The first IGF-USA will take place this Friday, Oct 2 from 8:45-5:30 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, located at 1800 K Street, NW, in Washington, DC. The forum will engage civil society, government,
industry, technology/research and academia in workshops
and plenary sessions covering
a variety of Internet issues including: The Future of the Internet, GenNext's Online
Future; Cyber Security; Freedom of Information in a Web 2.0 World;
Critical Internet Resources; Privacy and Security Implications for Web
2.0; and Access Perspectives, Challenges and Opportunities.
Speakers in the morning plenary session will include Markus Kummer of
the UN Secretariat for the global IGF, Larry Strickling of NTIA and Lee
Rainie of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, with
participants such as Marc Rotenberg, Electronic Privacy Information
Center; Phil Bond, TechAmerica; Lee McKnight, Internet Governance
Project and others. The closing plenary will
include Ambassador Phil Verveer and Richard Beaird, U.S. State
Department, as well as other participants from business and civil society including IGP's Milton Mueller. This plenary will address the upcoming deliberations regarding
the future of the global Internet Governance Forum – a process now in
its fourth year that was originally chartered for an initial five-year
period and whose future is being debated.
Registration for the event is free and can be done on the IGF-USA website. Remote participation is also available.
2 thoughts on “Internet Governance Forum-USA to raise awareness of debate over governance of global Internet”
That “Affirmation” is hardly a grant of independence to ICANN.
Rather, there are many other agreements in place that have a significant, in fact, overriding significance.
For example, NTIA is still apparently the ultimate authority over new TLDs in that NTIA is the one, not ICANN, that tells Verisign what TLDs to edit into the root zone file that is disseminated to a virtually independent body of root server operators who are under no obligation to use that root zone file at all.
And what about the IANA “contract”?
Nor does this “Affirmation” answer the question whether ICANN is a US government instrumentality. That has an effect on the question of ICANN's immunity, or non-immunity, to anti-trust laws in the US and elsewhere.
As for NTIA – it cited very vague sources of authority. Since those source of authority do not mention anything about the internet, much less DNS, those sources, if one accepts them, say that NTIA now has the power to obligate US corporations to subject their business decisions to a body of foreign government officials.
That “Affirmation” (one wonders how long they spend with a thesaurus looking for euphemistic alternatives to the word “agreement” or “contract”) simply imposes the intellectual-property protection industry position that requires personally identifiable information about people engaging in private business relationships to be published to any and all 24x7x365. Did Mr. Orwell write this “Affirmation”?
One must also wonder whether this pulls the rug out from under the agreements and legal settlements between ICANN and Verisign (and PIR and other legacy TLD operators). If one accepts the premise of this “Affirmation” that the power to control the legacy TLDs derives from the US Gov't then it becomes very unclear that ICANN still has any color of title or authority to delegate to Verisign or PIR or whoever to operate those TLDs much less to give those operators the ability to charge monopoly rent registry fees (a number now amounting to the better part of a billion $USD every year) to those who acquire names in those TLDs.
I would characterize this “Affirmation” as a collection of nearly empty euphemisms wrapped up in public relations hyperbole.
Which brings me to the list of “reactions” – It is extremely obvious that ICANN and NTIA gave advance preview access to a select number of cheer leading insiders in order to accumulate a nice opening day press release. It seems rather clear that ICANN and NTIA did not want anyone raining on their parade. But it does make it clear that ICANN and NTIA have colluded to create a manufactured palate of public opinion.
All in all, ICANN remains a body that has its legal existence as a “public benefit” corporation that excludes the public from its decision making process in any role greater than that of an observer. ICANN is opening up to allow perhaps one, yes only one, publicly elected director.
ICANN remains about as accountable to the public good as was Enron. And ICANN remains a captured regulatory body that operates largely under the control of the intellectual property protection industry and the incumbent TLD registries to whom ICANN grants a yearly gift of nearly $1,000,000,000 from the pockets of internet users.
This “Affirmation” allows ICANN to remain the internet's mediaeval trade guild that chooses what DNS products shall or shall not be sold, the terms of sale, the price structure, the trademark-friendly dispute law and its system of courts, and, most importantly, chooses who may or may not become a vendor in the domain name marketplace. ICANN is “restraint of trade”. Whether it is unlawful under the laws of the US or elsewhere is a matter not yet squarely faced. This “Affirmation” merely continues the muddy waters.
Do Non-Profits “Compete” ? Seems more like a For-Profit CEO
Icann chief Rod Beckstrom, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur and
Washington insider who took over running the organisation in July,
said there had been legitimate concerns that some countries were
developing alternative internets as a way of routing around American
“It's rumoured that there are multiple experiments going on with
countries forking the internet, various countries have discussed
this,” he said. “This is a very significant shift because it takes the
wind out of our opponents.”
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