4 January 2017
The IAB appreciates the opportunity to comment on ICANN’s initiative on definitions for “Identifier Technology Health Indicators” (https://www.icann.org/public-comments/ithi-definition-2016-11-29-en).
The IAB encourages any research about the functioning of the Internet. We hope the data used and the outcomes of this effort will be widely available.
The IAB does see a risk that the broad scope of the project might be misinterpreted as an assertion by ICANN of a broad policy remit. A research program such as the ITHI effort may provide interesting and useful information to the world about the global DNS. It would be unfortunate if people were distracted by arguments about the extent of ICANN’s policy authority in this area. This risk could be minimized by a clear statement reminding potential readers of the limits to ICANN’s policy authority and noting how this research contribution is in keeping with ICANN’s bylaws, Article 1.
In addition, the extended metaphor used (a taxonomy of diseases) could present a risk of constraining the results of the research. It seems to include an assumption that the research will reveal that specific systems and players are “healthy” or “diseased”. This seems unnecessarily limiting, and could overlook more complex relationships among the data. We suggest not trying quite so hard to present a fully formed structure for research conclusions.
for the IAB