Feeds

Vint Cerf takes ICANN hot seat

Dotty Queen Esther hands over the poisoned chalice

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.