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Reg reporter pledges to sort out internet

Kieren McCarthy stands for ICANN board

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McCarthy 2006 Worried about the way the internet is going? Frustrated at secret deals done behind closed doors? Well, worry no longer because The Reg's very own Kieren McCarthy has pledged to sort it out by standing for one of the three board positions that have opened up at internet overseeing organisation ICANN.

Having followed ICANN since the early days for The Register, Kieren told us he had grown tired of making the same complaints against the organisation year after year, so decided to see if he could make a difference from within the organisation.

"ICANN is at a big turning point at the moment. It survived the world summit process, but at the same time has managed to annoy the technical community it is there to represent. It is trying to be more open and transparent but just doesn't seem to know how. So, I thought about it and decided I should stick my money where my mouth is and stand."

ICANN sits at the top of the internet tree and is responsible for the allocation of domain names and IP addresses. As such, it is in charge of the contracts for all dotcoms, dotnets and other global domain names, as well as being the body that decides which new top-level domains should be created. It also oversees the "root zone file" which acts as the top directory for the internet.

Three spaces on the 15 member ICANN Board will become available in December (as well as a series of other appointments within the ICANN system), but so far interest in the positions has been lower than expected, resulting in an extension of the deadline from 16 July to 1 August. Anyone can apply, but they need to carefully follow the rules laid down by ICANN's nominating committee.

The nominating process is confidential and the discussion surrounding candidates entirely secret, although Kieren has purposefully made his application public.

"I am standing on a platform of openness and transparency, and my whole point is to make the ICANN community realise that you can ultimately achieve more by being open - at least when it is possible to be so. For example, some people are worried that if they state publicly they are standing, it will be embarrassing if they aren't chosen.

"But I see it entirely differently: if you want to be one of the people that help mould the future of the internet, you should be prepared to stand up and be counted. And there's no shame in saying you're prepared to give up a big part of your life for the next three years, with no financial reward, just because you want to do your bit for the internet. I hope by standing publicly I will encourage at least one other person to do the same."

Kieren has posted his entire application on his blog and has promised to do the same for anyone else that applies.

All applicants are judged by the 22 member nominating committee on an emailed statement of interest, plus letters from three or four referees named by the applicant. All applications need to be sent in by 1 August and final appointees will be announced before 31 October 2006. For all information on the process, visit http://www.icann.org/committees/nom-comm/formal-call-2006.html on the ICANN website.

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