Last updated: September 15, 2010 - 8:36am
Rod Beckstrom, the CEO of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN), offered a stern warning on Sept 14, telling an Internet forum that the agency's mission is "under threat."
If governance of ICANN "were to become the exclusive province of nation states or [be] captured by any other interests, we would lose the foundation of the Internet's long-term potential and transformative value," he warned an audience in Vilnius, Lithuania. "Decisions on its future should reflect the widest possible range of views and the wisdom of the entire world community," he added, "not just governmental organizations." ICANN coordinates the world's domain name and Internet address system. Until late last year the United States Department of Congress mostly oversaw the agency's activities. In September that system was replaced with a new agreement that gives ICANN's own internationally advised Government Advisory Committee more of a say in the process. But it appears that Beckstrom is a bit nervous about where this could go, warning of various parties who "want to bring Internet governance into the framework of intergovernmental organizations exclusively." That prospect could shut businesses, service providers, consumers, and non-profits "out of the governance debate," he warned.
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