Feeds

ICANN celebrates ninth anniversary as master of your domain

Here’s to you, internet overlords

Boost IT visibility and business value

Today is the ninth anniversary of ICANN as the master of the internet universe, and on that note, the controversial organization that controls the technical standards of internet seems to merit a salutation of sorts.

ICANN was created by the American government to manage the backbone of the internet, and it assumed official control of the net we all know and love on September 18, 1998. From the outset, ICANN was controversial, in part because of the role it fulfills: like it or not, deny it or not, ICANN has the kind of policy-making authority traditionally reserved for elected officials.

As much as ICANN bends over backward to be inclusive - which it does these days - many will never forgive that fundamental flaw. ICANN continues to this day as a California nonprofit corporation, based in a suburb of Los Angeles and perched on a stretch of coastal landfill.

ICANN thus embodies a very contemporary dilemma: how to outsource what traditionally is government work, while maintaining accountability to the electorate? The awkward, unwieldy structure of ICANN - committees heaped upon committees, in an alphabet soup of bizarre acronyms - is only the outward manifestation of this inherent inner tension.

Those who think that this is exactly the kind of authority that is fundamental to governance, and therefore not to be outsourced, will never be satisfied with the ICANN model. It may not be ideal, but it is what we’ve got, and ICANN’s imperfect attempts to involve the public in its decision-making process are nonetheless to be lauded.

Let's hope that ICANN continues in that direction, particularly when it comes to increasing transparency in its dealings with the US Department of Commerce and other governments, with which it consults regularly via representatives on the Government Advisory Committee (GAC).

In furtherance of the goal of expanding public participation in ICANN, we encourage everyone to take ICANN's recent customer satisfaction survey, and tell them what you think. They just might listen.®

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

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.