ICANN Opens Washington DC Office Amid Accountability Concerns

The opening of ICANN’s Washington office is the focus of this article from NextGov. The office has been opened as “a very deliberate attempt to engage in a practice of listening, dialogue and access,” said ICANN Vice President Paul Levins. “We have had a fly-in, fly-out relationship with this town and that’s … no way to maintain a relationship.”The role of the office, and his role, will be to explain “what an incredibly complex organism this is.” The opening comes at a time when there are “drastic changes to the way top-level domains, such as .biz, .info, and .us, are assigned” the article says.Levins denied the new office has anything to do with lobbying and rejected suggestions previously made that ICANN might move to Brussels. “This is a step toward greater accountability,” he said.There is criticism of the new office with Association for Competitive Technology’s Jonathan Zuck, a warning the Washington office’s opening could be “an attempt to substitute communication for accountability.”To read this NextGov article in full, see www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20081008_9054.php.

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