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Domain Names a Topic on Capitol Hill Thursday

Hearing to discuss ICANN’s future will be held Thursday.

Domain names, specifically ICANN, will be discussed tomorrow in Washington.

The House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet will hold a congressional hearing tomorrow about the future of ICANN and the U.S. government’s involvement. ICANN has already garnered the support of Al Gore and former ICANN chairman Vint Cerf that the joint project agreement should be concluded, effectively cutting ICANN free.

However, some of the witnesses tomorrow will push for continued oversight, such as Go Daddy General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Christine Jones. Go Daddy believes the JPA should be renewed, or as an alternative, extended for a year to allow time to work on what should be included in the new agreement. Although ICANN has made some progress toward its goals, Go Daddy thinks there’s more to be accomplished.

Go Daddy has released to Domain Name Wire an advance excerpt of Jones’ planned testimony tomorrow:

…The Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between ICANN and the Department of Commerce should be extended and modified, or renewed and modified, to stress the need to correct these deficiencies and require a clear road map from ICANN as to how it will regain the confidence of the community upon which its existence relies. This Committee’s commitment to ensuring ICANN appropriately administers that system is vital.

Private, bottom-up coordination, and representation should be a guiding principle in the ICANN policy making process. While we have repeatedly urged ICANN to abide by this principle, they have chosen instead to conduct business behind closed doors and without input from the ICANN community.

Unfortunately, ICANN has yet to commit to or is unable to commit to openness, transparency, and accountability. ICANN is responsible for an important public trust. To preserve this public trust, it is vital that all stakeholders have access to and recognized input in these types of discussions. The entire Internet community should be made to fully understand the reasons for ICANN’s decisions, and to have effective and unbiased recourse if they have reason to question those processes and decisions. In fact, it is bigger than the Internet community; these decisions impact the overall economy in a significant way. President Obama has repeatedly emphasized the significance of the Internet to overall economic and security success in the United States. Indeed, the president has established two new roles in his administration: a chief technology officer and a cyber advisor. Importantly, President Obama said last July, “[a]s president, I’ll make cyber security the top priority that it should be in the 21st century.” ICANN should be held to that same standard…

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  1. Domain Investor says

    Eventhough, Al Gore invented the internet, I might question why he wants to cut Icann loose.

    Maybe, he wants to write another book and do another documentary. This time about the internet. How much did he make off of the last book and documentary?

    If the U.S. gov’t gives up the oversight responsibility over Icann, I’m positive history will point out it was a blunder.
    Just what they need, another black eye in history.

  2. Paul Levins says

    To suggest that ICANN is not taking transparency seriously is frankly nonsense. Name another organization that posts all correspondence inbound and out on-line; holds public Board meetings every four months in front of a 1000 people in a different geographic location each time; provides detailed minutes of its monthly Board meetings on line within days of them occurring; has an independent Ombudsman; has Mp3 recordings of discussions in its supporting organizations back as far as 2003 posted on-line, has had a review of its transparency done by an independent UK organization that found it was probably one of the most transparent organizations globally, ran 100’s of public consultations last year (like all of the 11 years of its establishment), translates into the 5 UN languages and transcribes and broadcasts its meetings for those who can’t attend and is completely open and free to attend for those who can. GoDaddy knows that through its attendance at all these meetings. Or if they don’t they haven’t being attention.

  3. Domain Investor says

    Paul,
    Thank you for posting. You make it seem Icann is transparent. But, I believe some (most??) domainers feel Icann has an agenda to benefit themselves first. And, only make themselves look transparent and ignore the average stakeholder.

    Plus, “I” feel Icann is scared of the IP lawyers so they are giving them beneficial treatment at the expense of domainers.

    http://www.icann.org/en/biog/levins.htm

  4. Abigail says

    “I believe some (most??) domainers feel Icann has an agenda to benefit themselves first.”

    As a non-profit, how does ICANN benefit specifically from any of this?

    I think Paul Levins and the rest of the ICANN team do a fantastic job in the face of non-stop, hysterical criticism at every turn. I have never encountered an organization that is MORE transparent and open to input than ICANN.

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