IANA Transition: Myth, Misconception and Expectation

On Friday, March 14 the U.S. Government announced its intention to transition its stewardship responsibilities of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions to the global multistakeholder community—a key component of the Internet ecosystem. The IANA Functions are the Internet’s technical identifiers, specifically, the top-level domain names of the Domain Name System, IP addresses, and protocol parameter registries.

However, it is still not very clear and uncertain what would happen over such a turbulent period. Firstly, it should figure out what the stewardship has ever been played by NTIA and what is the specification of the oversight. How would we know the new oversight mechanism when we are not even sure of the existing one? Secondly, it is not logical to have ICANN to oversee itself if IANA is a function within ICANN. Thirdly, what would be the way forward? Should that be a so-called “Chinese Wall” to let IANA relatively independent of ICANN when more solid accountability system is build up in or surrounding ICANN?

The global Internet community is now hotly debating the IANA transition from NTIA. I’m fully convinced that the transition should begin with clarification of the NTIA’s oversight role that it’s been playing. ccNSO has made a insightful statement with valuable details. However, it would be more helpful to group up the roles into 2 parts, namely, clerical function and stewardship. In the case that IANA is going to stay within ICANN, which seems gathering support from the community, the clerical role can well be fit into the boxes of direct users of IANA function, from IETF, RIRs to TLD registries (directly rather than through any SO). In such case, the so-called DNSA proposal might not be a very bad one. TLD registries need certain channel, like NROs for RIRs, to make sure IANA follow the normal rules and procedures for any change at zone file. Supporting Organizations (either gNSO or ccNSO) can hardly play such clerical role. It is not logical for a SO to support as well as oversee ICANN. With respect to  the stewardship role, it might be a constitutional moment. The new external and independent accountability for ICANN might be much similar to a global “constitutional court”, where ICANN’s policy decisions can be finally appealed, in addition to the existing territorial jurisdiction in California court, provided that ICANN is still a non-profit organization registered in CA.

In response to the critics and speculations, ICANN CEO made the following statement, which answers some questions but raises more. http://blog.icann.org/2014/03/important-corrections-to-general-inaccuracies-and-misconceptions-regarding-u-s-announcement-and-iana-functions/

  1. The announcement is NOT a final decision to surrender control of the Internet.On Friday, the U.S. government asked the global community to develop a proposal for transferring its stewardship of the IANA Functions. The government was not announcing a new law, rather initiating an inclusive, global discussion. The government also set clear boundaries for that discussion, including a very clear statement that it will not release control of these functions to any government-led or inter-governmental organization solution.Instead, ICANN will lead a transparent dialogue among governments, the private sector, and civil society to determine the transition process and establish a governing body that is globally accountable. This process ensures each of the Internet’s diverse stakeholders has a voice in its governance.In addition, the U.S. government has made it clear that the transition proposal must address the following four principles:
    • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model
    • Maintain the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet DNS
    • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services
    • Maintain the openness of the Internet

    In other words, any proposal that affects the openness of the Internet and its multistakeholder governance will be rejected.

  2. The announcement is NOT a response to disclosures by Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency and its policies.One media report claims ICANN lobbied the U.S.Government to relinquish its oversight “using the Snowden leaks as a lever.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. The government first envisioned this transfer when it began contracting with ICANN in 1998. For the past 16 years, ICANN has protected the open Internet with increasing operational excellence – itself accountable to the global community. The March 14 announcement was the final step down a path paved years ago.
  3. The announcement will NOT lead to a division of the Internet into smaller, less technically resilient pieces.”A digital Iron Curtain” will not be imposed resulting from this announcement. An opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal claims that by stepping back, the United States will divide “425,000 global routes of the Internet into less technically resilient pieces.” In fact, the exact opposite is true.The March 14 announcement is an important step toward preserving and protecting the open Internet. U.S. oversight will not be usurped by authoritarian governments eager to censor free speech – or by any other inter-governmental institution. Instead, a globally accountable, multistakeholder governing body will ensure the Internet continues to promote the free exchange of ideas, propel innovation and drive economic development.
  4. The announcement transfers stewardship of an administrative and clerical function. ICANN does NOT serve a policing function in the Internet ecosystem.Let me be clear, ICANN coordinates one technical component of the Internet ecosystem – the names, numbers and protocol parameters of the Internet. ICANN does not control content on the Internet. ICANN has no role relating to Internet content and cannot enact Internet censorship.These technical components of the Internet have been working well for nearly two decades underneath a multistakeholder process with the U.S. government holding a stewardship role. In reality, ICANN has successfully administered the IANA Functions with increasing autonomy for the past 16 years and this announcement will not alter its commitment to the security and stability of the Internet’s Domain Name System.
  5. The announcement will NOT affect the billions who use the Internet every day.Some have speculated through the media that the U.S. announcement will “put the open Internet at risk” for everyday users. This concern is not rooted in reality. The transition of stewardship will not affect the functionality of the Internet.  The coordination of the IANA functions will continue unchanged. The announcement reinforces the principles that the Internet belongs to everyone and is responsible to everyone.Instead of politicizing the debate over the U.S. Government’s decision to transition stewardship of the Internet’s technical functions, let’s move forward with the discussion we need to have – how to engage in the necessary discussion to develop an effective transition process, one that continues to ensure an open Internet that belongs to everyone.



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2nd Asia Pacific Internet Leadership Project Held Successfully in Beijing

The Second Asia Pacific Internet Leadership Project (APILP), on 12 March 2014 in Beijing, was hailed by the Chinese domain name industry. Since the first APILP succeeded in Beijing 3 years ago, there have always been strong calls for the resurrection of this unique and innovative capacity building project on Internet Governance from both local and AP regional Internet community. The 2nd APILP is a Pilot before the Official Relaunch in Singapore.

Beijing Pilot acquired very strong community support. It was supported, especially, by ICANN Asia-Pacific Hub,  Asia Domain Names Dispute Resultion Center (ADNDRC),  Chinese International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and China Trademark Association, all of which sent the officers to give keynote speeches at the event. As a free and open event, it attracted more than 60 participants from new gTLD applicants, registrars, ccTLD and electronic commerce businesses. Beijing Normal University Institute for Internet Policy & Law (IIPL) and Internet Domain Name System Beijing Engineering Research Center (ZDNS) sponsored the program by providing in-kind donations for meeting room, facilitates, conference materials and participants’ work lunch.

Beijing Pilot featured the theme of “New gTLD Policy & Law” and had 3 theme fora on “Right Protection Measures”, “Dispute Resolution Services” and “Domain Name Registration Policies” respectively. The whole program tremendously interested the Chinese domain name industry. It is worth noting that there has been academic and civil society participation in ICANN through either At Large and NCUC for some years but there has no Chinese participants in the GNSO Commercial, Registry and Registrar stakeholders group, in which there are even hardly any active members from the AP developing world except for a few elites. These policy-making process is dominated almost entirely by US and European business interests, and has been run by essentially the same people almost since the beginning of ICANN.  It was raised at the event that Chinese new gTLD applicants, either Brand, community or open TLDs, would hardly be able to catch up with the policies constantly deriving from ICANN mytrix, albeit exert any influence in the policy development process. Capacity building for these new stakeholders are definitely needed. It is good that ICANN Singapore Hub takes APILP as a important vehicle for community services and regional strategy and sent Mr. Kuek, ICANN VP, to open the event in Beijing. More discussions will continue in Singapore at the Launch.

Prof. Xue, at her keynote speech, gave an overview of the various right program measures in new gTLD program and specifically analyzed Sunrise Registrations and Trademark Claims. Prof. Xue pointed out both the usage and limits of the ICANN-accredited Trademark Clearinghouse in design. Submission of trademark information into the Clearinghouse is a prerequisite for any sunrise registration application but does not suffice or guarantee any actual registration under a specific TLD. It is subject to each TLD registry to decide the registration conditions (on geographic, class of goods, trademark registration dates, etc.) and other eligible requirements. Many brand owners concerned that they received misleading information that their brands would get sunrise registration for sure once submitted to the Clearinghouse. The comments from the community only reaffirm the necessity for such capacity building program.


09:00~09:30  Registration

09301040  Opening Ceremony

09:30~09:35  Introduction: Prof. Dr. Hong Xue, Director of BNU Institute for Internet Policy & Law

09:35~09:40  Welcoming Speech: Mr. Yu-Chuang Kuek, Vice-President, ICANN

09:40~09:45  Welcoming Speech: Dr. Wei Mao, Director General of ZDNS

09:45~09:50  Welcoming Speech: Mr. Dennis Cai, Secretary General, Asia Domain Names Dispute Resolution Center

9:50 -  10:30  Release of the New gTLDs Development Report 2014: Mr Xing Zhijie, Director of ZDNS

10301200 Forum OneTrademark Protection Measures and Related Services

10:30~10:50   Keynote Speech “3rd Revision of Chinese Trademark Law- key issues”: Ms. Xiao Yun, Deputy Secretary General, China Trademark Association

10:50 – 11:10  Keynote Speech “Online Dispute Resolution for Domain Name System”: Dr. Li Hu, Deputy Secretary General, China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission

11:10~11:30 Keynote Speech “Right Protection Measures in New gTLD Program”: Prof. Dr. Hong Xue, Director of BNU Institute for Internet Policy & Law

11:30~12:00 Discussion and Q&A

Panelists: Citic Group Management Information Department (.CITIC); Ching Chao, Zhongyu International

1200 Lunch sponsored by ZDNS

13301500 Forum Two: Dispute Resolution Services

13:30~14:00  Keynote Speech “URS and Other DRPs Services by ADNDRC”:   Mr. Dennis Cai, Secretary General, Asia Domain Names Dispute Resolution Center

14:00~15:00  Discussion and Q&A

Panelists: Prof. Dr. Hong Xue, Director of BNU Institute for Internet Policy & Law; Cui Xinmin, CIETAC

15001630 Forum Three: Domain Name Registration and Management Policies

15:00~15:30  Keynote Speech “Reshaping and Redefining Whois System”: Mr. Song Zheng, Director of ICANN Beijing Engagement Center

15:30~16:30  Discussion and Q&A

Panelists: Prof. Dr. Hong Xue, Director of BNU Institute for Internet Policy & Law; Yan Rui, CNNIC; Alan Tan, Zodiac; Walter Wu, Springboard

1630 – 16:40 Closing Remarks

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2013首届中国电子商务立法高层论坛 Founding High-Level Forum on Chinese E-Commerce Legislation

2013首届中国电子商务立法高层论坛 暨“电子商务立法支撑研究平台”成立大会

中国电子商务法律网、北京师范大学互联网政策与法律研究中心主办的2013首届中国电子商务立法高层论坛 暨“电子商务立法支撑研究平台”成立大会于2013年12月28日在 北京中国国际电子商务中心 锦江富园大酒店隆重举行。联合国国际贸易法委员会电子商务负责人Luca Castellani博士、全国人大财经委领导等百余名嘉宾出席。




主持人:中国电子商务协会政策法律委员会副主任 阿拉木斯

全国人大财经委调研室副主任  施禹之
国家发改委高技术司副司长    顾大伟
北京市大兴区人民政府副区长  喻华锋
中国国际电子商务中心副主任  付诚

   9:55-10:00 “电子商务立法支撑研究平台”成立仪式

  企业代表发言:阿里巴巴集团政策研究室主任 高红冰

    10:00-11:50 主题论坛一:关于中国电子商务立法的整体思考

   主持人:北京邮电大学互联网治理与法律研究中心主任 李欲晓


联合国无纸化贸易专家网络顾问委员会委员 薛虹

点评人(每人5分钟):北京大学法学院互联网法律中心主任 张平

中国人民大学法学院教授 刘俊海

发言人(20分钟):阿里巴巴集团政策研究室副主任  宋斐

点评人(每人5分钟):中国信息经济学会信息社会研究所所长 王俊秀

商务部电子商务研究院副院长 李鸣涛


网规研究中心主任 阿拉木斯

点评人(每人5分钟):清华大学网络行为研究所副所长 吴伟光

北京师范大学法学院教授 刘德良


12:00-13:30 午餐

 13:30-14:40  主题论坛二:跨境电子商务法律问题

   主持人:北京师范大学互联网政策与法律研究中心主任 薛虹


亚太地区中心主任 Luca G. Castellani博士

点评人(每人5分钟):商务部电子商务司副巡视员 聂林海

北京大学电子商务法律发展研究基地主任 刘凯湘

发言人(20分钟):京东商城法务总监 林卓

点评人(每人5分钟):对外经贸大学国际电子商务中心主任 王健

众信电子商务交易保障促进中心副主任 杜佳


14:40-15:50  主题论坛三:互联网金融的法律制度建设

   主持人:上海泛洋律师事务所律师 刘春泉

发言人(20分钟):阿里巴巴小微金服集团法务部资深总监 屠剑威

点评人(每人5分钟):中国政法大学副教授 陈健

快钱公司副总裁 王玉

发言人(20分钟):中国人民大学法学院副院长 杨东

点评人(每人5分钟):工信部信息化推进司副司长 董宝青

清华大学社会科学学院教授 刘鹰


15:50-16:10 茶歇


   主持人:阿里巴巴集团国内法务副总裁 俞思瑛

发言人(20分钟):   深圳市市场监督管理局 潘建珊

点评人(每人5分钟):中国消费者协会律师团团长 邱宝昌

                        腾讯互联网法律研究中心秘书长 张钦坤

    发言人(20分钟):网上交易保障中心副主任 乔聪军

   点评人(每人5分钟):国家工商总局市场规范司副司长 杨洪丰

中国政法大学教授 郎佩娟


17:20-17:30 会议总结

中国信息经济学会信息社会研究所所长 王俊秀

2013 Founding High-Level Forum on Chinese E-Commerce Legislation &Establishment Ceremony of Research Platform on E-Commerce Legal Support

On October 31, 2013, the 12th session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in the legislative plan released, E-commerce Law is listed as the second project, being one of the draft laws which are in need of working immediately, when ripe for deliberation. The E-commerce law formally on the agenda of China’s top legislature for the first time, marking China’s E-commerce is about to open a new historical stage of the development!

Meanwhile, in 2013, along with the deepening of our country’s E-commerce application influence on traditional business, circulation, finance, services, and people’s work, communication and life, in all areas of the understanding of the electronic commerce is constantly refresh and subversion. Problems related to the E-commerce law and governance is concerned from different angles by all areas.

Under the big background, under the support of relevant units, ChinaEClaw.com, Institute for the Internet Policy & Law BNU ,Policy and Law Committee of China Electronic Commerce Association and 315online.com.cn are plan to integrate the resources to form a professional high-level legislative support platform -Ceremony of Research Platform on E-Commerce Legal Support. Through the platform, gathering relevant departments and experts, enterprise, electronic retailing, service providers, lawyers, etc., communicate and discuss regularly for our country’s legislation of E-commerce.

2013 Founding High-Level Forum on Chinese E-commerce Legislation and Ceremony of Research Platform on E-commerce Legal Support was held on December 28, 2013. Prof. Hong Xue, co-organizer, invited Dr. Luca Castellani from UNCITRAL Secretariat to join the conference and give a keynote on International E-Commerce Legal Issues.

The conference was co-organized by ChinaEClaw.com and BNU Institute for the Internet Policy & Law. The Participants included 

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, NPC Financial and Economic Committee, Legislative Affairs Commission, Business and Communication Department of Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, Supreme Peoples Court, High-tech Department of Development and Reform Commission, E-commerce Department of Ministry of Commerce, Department of Treaty and Law, IT Promotion Department of MIIT, Department of Policies and Laws, Market Department of SAIC, Network security Bureau of MPS, Payment and Clearing Department of Central Bank, Local Government Departments ofBeijing,Shanghai,Hangzhou, Shenzhen,Chongqing,Nanjing, Fuzhou etc. And mainly are the national E-commerce demonstration cities and more than 30 leading E-Commerce Enterprises (Alibaba, Tencent, Jingdong, Suning, Baidu, Amazon, Dangdang etc.).

Sumative Program

9:20 Opening Ceremony

The host:Alamusi (Vice director, Policy and Law Committee of China   E-commerce Association)

 the related leader of NPC Financial and Economic Committee
the related leader of Business and Communication Department of Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council

  the related leader of Ministry of High-tech Department ,National Development and Reform Commission

     950-1000 Establishment Ceremony of Research Platform on E-Commerce Legal Support

1000-11:50 Discussion on TopicⅠ:The overall thinking about China E-commerce legislation

The Host: Wan Yixian (vice director, Policy and Law Committee of China   E-commerce Association)

     Speaker(20 mins)

Xue Hong (director of Institute for Internet Policy & Law @ Beijing Normal University, Asian Executive Member of International Association for Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property)

   Commentator (5 mins per person)

Jiang Qiping (secretary-general, Centre for Information Study)

Wang Junxiu (director of China Information Economics Society)

    Speaker(20 mins)

Alamusi (vice director ,Policy and Law Committee of China   E-commerce Association, Director of the Network Standard Research Center)
    Commentator (5 mins per person)

Chai Yueting (group leader,Expert Group of National Demonstration City Establish Program of E-commerce)

Wu Weiguang (vice director, Institute for Internet Behavior of Tsinghua University)

Speaker(20 mins)

Zhang Ping (director of Institute for Internet Law,PEKINGUNIVERSITY. Secretary General of Chinese Intellectual Property Society)

    Commentator (5 mins per person)

Liu Kaixiang (director of E-commerce and Legal Development Research Base, PKU)

Li Yuxiao (director, Internet Governance and Law Research Center of BUPT)

20mins interaction time, spectators could question and interact with the two presenters and the four commentators

       12:00-13:30  Lunch Time

        13:30-14:40  Forum Session 2: legal issues in cross-border E-commerce

The host: director of Institute for Internet Policy & Law, Beijing Normal University     Xue Hong

      Speaker (20mins):

Dr. Luca G. Castellani (legal specialist of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, director ofAsia-PacificCenter)

   Commentator (5mins per person)

E-commerce Department, The Ministry of Commerce

Ling Feng (vice Director of Research Institute for E-commerce Legal Development of Peking University)

      Speaker (20mins):

Representatives of enterprise

   Commentators (5mins per person):

Wang Jian (director of International E-commerce Centre of University of International Business Economics)

Qu Zhe (partner of TransAsia Lawyers)

Interaction time (10mins), spectators could raise questions and interact with the two presenters and the four commentators

       14:40-15:50Forum Session 3: Legislation of Internet Finance

The host: Liu Chunquan (Deputy Director of Policy and legal committee, China Electronic Commerce Association)

      The presenter (20mins):

Alipay or Tianhong Fund

   Commentators (5mins per person):

People’s Bank of China Payment and Settlement Department

Gao Hongbing (director of Policy Research Center of Alibaba Group)

      The presenter (20mins):

Yang Dong (vice Dean of Renmin University of China Law School)

The commentators (5mins per person):

Promotion department, Ministry of Information Industry

Chen Jing (former director of Science and Technology Department, People’s Bank of China)

Interaction time (10mins), spectators could raise questions and interact with the two presenters and the four commentators

       15:50-16:10 Tea Break

       16:10-17:20 Forum Session 4: the new edition of Law on Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers within the consumer protection in E-commerce

The host: Vice president of domestic legal affairs, Alibaba Group Yu Simin

      The presenter (20mins):

 Shen Zhen ebs.org.cn

The commentators (5mins per person):

Chen Jian ( Civil law Division of Legislative Affairs Commission, NPC Standing Committee)

ChinaConsumers Association, Legal Department,

      The presenter (20mins):

 Representatives of enterprise

The commentators (5mins per person)

State Administration of Industry and Commerce, Market regulation department

Wu Jingming (professor of China University of Political Science and Law)

Interaction time (10mins), spectators could raise questions and interact with the two presenters and the four commentators

      1720-1730 Summaries

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UNCITRAL RCAP Capacity Building Event for Cambodian Governmental Delegates

On November 27, 2013, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Regional Center for Asia and the Pacific (RCAP), in collaboration with the Korea Ministry of Justice, organized a capacity-building event to assist Cambodian government to draft the e-commerce legislation. In the context of the UN legal technical assistance exercise, Prof. Hong Xue, Director of BNU Institute for Internet Policy & Law, and the other two Korean professors,  were invited to give lectures to the Cambodian governmental officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Justice, Royal Academy of Judicial and academicians on fundamentals of e-commerce law, on the basis of the UNCITRAL texts. Prof. Xue gave the lecture in the morning and received very positive feedback. During the lecture, Prof. Xue primarily analyzed the draft Cambodian E-Commerce Law (version 4) and compared with the UNECC and many other international and national law. The Cambodian delegates warmly welcomed the timely exercise and asked many relevant questions to deepen their understanding on the norms and rules of e-commerce law. The whole event ended with a huge success. The newly established UNCITRAL-BNU Joint Certificate Program is expected to contribute to the legal technical assistance exercise provided by RCAP.


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UNCITRAL RCAP and BNU Established the Joint Certificate Program on International E-Commerce Law

On October 20, 2013, Dr. Luca Castellani, Head of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Regional Center for Asia Pacific (RCAP) and Prof. Guangju Chen, Vice President of Beijing Normal University (BNU) signed the Agreement to establish the Joint Certificate Program on International E-Commerce Law (JCP). Under the Agreement, both Parties are committed to jointly develop the JCP that is a complex of teaching, research and international cooperation on international e-commerce law. Dr. Castellani stated at the Signing Ceremony that the JCP would be the world first international program that is specialized on international e-commerce law. He expected the JCP would become a world center in this field of law in the rapid growing e-commerce environment. Prof. Chen stated that BNU was fully in support of the JCP and confident in its success.

After the Signing Ceremony, Dr. Castellani joined the Research Seminar organized by BNU Institute for Internet Policy & Law on “Legal Issues in Cross-Border E-Commerce” and gave a keynote speech on the UN Convention on the Use of Electronic Communication for International Contracts (UNECC). The Officials from the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) Department of E-Commerce and other legal experts joined the Seminar and had productive dialogue with Dr. Castellani. All agreed that the legal experience acquired from UNECC and MoC (pending) Administrative Measures on Transnational Rules of Third Party Platform in Internet Retailing formed the basis for further legal development, particularly for international trade via e-commerce.






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