ICANN faces growing government pressure
ICANN, the private institution that governs the internet, will have to be more open and heed government advice if it wants to retain its independence, it emerged at the weekend.
This follows a meeting on Friday 13 May between the EU’s Digital Agenda chief Neelie Kroes and US Department of Commerce assistant secretary Lawrence Strickling to ensure that the private sector continues to govern the internet.
In a statement following their meeting they said reforms are needed to reinforce ICANN’s transparency and accountability, to enhance its responsiveness to governments on public policy concerns in the Governmental Advisory Council (GAC), and to improve how decisions that affect country-code top level domains are made.They also discussed the upcoming award of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions contract.
Kroes and Strickling want ICANN to heed GAC advice when considering the expansion of generic top level domains (gTLDs) and to speed up action on all 27 recommendations of ICANN’s accountability and transparency review team.
The US has asked for views on how the IANA functions contract can improve global domain name management, and Kroes offered to host an open meeting in Brussels later this year to discuss these issues. In the meantime, they said they would lobby other nations to exchange views and forge consensus.