ICANN looks toward end of US oversight agreement

ICANN looks toward a role independent of the US Department of Commerce.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is starting to look at how the organization might function after its current memorandum of understanding with the US Department of Commerce expires in September 2009.

ICANN, the nonprofit group that manages the Internet domain name system, has suggested it should become independent of Commerce Department oversight when the current Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with the agency expires. The agency's memorandum of understanding with ICANN has been in place since 1998, but in recent years, representatives of some other countries have questioned why the US government should have primary oversight of the organization.

ICANN has made significant improvements in accountability, transparency and other issues since the Commerce Department renewed the agreement in September 2006, said Paul Levins, ICANN's executive officer and vice president of corporate affairs. ICANN's goal after the Commerce Department agreement ends, he said, is to expand a global governance model that allows input from a broad range of Internet communities.

"What we're trying to do is ensure that the accountablities that the organization has now, the responsibilities to all the stakeholders, are locked in place forever," Levins said Friday. "We want to try to lock in the existing model over the long term."

Some people have suggested the JPA should remain in place to provide accountability. "The fact that ICANN is making progress toward meeting its responsibilities does not imply that the JPA is no longer needed," Thomas Lenard, president and senior fellow at conservative think tank iGrowthGlobal, wrote in comments about the agreement. "Indeed, it may demonstrate the value of the JPA. The JPA and the continuing tie to the Department of Commerce may account for ICANN's good performance."

Questions about ICANN's future have come up during a midterm review of the Commerce Department agreement. The public was invited to comment on the agreement and the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration hosted a public hearing on the agreement in late February.

As a nonprofit, ICANN operates with "almost no oversight," Lenard added in his comments. "ICANN is a unique organization," he wrote. "It is a nonprofit corporation under California law, but unlike literally any other nonprofit, ICANN makes decisions of major economic and social consequence throughout the world."

The Center for Democracy and Technology and TechNet, a trade group representing tech senior executives, both advocated for a continued agreement with the Commerce Department.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?