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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

JPA outmoded– ICANN

Global Internet coordinating agency, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has said that the existence of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) is no longer in vogue.

Champion Infotel recalls that on November 25, 1998, the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) on behalf of the United States Government (USG) entered a deal under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names (ICANN), a private sector driven not-for-profit organization.

ICANN in its midterm review of the JPA, a copy of which was made available to Champion Infotel, stated that though the JPA like other MoUs has been helpful.

In preparation for the mid-term review of the deal slated for March 2008, based on the modalities for the transition to the private sector of the technical coordination and management of the Internet’s domain names and addressing system (DNS), with a 10-point responsibilities, ICANN insisted that JPA obviously has over-stayed its welcome.

Consequent upon a notice of inquiry by the US government, ICANN has responded with several documents encompassing a section in its annual report; a letter of submission and a table of achievements.

In the letter of submission signed by ICANN board chairman, Mr. Peter Dengate Thrush and addressed to Ms Suzanne R. Sene of the Office of International Affairs, National Telecommunications and Information Administration located in Washington DC, noted that JPA like other MoU, no doubt, has helped ICANN to become a stable organisation.

He pointed out that ICANN has executed JPA terms, which commenced since September 2006 and has met its responsibilities under the JPA, hence, “The JPA is no longer necessary.”

Mr. Thrush also noted that the concluding part is the next line of action, which is in transition of the coordination of the Domain Name System (DNS) to the private sector, adding that this step would provide continued confidence that the original vision as contained in the White Paper is delivered.

“Concluding the JPA will not affect existing accountabilities expressed in the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) contract and United State government’s participation through the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC),” ICANN declared.

According to Thrush 13 status reports have been provided to the DoC, each including a list that outlines performance based on agreed tasks set out in the seven MoUs that were signed in 1998 as part of the JPA.

He reeled out some ICANN achievement in recent past to include introduction of competition in domain name registration services for the Generic Top Level Domains System (gTLDS), implementing the uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy for Resolving cyber-squatting and other intellectual property disputes as well as establishment of formal legal arrangements with the regional Internet Registries including the setting up of the Address Supporting Organisation (ASO).

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