Officials of the Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN)
apparently affronted Asian Internet community officials during March’s Asia
Pacific Regional Conference on Operational Technologies (APRICOT) in Singapore by not adhering to
APRICOT organizers invited ICANN to hold a general meeting in conjunction
with the Asian conference and various other meetings of regional Internet
In Singapore, ICANN adopted a policy to accredit Internet domain name
registrars and laid the foundation for the ICANN Domain Name Supporting
“For the parties with vested interest, the end result was that very good
work was accomplished,” said Pindar Wong, chairman of the Asia & Pacific
Internet Association and APRICOT’s organizer.
“My understanding was that ICANN wanted to hear our views and interests,”
continued Wong. “From APRICOT, we wanted to understand what ICANN was”
“Knowing that the participation of Asians in ICANN is nonexistent, we felt
awareness and education were important,” said Wong. “That is why we–APRICOT–invited ICANN to Singapore in the first place.”
Wong and other Asian community members said that ICANN officials violated
protocol and did not meet with the Asian Internet community.
“What was evident was that they were oblivious to the AP community,” said
Wong. They flew in and then flew out.
According to another source, ICANN officials only briefly appeared at an
APRICOT lunch honoring them, arranged a press conference without notifying
their hosts, and met with the Singapore government without informing Asian
“Ultimately, we made some unintentional protocol mistakes for which we
apologized,” said Esther Dyson, interim chairman of ICANN and Net guru. “We have
learned from them, and
we believe we have been forgiven.”
“For what it’s worth, I gave one of the keynotes at APRICOT, and turned it
into an interactive session with the mostly Asian audience, and I learned a
lot from it,” said Dyson. “Overall, ICANN serves the Internet community, of
which the pan-Asian Net community is a part.
One Asian Internet community leader said that he found the Americans to be
arrogant but that it was more important to build a closer relationship and
not to dwell on it.
However, Wong emphasized that ICANN can’t “say that they are globally
represented by saying they had meetings in several geographical locations”
but without really communicating to the international community.
Asian industry leaders hope that the next ICANN meeting, in May in Berlin,
will heal the “damage” that was done in Singapore.