ICANN spreads love, opens bosom to all

Embraces user community

The Internet Corporation for the Assignment of Names and Numbers (ICANN) continued its ongoing outreach efforts last week with two announcements: the establishment of an ICANN online magazine and the expansion of a pilot fellowship program oriented towards those from countries relatively underrepresented in the ICANN processes.

Any move by ICANN to make the organization more comprehensible to the average internet user is welcome, and the magazine is written in a casual, colloquial style to further that end. The current edition has an interview with Janis Karklins, the chair of the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and Latvia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Geneva, as well as information about IPv6 and top level domain (TLD) controversies.

The fellowship program is designed to jump start more active participation by those in developing nations, primarily, though the program will also accept applicants from somewhat more developed nations as well. It’s really about encouraging participation from regions not overly represented currently at ICANN. The pilot program at the San Juan meeting seems to have gone well enough, and the program will be expanded.

Priority will be given to applicants who are current residents of developing and least developed nations who are interested in participating in ICANN and its supporting organizations, such as the Governmental Advisory Committee, the Country Code Names Supporting Organization, and the Generic Names Supporting Organization. The fellowship will assist in covering airfare, hotel and a stipend. Recipients will be expected to actively participate in and contribute to ICANN processes.

It’s part of the internationalization push that includes the internationalization of domain names (IDNs) and the establishment of the Regional At Large Organizations (RALOs). The first edition of the magazine can be found here, and for those interested in the fellowships, information is available here. ®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

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