RealTime IT News

ICANN Critics Debate Domain Policy With Government

Members of the Boston Working Group Thursday talked with outgoing Clinton administration Internet advisor Ira Magaziner and other senior officials to give input on how upcoming changes in the domain system can be improved.

The move comes as members of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers are meeting Friday with those officials to discuss the transition.

The Boston Working Group has been one of the leading critics of ICANN, which is poised to take control of the Domain Name System from the U.S. government.

BWG officials said government representatives told them ICANN's latest bylaw revisions do not go far enough to ensure adequate accountability and transparency.

ICANN on Nov. 6 passed new bylaws to address those criticisms. ICANN pledged to have global representation, to respect each nation's sovereign control over its individual top level domain and to be more accountable to those it serves.

Boston Working Group officials said those changes did not go far enough. It has called for bylaw changes that would allow an open nominations policy. The group also wants board members from supporting organizations to serve only in an advisory role.

Representatives of the BWG who attended the meeting say Magaziner and others believe ICANN's latest bylaws proposal does not go far enough to achieve accountability and transparency. The officials want ICANN's meetings open to the public or broadcast over the Internet.

The Department of Commerce is currently drafting a collaborative agreement to set forth transition procedures. DOC officials have the authority to demand modifications to ICANN's structure and even to stop working with ICANN if its requests are not met.

Magaziner said he would also seek input on these issues from the Open Root Server Confederation.