The fallacy of breaking IANA out of ICANN
But perhaps the most unworkable part of the current proposal is the process developed to make it possible to remove the IANA contract away from ICANN at a future date.
Three pages of diagrams appear in the proposal to walk through all the steps required to make the split (just half a page is required to outline the three communities' overall plans).
There are no less than ten steps that have to pass through seven different committees in order for the separation to occur and even then the decision would only serve as a "recommendation," and the proposal leaves it open as to whether ICANN would be allowed to simply reject it.
Those committees include the ICANN board itself, not one but two specially created committees, and super-majority votes not once but twice from ICANN's two main supporting organizations (something that has not happened since the organization's inception).
In the same way that the original proposal from the names community was hopelessly complex and required a seemingly endless series of procedural steps in which every party would have to grant approval before proceeding, so the process for separating the IANA contract is so overdone that it makes separation a virtual impossibility. As such it has serious knock-on effects for its pragmatic value as a method for forcing ICANN to fix problems or improve its processes.
As it stands, the combination of the affiliate model with the overwrought review process equates to no less than handing ICANN full and inseparable control of the IANA contract – the very thing that the internet community was adamant should not happen going into the process. ®
The ICG proposal is open now until 8 September for public comment. Anyone is allowed to comment online or through email. For more details, visit the ICG's public comment page.