17 March 2014

Internet Governance, Should ICANN Be Replaced?

Now that the US Government is out of the way, it is the next question being asked:

“It’s inconceivable that ICANN can be accountable to the whole world. That’s the equivalent of being accountable to no one,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a trade group representing major Internet commerce businesses. (source: Washington Post)

Garth Bruen, a security fellow at the Digital Citizens Alliance, a Washington-based advocacy group that combats online crime: “ICANN has made a lot of mistakes, and ICANN has not really been a good steward.” Business groups and some others have long complained that ICANN’s decision-making was dominated by the interests of the industry that sells domain names and whose fees provide the vast majority of ICANN’s revenue. (source: Washington Post, emphasis added)

Campaign for .nyc » Cities, Citizens, and Internet Governance: " . . . In its early days ICANN provided for strong representation of individual Internet users in its decision making processes. It did so by allocating 5 seats on its board of directors to be filled by Internet users, with each of ICANN’s regions selecting one member via a direct election. One such election was held and, for a time, 5 Internet user-selected board members helped govern ICANN. The corporation [ICANN] found fault with the selection process and replaced the user-selected members with an appointed At-Large Advisory Committee and a Nominating Committee charged with selecting several board members. In recent years the At-Large was reconstituted and now participates in selecting one (1) voting member to ICANN’s board of directors. By any measure, under today’s governance formation, the world’s 2+ billion individual Internet users and the At-Large Structure’s impact on ICANN’s governance decisions remain tenuous...."

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