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ICANN Announces Membership Committee Appointees

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Thursday named a number of new members to its membership advisory committee.

ICANN is the non-profit group begun by the late Jon Postel and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. It is scheduled to take over the domain naming system from Network Solutions, which currently operates it under an exclusive contract from the U.S. government.

Thursday's released membership list includes: Izumi Aizu of Malaysia/Japan; Diane Cabell and George Conrades of the United States; Greg Crew, Australia; Paval Duggal, India; Kanchana Kanchanasut, Thailand; Daniel Kaplan, France; Siegfried Langenbach, Germany; Nii Quaynor, Ghana; Oscar Robles Garay, Mexico; Dan Steinberg, Canada; Tadeo Takahashi, Brazil and non-voting member Jonathan Zittrain, U.S.

ICANN said more than 80 people applied for the membership positions. ICANN Interim Chairman Esther Dyson said the group reflected the Internet's geographic diversity and also incorporates various interests and perspectives.

"The board appreciates the willingness of so many people to participate in this important activity and encourages all to continue to participate as a key source of feedback and expertise for the committee."

The committee is scheduled to begin work immediately to advise the ICANN board concerning the development of an at-large membership structure. The committee is slated to report its findings at the next ICANN meeting which will be held in Singapore, March 2-4, 1999.

The committee is expected to define work plans and methods and determine how to implement public feedback in its development, including that of ICANN volunteers. Also working on membership issues in conjunction with the committee is the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.

ICANN has not been without controversy. Internet advocate groups such as the Boston Working Group and the Open Root Server Confederation have criticized ICANN's efforts in the past, specifically targeting the makeup of ICANN's board. Charges leveled claimed board members were not geographically representative of the international community.

Following input in November from both the public and the government, including the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, ICANN drafted a series of revised bylaws to soothe critics.