The U.S. Must Reject the ICANN Transition if Accountability Falls Short
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Congress should step forward and support the multi-stakeholder community and inform the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) board that the transition will not occur unless the community’s accountability measures are adopted and implemented. The ICANN board wishes to retain unfettered authority—and that is precisely why its effort to hijack the process needs to be prevented from succeeding. Congress and the NTIA must support the community and encourage it to stand against the board’s coup attempt. The NTIA and key congressional leaders need to reiterate U.S. support for the multi-stakeholder model, announce U.S. readiness to extend the ICANN contract again, ensure that Congress has the opportunity to review and reject the transition proposal. Ultimately, however, it is up to the community to persevere. It must be resolute and not let its impatience for the transition undermine its determination to ensure that ICANN will be accountable.