Breaking: U.S. Government Funding Bill Delays IANA Transition
the evening of Tuesday, September 9th, Congressional leaders
unveiled a 1,603 page, $1.01 trillion FY 2015 appropriations bill to fund the
U.S. government through the end of September 2015. One provision of the omnibus
bill would delay the IANA transition until after the September 30, 2015
expiration of the current contract between the NTIA and ICANN.
in the bill
540. (a) None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to relinquish
the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration during fiscal year 2015 with respect to Internet domain name
system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative
root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions.
(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall
expire on September 30, 2015.
language, a modified version of the “Duffy Amendment” that was contained in the
House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, would allow NTIA to
start spending funds on a transition after exercising its first option to
extend the contract.
addition, the explanatory report language of the Commerce-Justice-State portion
of the omnibus spending bill, in which the above language is contained, states
governance.-The agreement reiterates House and Senate language regarding the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Internet
Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) matters and modifies Senate language by
directing NTIA to inform appropriate Congressional committees not less than 45
days in advance of any such proposed successor contract or any other decision
related to changing NTIA's role with respect to ICANN or IANA activities. In
addition, NTIA shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations within
45 days of enactment of this Act regarding any recourse that would be available
to the United States if the decision is made to transition to a new contract
and any subsequent decisions made following such transfer of Internet
governance are deleterious to the United States.
language appears to require NTIA to inform Congress 45 days prior to extending
the IANA contract or taking any other decision in regard to it; as well as to
submit a report to Congress within 45 days after the spending bill’s enactment
regarding whether the US would have any post-transition recourse if subsequent
decisions were deleterious to the U.S.
final bill language has already been negotiated with and accepted by Senate
Democratic and House Republican leaders and is likely to be enacted and sent to
President Obama by the weekend. It is unlikely that the White House would veto
the bill and risk a government shutdown over this IANA language (although other
provisions could become sticking points between the Administration and
were already circulating in Washington that NTIA was prepared to extend the
current IANA contract by at least six months in recognition of the fact that it
may be impossible for the ICANN community to design and stress test enhanced
accountability measures by the end of the current contract term, much less have
them in place by then. So the bill may have little effect on the actual
timetable for the transition. It remains to be seen what reaction to its
enactment comes from ICANN, the ICANN community, and other nations.
Philip S. Corwin, Founding Principal
1155 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004