04 January 2015

Norwegian Internet Governance Forum

The Norwegian Regulator - “Post og Teletilsynet” invited to a national Internet Governance Forum on December 9th in Oslo. On the agenda there were reports from the Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul by Ørnulf Storm from the regulator,  the ITU Plenipotentiary in Busan by Knut Aksel Wadet from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the IANA transition, both on the names side by Elise K. Lindeberg from the regulator, and the numbers side by me in my role as RIPE Chair,  and a talk on Internet Governance in the perspective of International politics by Bjørn Svenungsen form the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  At the end there were a panel debate on “Who should control the Internet”.

On the attendee list thee were 27 names, 16  of them from the government, 7 from private sector and 4 from academia.

The meeting was opened by Reynir Johannesson, political adviser from the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications. He gave a brief overview of the key areas in Internet governance for this governments: Network Neutrality, Openness and Security. He also drew lines between transportation and telecommunications politics; as increased ability for remote work and collaboration can reduce the pressure on public transportation. Internet Governance also touches on defence areas and foreign policy. The Government is also working on a revised eKom plan.

Report from IGF

Ørnulf Storm resented a report from the Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul. After an overview of what the IGF is all about he took us trough the main areas of focus for NPT:
  • How are the NETMundial results discussed at IGF
  • Network neutrality
  • IANA transition

For the results and the road ahead his summary was:
  • Increased focus on human rights and personal data protection issues
  • Renewed mandate for the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG)
  • MAG will focus on how the results from IGF, NETMundial and ITU-PP can contribute to the preparations for the 2015 IGF
  • Extension of IGF and WISIS-10 review is under discussion in UN in New York in connection with resolution on ICT for development and the preparation for WISIS+10 Review High Level Conference in December 2015
For more details he referred to

ITU Plenipotentiary

Knut Aksel Wadet then took us trough the key areas of internet governance issues from the International Telecommunication Unions Plenipotentiary meeting in Busan. After an overview of the ITU and the Plenipot, and  the elections, he took us trough the work in the committees:
  • New headquarters
  • Budget and strategy for 2016-2019
  • Revision of constitution and convention - in particular the work on a stable constitution
  • Public access to ITU-documents
  • Reforming the work on the Radio regulations board RRB
  • IMAC (Independent Management Advisory Committee)
  • Global flight tracking
to give an impression of the Non-Internet related discussions at the conference.

He then went on to discuss the Internet related resolutions:

Resolution 101: Internet Protocol-based networks:
Proposal to give ITU a role in IP address allocations and Internet Exchange Points and that members states to prevent illegal surveillance of the Internet. In the end it was agreed that ITU will not duplicate the work done by the RIRs or the organisations already supporting IXPs

Resolution 102: The ITU's role with regard to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses:
The proposal was that all “public policy” issues in related to Internet Governance should be within ITU and the jurisdiction of the member states. The European proposal was that this should be done in open and transparent, with increased cooperation with other relevant bodies.

Resolution 133: Role of administrations of Member States in the management of internationalized (multilingual) domain names:
The proposal for the ITU to take a leading role in developing domain-names in other languages than English. Several states would not recognise the work done by ICANN because it had not been done by the ITU. The European position was to increase cooperation with other organisations to strengthen the multi-stakeholder model.

Resolution 180: Facilitating the transition from IPv4 to IPv6:
The proposal was that ITU should have a leading role in the development of Internet standards and make sure that all new user equipment are IPv6 compatible. There was also a proposal to conduct studies to establish ITU as a RIR ad that ITU should develop deadlines and principles to ease the transition to IPv6. In the end the resolution was changed so it was clear that developing countries still needs assistance to complete the transition to IPv6, and that ITU shall acknowledge the work already done. Member states are encouraged to increase focus on IPv6

In the end the results turned out pretty well.

Who should control the Internet? - IANA Stewardship transition

Elise Lideberg has been participating in ICANN Government Advisory committee, and is now active in the Cross-Community Working-group to Develop and IANA Stewardship Proposal on Naming Related Functions (CWG). After an overview of the current situation with a contract between the United States Government (USG) and ICANN, and USGs announcement to consider transitioning out of this contract she gave an overview of the CWG.
  • stability of the IANA naming functions
  • part of the bigger picture of ICANN accountability
  • broad representation for the Internet community (within ICANN)
  • CWG has 19 members, but 119 participants following the work
  • Clear mandate, tight deadlines, final proposal by January 31st 2015
  • Accountability is key focus
  • the Multistakeholder model is built on trust - fragile mechanism.

The draft proposal has been built on 
  • IANA customers are satisfied with todays services from IANA - no significant changes in the daily operations are needed
  • Keeping current terms and conditions for the ccTLDs
  • Lightweight structure has been a goal, using existing functions from 
  • Important to keep and strengthen separation between policy development and the pure technical operations of the IANA function
  • Importan to keep a mechanism for sanctions if ICANN/IANA does not deliver the services according to policies

The proposal outlines
  • Customer Standing Committee (CSC) consisting of direct customer of the IANA function including ccTLD and gTLD registries. Monitor the IANA  service delivery.
  • Multistakeholder Review Team (MRT) - representation from the Multistakeholder  community. Overall evaluation of the ICANN/IANA. May initiate termination  or changes to the contract.
  • Contract Co - be the contracting party.
  • Independent Appeals Panel (IAP) - all ICANN/IANA desicions regarding the root-zone or the Whois database can be appealed to an independent dispute-resolution mechanism outside ICANN for binding decisions. 

IANA Stewardship Transition

In my presentation on IANA Stewardship from the Number community side I took the audience trough a brief history lesson explaining the difference between RIPE - the open policy forum, and RIPE NCC - as the secretariat, network coordination centre - and also Regional Internet Registry for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia. 

The RIPE Policy development process is anon process where anybody can suggest new policy and policy changes. The policy is the discussed in the relevant working-group, before the wg-chair declares consensus after a last call. The RIPE NCC Executive board does NOT approve policy - there is a clear separation between policy making and policy implementation.

RIPE NCC, and the other RIRs, have a Governance and accountability framework in place. This can be found at https://www.nro.net/about-the-nro/rir-accountability In simple terms the Managing Director is accountable to the board, which in term is accountable to the members. trough the General Meeting. For conflicts between members and the RIPE NCC there is an arbitration process in place. For policy development we have the Bottom-UP, Open and Inclusive RIPE.

IANA handles a small global registry of IPv6, IPv4 and ASNs - to keep track of which RIR handles different parts of the number-space according to 4 Global addressing policies. These policies has been developed trough a Global Policy development process which in essence is taking the same proposal trough all the regional policy processes. In the end the Address Supporting Organisation Address Council - ASO AC checks that the process has been followed and forwards to the ICANN board for ratification. The ICANN board cannot change the policy - only send it back - so the role of the ICANN board is very different from the name policies.

The discussion on the transition is taking place in all five regions. A Consolidated RIR IANA Stewardship Proposal (CRISP) Team has been set up to consiolidate the five RIR community outputs into a single proposal. The team consists of 15 members, 3 form each region - 2 from the community and one staff from each RIR. The CRISP team will work transparently trough a public mailing list. The CRISP team will forward the common proposal to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG). The ICG - 30 members from various stakeholder groups -  is responsible for consolidating all inputs into a single proposal. The timeline for the process is tight,, the CRISP proposal will be forwarded to the ICG in January and to NTIA in June 2015.

From the last RIPE meeting the following key principles will be the foundation of the proposal
  • RIR communities are the ultimate stewards of number policy and registration.
    • A working model already in place
    • Bottom-up, open and inclusive
  • No new structures; build on existing structures and relationships
    • Operational and policy relationships already clearly defined
    • Minimal operational change
    • ICANN has provided excellent service as IANA operator

The information of the transition has been presented at the RIPE and RIPE NCC Regional meetings. A summary

Please participate in the process!

Internet Governance as foreign policy

Bjørn Svennungsen took us trough how the Internet of things bringing the Internet to everybody’s attention, Obama and Xi initiate talks to tackle cybersecurity, and further to the Russian statement on Internet Governance:

I do not understand, why an intergovernmental organisation – the International Telecommunication Union, deals with the distribution of radio frequencies, but internet domains are distributed by a Californian corporation controlled by the United States Department of Commerce.
Sergey Lavrov, 5. desember 2013

The Norwegian Government point of view is that
  • Cyberpolicy and Internet governance should not be decided by United Nations
  • International law also applies to the cyber-space
  • There is currently no need for separate conventions for cyber-space
He also touched upon the democratic dilemmas in in Internet Governance and foreign policy in general.

The current trends in foreign policy in cyber-space is that it is under development, there are many arenas, multilateral vs multi-stakeholder, US dominance and China, private sector entering the foreign policy arena, and technology turing into policy.

The meeting ended with a panel of all the presenters giving us opportunity to discuss some of the key issues that had been presented during the day.


All in all it was a well spent day, with interesting perspectives and some good discussions. As internet Governance is increasingly important to society as a whole, and more and more business depend on the Internet, events like the National Internet Governance forum in Norway should really have a much larger participation. A friendly suggestion to the organisers wold be to see how participation can be significantly increased, perhaps by joining forces with some of the industry organisations and creating a “Multistakeholder Advisory Group” like the Internet Governance Forum.

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