IANA Transition

IANA Transition of the Domain Name System (DNS): an 18 year journey toward privatization

Updated 9/29/16-It’s hard to write something clear and easy to understand on the subject of the IANA Transition.  The IANA function is like air, you don’t think about it when you breath but it is really important.  There has been a lot of news lately about the NTIA’s planned IANA Transition.  The plan is to move the IANA functions away from ICANN to a private non governmental organization.

You may have read that Ted Cruz is accusing the Obama administration of giving away the Internet to the Russians and the Chinese.  Cruz’s absurd rhetoric is puzzling.  As a US senator he should either be more informed, or he knows better and therefore is lying.  His theatric positioning is inexcusable and could threaten to delay the process.   A delay could threaten the world’s perspective of the Internet as a global resource.  He is trying a lot of Washington trickery to stage a delay. Here is the DOJ’s recent response to Cruz.

“The simple fact is the Iana transition as outlined by the NTIA and approved by the ICANN board is good for America, good for the world and good for the internet.”

What is the Iana Function?

Since 1999, the IANA functions have been contracted to ICANN and have historically included:

  • The coordination of the assignment of technical Internet protocol parameters performed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF);
  • The administration of certain responsibilities associated with Internet DNS root zone management;
  • The allocation of Internet numbering resources to the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs); and,
  • Other services related to the management of the .ARPA and .INT top-level domains.

(source Internet Society)

Why Now?

The privatization of the DNS has been a stated goal of the US government for 18 years.  The official transition was announced in 2014.  It has taken this long for the governance of the Internet to evolve into a multistakeholder model that could not subject to any one government.

For those interested in deeper information I’ve sourced the most factual and authoritative information in one location.  Be warned you could lose hours reading these links!

  1. History of the Iana
  2. Iana functions: the Basics
  3. ICANN Stewardship Transition
  4. Everything on the internet has an acronym, this one is ICG
  5. IANA: National Telecommunications and Information Administration: United States Department of Commerce
  6. Open letter of support by Tech Industry leaders
  7. Civil Society Support letter

Next Steps

The contract with ICANN for the IANA functions is set to expire Oct 1, 2016.  This will conclude the 18 year transition to privatize the Domain Name System (DNS).  The global acceptance of One Internet is the fundamental key to its continued growth and success.

Update: 9/29/16:

Father of the Internet describes his third child:


Senate passes bill without Cruz’s attempt to block IANA Transfer.



Privatization of DNS

IANA Transition: source APNIC