ICANN meeting takes place in the shadow of US tough talk
By RITS Brazil
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, 19 August 2005
Just after the United States made clear it intentions to retain control over the internet’s root-servers, an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) meeting took place in Luxembourg. Brazil-based RITS director of planning and strategy Carlos Afonso participated in the four-monthly meeting of the organisation, which took place in Luxembourg, from July 11 to 15.
[ICANN (pronounced “I can”) is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is a California non-profit corporation consisting largely of Internet Society Members, and was created on September 18, 1998 in order to take over a number of Internet-related tasks previously performed on behalf of the US Government by other organizations, notably IANA.
The contract for ICANN came from the US Department of Commerce and was “sole sourced”, which means no-one else (such as the Open Root Server Confederation which was also formed at the time to bid on the contract) was able to submit a bid to perform the task. These tasks include managing the assignment of domain names and IP addresses. To date, much of its work has concerned the introduction of seven new generic top-level domains. Its activities, however, have been hotly debated.]
“What is interesting is that the meeting took place just after the United States of America made a declaration that the internet root-servers are untouchable, and that it intends to retain control over them. This subject, therefore, dominated the meeting. Various criticisms were made about ICANN’s internal procedures,” relates Carlos Afonso.
“The USA destroyed all of ICANN’s efforts to present itself as an autonomous body, casting aside the institution’s commitment to showing itself to be an entity independent of any government or country,” he added.
The next meeting will take place in Vancouver, Canada from November 30 to December 4, 2005.