Congress throws wrench in ICANN’s independence and new top level domain name plans.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Henry Waxman, as well as the
Chairman of its Internet Subcommittee and eight other Committee members have called for a permanent tie between ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In a letter to Gary Locke, Secretary of the Department of Commerce, the members wrote:
Rather than replacing the JPA with additional JPAs or Memoranda of Understanding that expire every few years, we believe the time has come for a permanent instrument to which ICANN and the Department of Commerce are co-signatories. This statement of commitments and principles would ensure that ICANN remains perpetually accountable to the public and to all of its global stakeholders.
The letter goes on to state that this agreement should include provisions for new gTLDs that “ensures appropriate consultation with stakeholders”. It’s clear that the way ICANN has seemed to steamroll dissenters on new gTLDs has been heard loud and clear on Capitol Hill.
For more analysis, see the Internet Commerce Association’s web site.