Internet Technical Governance: Orange s view

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1 Internet Technical Governance: Orange s view 1

2 Internet Technical Governance: Orange s view With the increasing use of IP technologies in the electronic communication networks and services, Internet Technical Governance deals with issues that are more and more crucial. The stakes, initially focused on addressing, are now growing on naming issues. The issues that were originally Glossary mostly technical now involve marketing, communication, brand, and legal dimensions. The implementation of a governance system The Internet Technical Governance capacity The creation of ICANN in 1998 A new ICANN framework in 2009: the Affirmation of Commitments The picture of Internet Governance broadened by the WSIS agenda and the IGF setting-up Orange Group s view over the existing model Orange France Telecom Group supports the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Achievements to be commended Names and Numbers) model, which is built as Aspects to be improved a private multi-stakeholders body. This model is better adapted to the dynamics and A bottom-up and multi-stakeholder model to specificities of the Internet than other options be preserved based purely on top-down intergovernmental Glossary models. Significant results have been achieved by ICANN in different domains such as the management of addressing resources including IPv6, liberalization of domain names and introduction of new gtlds, or the role and involvement of governments. This model needs however to be improved in fields such as internationalization of the structure. In Orange s view, the Affirmation of Commitments, an agreement signed in 2009 between the US Department of Commerce (DoC) and ICANN, provides an appropriate framework to discuss and implement some of these improvements as well as to preserve the bottom-up and multi-stakeholder nature of the model. 2

3 The implementation of a governance system The Internet Technical Governance capacity The Internet relies on an addressing scheme called IP addresses (e.g ) identifying computers so that networks can route packets to their intended recipients. This system is associated with a more user-friendly naming system, using what are known as domain names (e.g. allowing users to identify web sites and Internet services more easily. The domain names are handled by a system (called Domain Name System or DNS) organized in a hierarchical tree structure based on a group of reference servers ( root servers ) distributed in various points worldwide. Although, by its design, the operation of the Internet is highly decentralized, it uses a centralized function for managing names and addresses. This function, called "Technical Governance", involves the following tasks: coordination of the DNS, supervision of the root servers, management of the IP address space. There are strategic issues for the future of the Internet that depend on this technical governance. They include: Creating new generic Top-Level Domain names ( New gtlds ) alongside the existing.com,.org, and.net, such as community TLDs, brand TLDs, geographical TLDs (e.g..paris ), Managing delegations for Top-Level Domain names for countries (country code Top-Level Domain - cctld ), such as.fr,.de Defining the conditions of use and access to IP addresses essential for service providers in a context of the current IP version (IPv4) shortage and transition to the new-generation IPv6. The addresses are allocated by regional registries covering the major regions in the world (RIPE-NCC for Europe, ARIN for North America, etc.), Defining the management of the root servers, raising important security questions. Stating the role of the US Government in both its relationship with ICANN through the Affirmation of Commitments and its role in the DNS root zone management. Shaping the future evolution of the naming system. 3

4 The creation of ICANN in 1998 For reasons linked to the origins of the network, and more particularly to the role of the United States Government's Department of Defense in the initial development of the technology, the management of these addresses and names has been under the direct or indirect control of the US Administration since the beginning. In October 1998, the US Government gradually transferred this responsibility to a new structure, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a private non-profit association under California law, was set up by all the Internet players. With the aim of achieving a flexible, gradual and controlled transition, ICANN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US Department of Commerce (DoC) in November The MoU expired in September 2006 and was replaced by a Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with ICANN. This agreement ended in September 2009 and the objective for ICANN was to complete this transitory period and to become an independent body. In parallel, the DNS reference root server is run by a private company Verisign under contract with the US Government. A new ICANN framework in 2009: the Affirmation of Commitments In September 2009, the US Department of Commerce (DoC) and ICANN announced an agreement on an Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) to institutionalize at global level the technical coordination of the DNS by ICANN. With the AoC, the DoC decided to terminate its most formal and visible legal control over ICANN, and to participate like any other Government to ICANN through the Governmental Advisory Committee. On the other hand, ICANN promised to remain located in the U.S. Furthermore, the AoC called for the establishment of review panels which will periodically make recommendations to the ICANN Board of Directors. The members of the panels are representatives of the ICANN Advisory Committees and Supporting Organizations, and independent experts. The picture of Internet Governance broadened by the WSIS agenda and the IGF setting-up The broad theme of Internet Governance, including topics such as security, openness and privacy, access, diversity and critical Internet resources was part of the agenda for the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). WSIS was instrumental in improving the understanding of 4

5 ICANN's role and the principle of an "enhanced cooperation" was agreed between the different Internet structures and Governments. The WSIS also decided to set up an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to address issues not currently covered by the existing structures. The mandate of the IGF, as a global multi-stakeholder forum, is to discuss cross-cutting and multidimensional topics related to Internet governance in order to foster the Internet's sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development. The first cycle of IGF meetings ( ) demonstrated the need for all stakeholders (governments, private sector, civil society, technical community, academia), including those from developing countries, to be involved. The decision was made by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010 to renew the IGF for another cycle of 5 years. It is suggested that the IGF continues as a nonbinding non decision making forum. Potential improvements must preserve the bottom-up structure of the IGF and keep this unique platform outside an intergovernmental-only model. In particular Enhanced Cooperation process must continue to include all relevant stakeholders, including the business sector, on an equal footing. Orange Group s view over the existing model Achievements to be commended The consensus-building process involving all players has worked satisfactorily and ICANN achieved a considerable amount of work. Orange Group's analysis is as follows: - Very significant results have been achieved with regard to addressing resources The establishment of new registries for Africa (AFRINIC) and Latin America (LACNIC), has reinforced the regional structures responsible for managing IP addresses. A new structure responsible for coordinating the management of IP addresses facilitated a major effort to align existing regional structures. The current system is therefore capable of fulfilling, with the appropriate balance, three technical objectives: 5

6 Guaranteeing the global uniqueness for addresses used in the public environment, ensuring the economy of usage in the address space, by allocating addresses according to needs and requirements, achieving the best possible aggregation of addresses by managing them consistently with the network structures, thus limiting the size of the routing tables. Furthermore this system provides Orange with a direct access to resources at a multi-country regional level. The global pool of IPv4 addresses was depleted in February The evolution to IPv6 can provide the volume of addresses needed for the development of services but in this context, existing policies have evolved and still have to be reviewed and adapted. - A decisive domain names liberalization has been realized through the introduction of the new gtlds These include the introduction of competition for the registration of generic domain names, notably the accreditation of registrars ensuring equal access to the registry services. Additional generic top-level domain names were created (.biz,.info, etc.) and dispute resolution procedures were established. In this respect, the delegation of the new.eu suffix for Europe was successful: the.eu extension ranks among the top ten extensions. In June 2008, the ICANN Board approved a policy for introducing a non-predetermined number of new gtlds through a Request for Proposal Process. The selection criteria were developed through an open and transparent process. The request for proposals was launched in early 2012, and the first extensions are expected to be introduced before the end of The introduction of a significant number of new gtlds expected in the next few years should significantly impact the Internet naming structure and existing models. It is a challenge for ICANN: moving from the management of a few gtld registries to hundreds worldwide needs a stronger organization, with more staff and more competencies. In June 2012, 1930 applications had been received. These applications have been evaluated, and 1830 were still active in July A maximum of 1400 new gtlds could be delegated during this round and going live in For its part Orange Group has submitted an application for Orange. - The role and involvement of governments have been enhanced Certain decisions taken by ICANN can be considered as "public policies": they must be adhered to by all the industry regardless of its national or international affiliation. It is therefore legitimate that governments and national administrations have their say in the decision-making process within ICANN. That voice is the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), where governments can state their views on these rules, particularly when they are linked to international or national regulations. 6

7 Since its creation, the operation of the GAC had suffered from insufficient and inefficient collaboration with ICANN's other structures. The ICANN work on accountability and transparency has led to a better definition of each other s rules and better defined processes. The interaction between the Board and the GAC on the new gtld program illustrates this new relationship. Notably thanks to the efforts of the US Government and the European Commission, the role of the GAC has increased over the years: it is today central in ICANN work and weights strongly on Supporting Organizations, the Board and the staff. The role of the GAC, however should remain consultative. As a matter of fact the option to make it a decision-making body with a right of vetoing decisions made through ICANN s bottom up development process should be avoided. Aspects to be improved - Full independency and internationalization of ICANN: while the AoC is a fundamental step to towards ICANN independency from the historical management by the US Government, the operational part of the ICANN mission, named IANA function (including the management of the global pool of addresses, the root zone management and delegation, and the management of protocol parameters) remains covered by a contract with the US Government Department of Commerce. This situation is not satisfactory and true internationalization of the structure including its operational mission is essential. - Management and conflicts of interest: the issue of conflicts of interest appeared with the new gtlds program implementation. In a multi-stakeholder organization, with strictly-focused missions requiring deep understanding and expertise on Internet ecosystem, leadership positions cannot be filled without the involvement of people from this industry. Potential conflicts of interest cannot be avoided and must be dealt with pragmatically. The right balance must be found to continue to fill the leadership positions with people having the required expertise whilst measure to mitigate and avoid conflicts of interests in the decision making process must be taken. A bottom-up and multi-stakeholder model to be preserved The IP protocols and the evolution of the worldwide Internet are essential for the Orange Group, which is the reason why Orange has been actively involved in these developments. All the Group's networks and services, whether fixed, mobile or broadband, now make extensive use of the technologies that spread out of the Internet. The growth of domain name usage and access to the national and generic suffixes for individuals means that a growing number of residential customers will be registering domain names for their own use ( , web, blog, etc.). 7

8 Moreover, it is important to note that some fast-growing Internet applications, such as Voice over IP, make use of DNS technology. These applications rely on standards developed by the Internet standardization bodies now constitute the basis for the Group's multimedia networks and services. Lastly the launch of new gtld, with a significant number of new suffixes including company Brand Names or single registrant gtlds, will have an impact on the domain name strategy and communication of key players, and on the market. It will open the door to new usages of domain names and of the DNS. The Group has been involved in the Internet Technical Governance since From the beginning, the Group spoke out in favor of strong representation for the network's technical players (telecommunications operators and Internet access providers) within the new structure. The Group actively participates in ICANN, in the IGF and in the bodies responsible for address management. When Internet Governance was debated on the occasion of the WSIS in Tunis, from 2003 to 2005, Orange supported the ICANN model, which was based on principles of transparency, bottom-up approach and geographic representation. Indeed, we believe that a management, even partial, of the IP addresses space through a different model involving national authorities would have led to confusion and technical difficulties regarding routing. The current model ICANN is built on as a private multi-stakeholders body, responsible for managing critical Internet resources (IP addresses and domain names), and defining the applicable policies. It is best adapted to the dynamics of the Internet characterized by its global scope, the large number of players and the fast evolution of the technology and services. As the stakes for Orange are now growing on naming issues, ICANN s bottom-up, multi-stakeholder approach appears as the most appropriate model to reach consensus between the numerous parties involved in naming issues. At the occasion of the World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF-2013) devoted to public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, Opinions were adopted encouraging this approach. Recent proposals to move all or part of ICANN s functions to a pure intergovernmental model raise a lot of strong reservations as this model would not be in a position to meet the dynamic nature of the Internet. 8

9 Glossary AoC Affirmation of Commitments ARI American Registry for Internet Numbers cctld Country code Top-Level Domain DNS Domaine Name System GAC Governmental Advisory Comittee gtlds generic Top-Level Domain names IANA Internet Assigned Numbers Authority ICANN Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers IGF Internet Governance Forum IP Internet protocol IPV6 Internet Protocol version 6 JPA Joint Project Agreement MoU Memorandum of Understanding RIPE NCC Réseaux IP Européens / Network Coordination Centre USG/DoC US Department of Commerce Whois Whois services provide public access to data on registered domain names, which currently includes contact information for Registered Name Holders WSIS World Summit on the Information Society ICANN Glossary 9

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