home Governance Sophia Bekele: IANA Transition Should not Happen to the Interest of Few

Sophia Bekele: IANA Transition Should not Happen to the Interest of Few


Sophia Bekele the Founder of DCA Trust has joined other voices to advance her long held advice that IANA transition should not be privatized to the interest of the very few.

Writing yesterday on The Hill, Bekele says:

What I do not agree is when public policy positions are manipulated to serve the few.  I am a policy person and my work can attest for itself.  I have fought for many policies over corporate governance in private organizations in the U.S. and policies to bridging the gap in technology for Africa as well as on behalf of the global International Community at the Global Internet Governing body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) .  Currently, I find myself in the midst of the politics of internet between ICANN and U.S. Congress.

Washington Capitol Building. Credits.
Washington Capitol Building.

Bekele a respected internet governance and global policy expert is known for her position that ICANN is not ready to govern itself. Currenly ICANN is under the oversight of the U.S. department NTIA, and while in March 2014, NTIA announced intent to transition its oversight role to a newly created body, there has not been much convincing to the public that ICANN is duly ready to manage itself.

Bekele, the first to visit U.S. congress and to whistle-blow about ICANN’s inability to function independently without US oversight, writes

I have advocated that there is “No Legal Basis for IANA Transition“. My recent letter to Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) certainly has  helped in identifying the majority of the key issues that  the Congress is now forming its opinion on and it has vindicated me. We now see an activated campaign against this transition by various senators supporting it, highlighting the same issues.

The US Lawmakers have been frantically fighting the IANA transition. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), sent a letter to National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling, questioning the agency’s apparent violation of federal law in using federal funds to relinquish U.S. oversight of the Internet.The congress has also been urged to sue should the transition happen.

DCA Trust an organization founded by Ms. Bekele for the purpose of bringing the policy divide in Africa and running the .Africa new domain has faced many challenges occasioned by ICANN’s lack of accountability and transparency. These wrongs have forced DCA Trust to sue ICANN in court. Bekele continues:

I have campaigned and continued to campaign that the U.S. congress not to allow the ICANN to be privatized to the interest of the very few.  In fact, I am the first person on record to have marched to US Congress office back in February 2013 and raised the issue of ICANN’s accountability by demonstrating the example of how ICANN has mishandled our .africa gTLD application in its own house, and they are not ready to govern themselves.   After winning in Independent Accountability Process (IRP) in 2013 against ICANN, we are now forced to file a lawsuit at the US Court in Los Angeles California against ICANN, for what I believe has been a sham process and we have won various injunctions.

Just like Ms. Bekele predicted in her public commentary to The Hill, re: “November 2016 Elections will determine fate of Internet Privatization; Fixing what is not broken” and rightfully so, we will be waiting for this outcome, she says.

Read full post as originally published on the Hill


James Barnley

I’m the editor of the DomainingAfrica. I write about internet and social media, focusing mainly on Domains. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll get a lot of information on Domain Issues, ICANN, new gtld’s, Mobile technology and social media.

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