Feeds

Vint Cerf takes ICANN hot seat

Dotty Queen Esther hands over the poisoned chalice

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Genial Internet veteran Vint Cerf will take over from Esther Dyson as ICANN chair at the end of the month for a one year, unpaid stint in the hot seat.

As an engineer Cerf worked on early ARPANET protocols and co-authored what became TCP/IP in the early to mid 1970s, and served the first chair of the Internet Society. He's also a Vice President of random billing specialist MCI Worldcom, where he's worked on and off since leaving ARPANET in 1982.

The vote was unopposed, reports AP, although Europe's At-Large representative Andy Mueller-Maguhn noted the obvious conflict of interest. It's come up before, and Cerf has a stock reply on his Web site Cerf's Up

"I've been confronted with conflicts of interest, especially as chairman of the Internet Architecture Board or as President of the Internet Society or as program manager in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In those cases where endorsement of a particular product or vendor might have produced significant material gain, I chose not to invest, not to accept compensation, and either to remain silent or to speak my opinions unburdened by conflicting personal interest."

Which could be tricky to achieve.

On the upside, Cerf is naturally conciliatory in tone and widely-respected. On the downside, he's never been prominent in championing the Internet as an international human resource, on social issues or on public ownership: "Gore provided much-needed political support for the speedy privatization of the Internet when the time arrived for it to become a commercially-driven operation," he wrote recently. Nor has he been particularly critical of ICANN itself, serving as a board member since its inception.

Last year Cerf petitioned his employer MCI Worldcom for a $1 million bridging loan for the cash-strapped quango, recommending that the request be kept private.

Either way he will enjoy a honeymoon period of sorts, given the ever more eccentric and regal statements from his predecessor, the celebrity venture capitalist and pundit Esther Dyson. Esther began distancing herself from ICANN - while still its interim chair - several months ago, with comments declaring how she'd like to have done things differently if only someone like um... herself was in charge. Even though she was. Sceptics have noted that where the published board voting tallies, Dotty Dyson did not record a single dissenting vote. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.