons, to tackle privacy to tackle, you know, patent matter, I moderation, whatever the big new issues are that could develop these kinds of structures. So it's worth maybe thinking about, you know, how effective the mechanism seems to be how durable it seems to be, whether there's anything that can be learned from it, for the larger community of her for larger ecosystem of digital Internet governance issues that are emerging today. And also, if you have any thoughts about the question that was raised earlier in the conversation about cannons engagement in that larger ecosystem, I mean, we, we did have a period under fati where you know, you had the strategy panels, the high level panel chaired by President do this and the net one DL the demo deal initiative, one that could coalition all that activity. Then there was this big retrenchment after 2016 With the new bylaws and keep ICANN head down stick to the knitting. Now we've got a we're moving towards a new CEO. We're thinking about what kind of attributes you want there. So the questions of how I can relate to the larger ecosystem that engages and whether its model is relevant, or could be learned from in other settings. I think it's something that is generally I'd like to get some feedback from people
who would like to go first. Olga should thank you.
Thank you. Very, very good question. I've been following item for 13 years, I have seen efforts in trying to improve the multi stakeholder model, but I think still still stuck in this silo structure. i The structure of the meeting has changed, which is good, but this multi participation panels are formative I would say it's okay that many people are participating. They are not very interactive. As I I would like and they have no impact in the structure or in the policy development process or in the processes of HS o on NC. As far as I can see. I think that the most multistakeholder structure is the GNSO
and the board, but
the rest is it's it's very much in the same interest of the group and the same people participating with the same or civil society or government or as CCNSO participation. So I said this many times. I don't see that as a very good multi stakeholder model. I don't see the interaction. I don't see the interaction in between silence and we brewing. I think they will efforts but I still think there's a lack I don't think this is happening in the technical aspects. I think this is working very well. But as I said, I don't get much information about that. It will be me being a technical person I would appreciate to be more involved with with that processes, at least to be informed.
It's interesting to talk about the GNSO as a multi stakeholder process because
it is it has to present governments everyone is there.
How many times have I heard people say that I can make solid decisions by consensus? voting in the GNSO Council, so I never understood the characterization that it will take stakeholder you don't do any of the old old things and it's all kumbaya we have together anyway, Milton, go ahead.
Right so the question of how far can you take the so called multi stakeholder governance model is a very interesting one. And I think I have been telling people for years and nobody seems to get is that the reason we have global private sector led governance from ICANN is because we're dealing with something that requires global coordination. And we have a point of leverage through which governance can take place, namely entry into the route or into the registries that are governed by ICANN. And unless you have that, for example, if you're if you're talking about something like privacy regulation or data protection regulation, you do
not have a single point
of leverage for a global multistakeholder policymaking organization to take instead you have 200 national governments making laws, and therefore it's highly unlikely that privacy would ever or an issue like privacy would ever be somehow fit into the same model. Now, there are cases and I'm gonna, you know, it's another one where we're doing some research here at the Internet Governance Project. It's the the PKI infrastructure for the web, where you do have self governance among the industry players. It's sort of what I think closer to what I can what the Commerce Department thought it was going to get when it created ICANN that is to say a you know, really direct stakeholders participating in governance, it's very creates rules it creates what they call baseline requirements that are governing the way certificate authorities behave, and all with the goal of creating compatibility and security, in Internet in Internet processes. And that system I think, works very well it's very interesting case, but it's not multistakeholder in the sense that they say like I can everybody come and we don't care whether you have any real economic stake in this. Your ideas are just as good as a certificate authorities or a browser manufacturers as to what the policy should be. The governance regime is confined to direct economic stakeholders and I think that's one of the reasons it works so well and it's not quite as messy as as I can think as well
as there's there's two ways to look at it. You can look at it as the reuse of the exact ICANN model versus the reuse of certain principles and concepts that came up through the ICANN model. Like if you look at the more from a principle and concept point of view, there is a lot of reuse of the model. There's a lot of reuse in the model in decentralized and web three space. There's a lot of emerging use of the model ash open source community, particularly around regulated open source, my own employer included, you know, we've taken a lot of the principles of multi stakeholder policy development and integrated them into how we operate as an organization. And we send that in our partner organization as well. So it's not necessarily about the model exactly translate to something else. Is there concepts and fundamentals that have been created through those years of experience that others will look at and go, yes, there's pieces of that that are going to apply? And I think if you look at it that way, there is much more implication of
was just I have to say there's a lot of conversation about establishing new kinds of multi stakeholder mechanisms. For example, the UN Global digital compact, if you read all the stuff that they're doing under good terrorists, it's all about multi stakeholder investment and the other but it's multi stakeholder participation in the dialogue, the decisions made governmental, right. It seems to me that the model that we move toward, in most cases, as far as I could tell, is really more intergovernmental plus, it is multi stakeholder when you use the ITU now calls itself a multi stakeholder institution. You know, the difference between whether people can speak at a meeting and submit a document and whether they can participate in the actual decision making and there aren't a lot of really strong cases where that happens in the digital environment, maybe PKI. PKI is one, ICANN, the DRA Rs,
I think is well it depends on the frame in which you're looking at the question. So if you're looking at the implementation of it in other legacy, large institutions, yes, totally agree. But I think if you look more in the pure technical space, there is a lot of reuse. You know, it's it's whether you're looking at whether it's changing existing models, or whether it's being served as a foundation for new models in new institutions that are being built. I think that change is very much the level of use and you don't have like free look at the web three space, you know, you don't have that, you know, the single source of voting or single source of decision making. It is entirely multistakeholder at its core.
So how should I and then I'm going to stop it. How should I can engage in the environment going forward? Do I Do we believe that the current model is perfectly calibrated in terms of its engagement in the wider Internet governance ecosystem? ICANN should just keep its head down stick to its knitting or there are those who say global Internet governance faces all these challenges. We need to have more coordination among the eye star organizations more leadership or whatever, if not a return to 5G ism, but a further level of engagement and this is perhaps relevant to selection of a new CEO. So just curious, any thoughts about that
I think there are important ways in which AI can could be expanding and relating to the news ecosystem, particularly leveraging its capabilities as a registry, right. So for example, I think at one point, Google was talking about certain kinds of privacy. Privacy Enhancing capabilities that it was going to put into its browser, and that could have benefited from having a registry that would make it interoperable with other browsers. And that would lead to a conversation about shouldn't the i Anna be expanded to manage that registry because it is global and requires global cooperation and it has already a policy structure for handling that that would be a good example of how it could get involved. Some of the grander issues of Internet government that are really sort of public policy issues. Where there is no central registry. I think ICANN has no business and knows and should just stick to its knitting. Okay, interesting.
Yeah, I agree somehow, with with Milton I agree. What I see now is Taff participating in different meetings and reporting perhaps to the community which is fine, but perhaps more involvement about key representatives from different Essos and ICS. in those in those meetings could help in bringing that information into the different silos that then have discussions within ICANN. But I yeah, I agree with me that I don't see ICANN in being coordinating with other ISED. They did that once and I think it didn't have a big impact. For the moment.
We finally found a point of convergence. We all good Milton. This is great, James,
and this is probably my turn to get in a bit of trouble. So I fully agree with Milton. So Diana's role is to coordinate unique identifiers on the International. Traditionally, that's been three communities that we have always served the future that can be more than those communities. You know, just on a very personal note, not speaking on behalf of PTI or anything else. I would love to see those conversations starting you know, we are the distri operator for a number of different types of registries. We have so many years of experience of doing this at full Internet scale. There's a lot of learnings there. So even separate to the let's say the bigger picture, evidence learnings that I can as a community can share with the world we also have a huge amount of technical expertise that we're not really great at sharing, not really great at tooting our own horn and saying yeah, we are really good at this learn from us. And I really would love to see us do more of that in the future.
Would you say James that there's some risk that I can become a bit protective or protectionist regarding, for example, the way it's related to the Aetherium namespace? Had some overtones to my mind of sort of protectionism? Like we don't want a competing namespace. I think again, in terms of how I can relate to the broader system, they should have a more innovative and open attitude to those sorts of things. But what do you think about that?
I think in the broad picture, I can and I shouldn't be a positive contributor.
You have a mission to
an element be protective. Now there must be one route, where we have good actors in the space. We're not looking to replace that element. We shall be positively approached by them and positively engaged in return. Well,
what if there was a new technology that actually did threaten to replace DNS?
In that case, then I think ICANN has to protect its turf. You know, to be clear, you know, I think we have a mission were bound by the mission that's in the Bible's, you know, both the PTI bylaws and the ICANN bylaws and our job is to protect the assets or all of the global unique groups can engage in those communities when there are alternatives presented and it should do things like the octo papers that adult dulls, it should do an objective analysis of these things, but not icons mission as the steward of the HANA functions as we created to go off and create a replacement for them, if others want to go do that in other spaces. Sure.
What about an interconnection agreement with a new namespace that might eventually lead to the elimination of DNS? Or the let's say the deprecation as they say, of DNS,
and this is where I would like potentially to see more constructive engagement, you know, the ens model, for example, where they want to be a value add to the DNS route. They don't want to replace the DNS route. They want to be a value add to it. I think in those scenarios, and this is probably where I'm going to get into trouble. I think we should be constructively engaging in those with those stakeholders.
Hasn't been perceived that way all the time. Okay, listen, this has been great. I think we should open it up and see if any of the other folks that are here. Like to get in on some of the broad themes that we've discussed the three, the sort of geopolitics around what happened with the transition the way it's been implemented with the accountability and PTI mechanisms and the larger questions of the scalability of the model of Internet governance and I cans engagement, anything there that anybody would like to speak to we have people here who were centrally involved in the transition, who certainly could offer some perspective should they want to?
Anybody want to
is it gonna be pulling teeth here? Maybe? We got, Elliot, would you like to say anything? I know you joined late.
I'm saying hello from Switzerland. But no, I find late I have no questions. Go ahead, Bill. All right.
Well, normally we get some some feedback here. We've had some questions. discussion over in the chat. I could swing back to one one was the questions around well, first there was a
Larry has his hand up, by the way.
Larry is is fantastic. So Larry stripling was the head of the NTIA and was fundamentally making the transition happen. So it would be great to hear from you Larry about how to see things with the perspective of seven years.
The good news is I've been encased in amber as far as ICANN is concerned, since I left the government, so I don't really have any observations to make on the current state of ICANN. But there were a couple of points that came up that I thought I might contribute to one was your question at near the end about the ability to take this model and put it in other places. We spent a lot of time thinking about that at NTIA and then after I left government, I spent time thinking about that with the Internet Society. And I think the thing you've run into all the time is the question of legitimacy of the process. Whatever process that is you're trying to create and legitimacy comes in many forms and affects who participates Do you have a broad enough participation? More importantly, I think it depends on do you have the people in the room who can actually implement the outcome? Otherwise, it's just an advisory body or come consulting body that comes together and thinks great thoughts and comes up with proposals, but they don't go anywhere because you don't have the people in the room that can actually take the outcome and implement it, which is why increasingly I come to the view that it's the process still could work as a way to take on early stage policy questions where you might find, you know, forward thinking organizations, primarily corporations in the case of a lot of these policy issues, who might be willing to actually bring together a group of stakeholders, get a lot of viewpoints out and then implement on an experimental or pilot basis. Some of these ideas as a way to help shape the eventual regulatory or legislative solution that might come in the problem we've always seen is that the those solutions always come after too many years of debate. By the time they are affected. they've solved they're not solving the problem that exists at the time. So the question always was, how can you get more immediate thinking about this to solve the problem as it exists today, and I still think there's a lot of opportunity there for forward thinking, organizations and companies to take these ideas, engage stakeholders and use them to help come up with broad principles and maybe some specific ideas as to how to approach a lot of these naughty policy questions that otherwise are going to be debated endlessly. But are never actually going to get solved. The other issue that I think I wanted to speak to is just, you know, the role of governments and I can keep in mind that in 2014, or 2016, during the period of this transition work, you know, we were dealing with a very uncertain political landscape in the United States. I had one senator threatened to throw me in jail for what I was doing. We had people in certain political persuasions, who said this was akin to the United States giving away the Panama Canal. So there was no way that this transition was going to survive politically unless it was going to be made clear to the the constituents we had in the United States that this really wasn't a threat to the Internet in the sense of governments taking over the Internet and I think that was reflected in the provisions of the bylaws that were created with respect to the GAC requiring not unanimity per se, but consensus. So at least nobody could object to it. We can argue whether that's the same thing as unanimity or not. But these were important issues that had to be worked through just for the deal with the political realities we had with the United States, particularly the Republicans in the US Senate and the US House that were trying to find ways to derail this for folks may remember that. We had to defend the transition at the last hour through a very significant preliminary injunction TR o hearing in Texas right at the last minute. That was brought by some attorneys general of several states who were put up to it again by some of the more extreme members of Congress who wanted to try to block the thing. So that was a reality. And I think that the community navigated those issues and came up with a solution that appears to have worked, because in some sense, if if governments aren't upset with what ICANN is doing, and that's reflected in a lack of participation, I'm not sure that's a bad thing. I think I agree with Milton who says that's probably an indicia of success of the transition. Thanks.
I do remember all the fun dynamics with Ted Cruz and others. The posters show saying that I Obama administration wanted to give the Internet to Kim Dae Jung. Those are fun times. We have another person who is centrally involved here is head of the board of directors of ICANN Steve Crocker. Love to hear from you.
Thank you very much. I just want to make a very small comment. Like can just create it out of thin air? There was I think that's not exactly correct. Speaking about the
accountability by the time ICANN was created 99 years we're talking about 30 plus years of actual experience developing the network, delivering the communities around the network, welding the processes related to the expansion and inclusion of increasing fraction of population. So there was quite a bit of mechanism and process that had been developed to say and it was with that background, that I can get creative and the formulation of the rules and the bylaws and the structure of ICANN. What do you say well, before down to rules, it's true only in the most superficial sense there. was an enormous amount of culture, an enormous amount of experience, on the smell, the philosophy and the thoughtfulness behind all of that. So I just want to try to separate Thank you. Thanks for your
response to that. I want to get too involved but in the ancient history, but the fact of the matter is yes, there was there was 25 years of experience with developing the IETF what became the IETF and with Jon Postel, coordinating essentially the protocol parameters and federal contractors. The problem was it so much of what the this technical community built was informal. It was based on informal relationships and so when it came time to make
it really crucial
policy decision about new top level domains, Jon Postel discovered that he did not have the authority to tell NSA what to do that he did not have legitimacy among the intellectual property community. They tried to create the gTLD MOU. And so there was just this period of four years between 94 and 98, in which there was essentially a huge power struggle over policy authority over the registries and that's why we had to create ICANN and then literally the the whole idea behind ICANN was come at us with a new nonprofit organization and we will bless it and and then you'll have a new institution and it took literally 15 years to get the institution the legitimacy, the predictability, the convergence of expectations that that was required.
Okay, there's a comment in the chat a question to you, Milton, but everybody can jump in on it from Siva, saying the technology employed to coordinate what we call, the DNS may innovate but the function performed by DNS will remain expand and embrace related spaces where identifiers are not so evolved streamlined at the moment. This is what they meant by there can not be deputation deprecation of the DNS or if you have a response letter,
I just say that remains to be seen. I would I would, somebody who is both historical and not quite encased in amber like Larry, but been around for a while and seen technology evolve and have studied the history of technology. I would never say a particular system of identifiers will never be deprecated I would just never say that.
And it's it's important to remember that DNS is not something that you know has been static for 2030 years, like DNS as a protocol is evolved massively, and it needs to continue to do so and it needs to continue to adopt new features and new use cases and new abilities for it to remain relevant. Yes, there is the element of you know, technical legacy that it is there and therefore it will always be but it needs to adopt to evolve like every other piece of technology.
So James, is doesn't there seem to be some kind of assumption at some circles among some Internet people that the DNS is kind of static and old, and not terribly interesting?
It may be amongst those who are further away from the technical aspects of the DNS, like the DNS is probably well over 100 RFC changes, you know, all of which are major feature additions or major changes to the DNS since its introduction you know, like it's not a static protocol in any way, shape or form. Right.
I would agree with that. Okay, so look, I think this has been an interesting discussion, we can move towards closure, but I mean, does anybody have any last emphasising thoughts or bones to pick with each other? Or things they forgot to say that they'd like to throw it on the table just for takeaways from this conversation?
Did us have something?
I'm good. I think
we can all get everybody all good.
And yeah, I want to react to a comment made by Larry. Hi, Larry, by the way, nice to see you virtually. I don't think it's I didn't say that it's a bad thing that governments are not participating that much or with a higher level representation from their officials. What I say is that I see less interest from from different ministries or different parts of the government in participation. But what it means the daily work in the government is that there is less interest in the country and this doesn't. It is not then externalized with other members of the government, so you know less about ICANN. So this idea that I can be in Philly and United States organization may prevail. So when you can do with some governments and governments involved is having reality about how it works. The multi stakeholder governance model of ICANN really working is bringing that that image to the country and to the government. So I see that it's better to have a higher involvement from government. I don't I don't see it as a bad thing. What I would like to say about this structure is that I don't see a big evolution in terms of regional activity. I see that at lunch. As this rollos I think it's really good. I don't see that happening in other as Alzheimer's disease, and I think that could be a good evolution. The gap has no regions they after some struggles we had and like almost 10 years ago. Now we have fibers, they have five vice chairs, that should have somehow be related with regional representation, but not necessarily. So we may repeat regions if nobody's interested in vice chair or chair. So that is that's something that I think could have in mind and try to enforce not only some staff representation at the national and regional level, but also some involvement regionally focused in different communities.
Thanks, okay. Okay. I just want to pick up two comments from the chat real quick, and then we'll close out what one was with regard to the point that you were making. I mean, James, noted that the loss of tribal knowledge around ICANN within governments is a bit of a risk to be managed. And I think that this is the the reasons why many of us years ago were arguing that there has to be more engagement by governments and ICANN because otherwise the attention all goes by default into other settings, where it's a completely different set of I mean, I'm not at all surprised when I go to a UN meeting. And people are telling me that ICANN is this evil American corporation that shouldn't have the responsibility it does. Because those people are not engaged internally. They don't have the sense of what's really being done from the inside. So I think that's, that's a problem. In any event that there was one other question that I'm sure sponsor or stimulate some response, which is that Larry asked to hear about Middleton's book. An invitation to Milton to talk about himself certainly cannot be passed on. So Milton.
Oh, one of the goals of the book is to D in case Larry from his Amber's. It opens up with this dramatic confrontation between Larry and Ted Cruz in the hearings. And it really sort of says, what was this debate about? What what does it mean to give up the INF functions, what are the INF functions and so we have a historical chapter talking about the evolution of the INF functions. And again, trying to precisely define what these functions are and how they affect policy or what kinds of policies govern them. And then it's basically a historical account of how ICANN had to reach a certain level of development to to achieve its independence from US government and then a few chapters about the post transition issues that it faces. And this discussion has been very helpful in terms of adding some new ideas to that. It's about I've written about five chapters, and I expect it to be about 10 or 11. So I will finish writing it this year. And God knows how long the MIT Press will take to actually put it together and publish it but you should see it sometime in 2024. Alas,
that would be fast for MIT Press in my experience, but by the way, Roberto patata saxophone to say, in the chat, one thing that's been touched on by a couple of speakers is it's not been given much importance. It's the fact that TLD issues, which are the primary source of debate and I would say revenue, and ICANN are slowly losing importance because of the way Internet is being used by other means. I don't know. So this kind of goes back to where I started, about whether or not the ICANN names and numbers are becoming sort of less interesting to a lot of people so I think those are just
two cents on this literally one one reply. Yes. And even if volume is shifting volume, that volume is still shifting to services that run on big identifiers, including the DNS IP addresses and protocol parameters, that the fundamentals are still there shifting around where they sit on that really make a difference.
Exactly. I think the DNS and IP is just kind of descended into the background has become part of the fabric that we take for granted and in a way, perhaps that's a success story. Yeah. So Okay, listen, this has been very interesting to me, at least, was to you. I thank you all for joining us. As I said the next in this series of seminars will be a month from today on March 23. And we will be back to you with information on the topic to be discussed then. Thanks again everyone and have a good one. Okay. Yes. Hi. Thank you.