To the extent that transition of the management control to a private entity

To the extent that transition of the management

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ficult. To the extent that transition of the management control to a private entity [ICANN] would involve the trans-fer of government property, it is unclear if the Department [of Commerce] has the requisite authority to effect sucha transfer.” GAO Summary,supranote 13, at 4.21LENNARDG. KRUGER, CONG. RESEARCHSERV., R44022, THEFUTURE OFINTERNETGOVERNANCE:SHOULD THEUNITEDSTATESRELINQUISHITSAUTHORITY OVERICANN? 2 (2016),available at.22Id.23Samantha Bradshaw, Laura DeNardis, Fen Osler Hampson, Eric Jardine & Mark Raymond,The Emergenceof Contention in Global Internet Governance3 (Global Comm’n on Internet Governance, Paper Series No. 17, July2015),at.24MUELLER,supranote 16, at 138 (citation omitted).2016]495EDITORIAL COMMENT
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such multilateral governance. On the other side was the nonstate actor-led and informal mul-tistakeholder tradition that had in practice managed the Internet since its birth. Proponentsof informal multistakeholderism believed that interested parties—generally understood asengineers, computer scientists, network operators, Internet users, and the like, as well as gov-ernment regulators—could and should govern the Internet collectively. And rather than legalrules and formal procedures, they preferred inclusive deliberation and rough consensus. Theproblemwasthatlittleagreementexistedwithinthiscommunityoverwhooughttowieldwhatpower when consensus proved elusive. While the loose methods of the past worked when theInternet was a small resource populated by generally like-minded users, the Internet had, bythe 1990s, long since become something quite different.In 1996, a group of actors—including the Internet Society, the World Intellectual PropertyOrganization (WIPO), the ITU, and the International Trademark Association—tried to cre-ate an encompassing framework that would rationalize governance of the Internet. These var-ious groups negotiated a nonlegally binding agreement on “generic Top Level Domains”(gTLDs), such as .com or .edu. The agreement was known as the “gTLD-Memorandum ofUnderstanding” (gTLD-MOU). As Daniel Drezner recounts, “The gTLD-MOUproposedassigning governance functions to an entity housed in the ITU, with representation from busi-ness interests, [intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)], and [the Internet Society]. The ITUarranged a ‘formal’ signing ceremony in Geneva in March 1997 to give the agreement the trap-pings of an international treaty.”25In a keynote address at this unusual conclave, the ITU sec-retary-general, Pekka Tarjanne, hailed the gTLD-MOUas a shining example of what he calledvoluntary multilateralism.”26Tarjanne pointed to the many faults in the existing informal sys-tem of Internet governance:It is too dependent on the goodwill of a small group of people who are doing the joblargely by historical accident, because they were in the right place at the right time;The most popular gTLDs are handled by an organization which holds a monopoly
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