ICANN's CEO encourages global engagement

Chehadé calls on US tech policy activists to work on Internet freedom issues with other nations

U.S. advocates for a free global Internet need to reach out to other nations to encourage their participation in open governance bodies like the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization's president and CEO said.

Defenders of a free and open Internet are "facing a pretty dangerous time right now," as countries that want censorship and control of the Internet push their agendas at the International Telecommunications Union and other forums, ICANN leader Fadi Chehadé said late Tuesday.

"I want to lean into this community," Chehadé said. "This is a time of engagement."

During December's World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), members of the ITU were close to passing resolutions that would have given the ITU ICANN's duties and giving nations calling for censorship a greater voice in the coordination of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), Chehadé said.

Representatives of many nations at the WCIT meeting couldn't decide to vote with the U.S., western Europe and their allies, or with China, Russia and other countries calling for censorship and ITU control of Internet governance, Chehadé said during the Computer and Communications Industry Association's 40th anniversary celebration.

In many cases, Internet policy officials in developing nations haven't had significant interaction with their counterparts in the U.S. and European nations, Chehadé said. Meanwhile, the Chinese government built and paid for a US$200 million African Union complex in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which opened in early 2012, he noted.

Some African nations have seen the power of the Internet and transformed their economies, said Chehadé, a citizen of Egypt, Lebanon and the U.S. Other Africans see potential, but engagement from U.S. and European Internet activists can help drive the progress, he said.

For many Africans, "it's not about Internet freedom only," he said. "For them, it's about Internet opportunity."

The leader of ICANN since last October, Chehadé told the CCIA crowd of U.S. tech policy leaders he had visited 11 countries in the past month. In some countries, officials at telecom providers had no previous interaction with ICANN, he said.

ICANN is also splitting its Los Angeles headquarters into three, and moving some headquarters functions to Singapore and Istanbul in an effort to better engage the Internet community worldwide, Chehadé said.

Chehadé, a tech entrepreneur and former IBM executive, said global governance issues can help drive the continued growth of the Internet or end its success. It's important for activists now to engage on a global level, he said.

"I truly believe the Internet is one of the last things that unites us all," he said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and NumbersFadi ChehadéInternational Telecommunications UniongovernmentinternetComputer and Communications Industry Association

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?