Internet Architecture Board

IAB Response to ICANN Evolution and Reform Committee Second Interim Report

September, 2002

The IAB has reviewed the proposals contained in the Second Interim Implementation Report of the ICANN Evolution and Reform Committee. [1]

The review has been undertaken with specific reference to the May 2002 IAB Response to ICANN Evolution and Reform. [2]

1. Protocol Support Organization

The IAB is in agreement with the proposal not to continue with the Protocol Support Organization.

2. The Provision of Technical Advice to ICANN

The IAB, in its original response noted that: "the alternative of using a number of technically focussed organizations and individuals on an ad hoc basis to provide comment upon request should be considered by ICANN." [2]

The IAB notes that the second interim report proposes a standing committee composed of "10 members selected by the ICANN Board based on nominations from ETSI, ITU-T, W3C, IETF and IAB." [1]

As part of the IAB's chartered function [3] is to appoint IETF liaisons where necessary, the IAB believes "IETF and "IAB" should be changed to "IETF", and we would agree to provide 2 nominations.

The IAB notes that the report does not propose that the TAC attempt to achieve unified technical positions on various issues referred to the TAC. The IAB concurs that any TAC should not attempt to do so.

Given the role of the proposed TAC, and noting that it is not a requirement that the TAC come to consensus on technical advice that may be passed to the ICANN Board on any referred matter, the IAB does not feel that it is appropriate that this committee operate with a formal chair, nor that the TAC should appoint a liaison member to the ICANN Board of Trustees. The IAB proposes consideration of the appointment of an ICANN Board member to act as a liaison to the TAC, in order to provide an appropriate conduit of information between the Board and the TAC, as an alternative to the appointment of a non- voting liaison from the TAC to the ICANN Board.

The IAB is unconvinced of the merits of the role of the Nominations Committee with respect to the seating of 3 members of the TAC. If the role of the TAC is to act as points of referral of technical matters between the ICANN Board and the respective organizations who participate in the TAC, the role of these 3 nominated members is entirely unclear. This appears to contribute to the role of the TAC as a standing committee, and the IAB would like to reiterate its stated concern with the creation of standing committees.

The IAB reiterates its conviction, stated in [2], that a preferred alternative to the TAC proposal is for the ICANN Board to maintain direct relationships with relevant organizations (e.g., through liaisons such as the one proposed with the IETF) to seek technical advice from the appropriate sources on an as-needed basis.

3. ICANN Board Positions

The IAB noted in its previous response that it had concerns regarding the seating of ICANN Board members from the IAB. The IAB notes that the interim report proposes that the IAB provides a non-voting liaison to the ICANN Board. The IAB notes that this liaison role addresses the concerns raised by the IAB with respect to this role.

4. IETF Protocol Parameters

In its previous response the IAB disputed the assertion in the ICANN mission statement that the role of coordination of the allocation and assignment of protocol port and parameter numbers, and policy-development reasonably and appropriately related to these technical functions, forms an integral part of ICANN's mission.

The IAB notes that the interim report makes no mention of the stated IAB concerns regarding this component of the ICANN mission statement. The IAB remains deeply concerned that the role of the management of protocol parameter assignments for IETF Internet-Standard protocols is not being adequately distinguished from the deeper issues concerning the role of ICANN with respect to the operation of the domain name system and unicast IP address assignment.

As indicated in the previous response, this situation is not acceptable to the IAB.


Leslie Daigle.
Chair, Internet Architecture Board


[1] Second Interim Implementation Report of the ICANN Evolution and Reform Committee.

[2] IAB Response to ICANN Evolution and Reform

[3] Charter of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), BCP39, RFC 2850, May 2000.

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Last modified 21 September, 2002