NTIA: U.S. won’t abandon its role in the internet until it’s satisfied with the alternative

Strickling makes it clear that IANA contract won’t be transitioned until it is happy with the alternative.

Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling penned a blog post today to try to clarify some of the misinformation coming out of last week’s announcement of transitioning the IANA functions.

In his post, Strickling makes is clear that the NTIA will only transition these functions if it’s satisfied with the alternative that is created. It won’t settle for other governments taking over.

Our announcement has led to some misunderstanding about our plan with some individuals raising concern that the U.S. government is abandoning the Internet. Nothing could be further from the truth. This announcement in no way diminishes our commitment to preserving the Internet as an engine for economic growth and innovation. We will continue to advocate for U.S. interests and an open Internet through our role on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and in other international venues including the Internet Governance Forum.

We have been clear throughout this process that any transition plan must meet the conditions of supporting the multistakeholder process and protecting the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet. I have emphasized that we will not accept a proposal that replaces NTIA’s role with a government-led or an inter-governmental solution. Until the community comes together on a proposal that meets these conditions, we will continue to perform our current stewardship role.

We look forward to a spirited discussion from the global multistakeholders as they begin discussions on the transition plan at the ICANN meeting in Singapore next week. I am confident that the global community will ultimately develop a thoughtful and appropriate transition plan that the U.S. Government will fully embrace.

The U.S. government essentially has veto power over the solution the community comes up with. All it has to do is decide it wants to extend the existing contract. I imagine it will use this chip to have a bit say in the negotiations.

The original NTIA statement said it wouldn’t accept a government-run alternative, but many people who wrote about the issue did not pick up on this.

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