ICANN will hold its 46th meeting in the Chinese capital of Beijing from 7 to 12 April 2013, marking the first time it has held one of its three yearly public meetings in China since October 2002.In his farewell news conference at the 44th ICANN meeting currently underway in Prague, ICANN CEO and President Rod Beckstrom spoke enthusiastically of the announcement saying it the country now represented a quarter of the world’s internet population, that it deserved recognition and spoke glowingly of Beijing as “one of the most exciting cities in the world.”Beckstrom said in an earlier welcoming ceremony he had focussed on China, visiting the country more often than any other country over the past three years and that holding the meeting there will help focus on ICANN’s growing involvement in China.During his farewell speech, an upbeat Beckstrom spoke of his achievement and disappointments. One of his achievements was the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains. While the recent glitch in the TLD Application System remains a disappointment.Another highlight was the internationalising of ICANN, noting in the news conference that this was done in part by hiring staff that can speak more than English. Three quarters of new employees under his tenure spoke a language other than English and this had made a cultural difference at the organisation.”We made appreciable and concrete progress in internationalising ICANN,” said Beckstrom. “We made it a priority to hire staff with multi-linguistic skills. Seven members of the ICANN executive team now speak nine different languages.””Leaders from governments around the world no longer are simply talking to us at our meetings. They are talking with us about Internet policy,” said Beckstrom. “We now have 110 nations represented on our Governmental Advisory Committee.”
With the “Big Reveal” happening today, ICANN’s CEO and President has defended the process that has been developed to process applications for generic Top Level Domains telling the Financial Times it is “fair” and “a level playing field” following harsh criticism from several critics.With around 1900 applications for gTLDs to be announced today, there will at least three and most likely four batches of applications to be processed over the next two years.”The consequences of batching are severe,” Peter Thrush, chairman of Top Level Domain Holdings and a former chairman of Icann, told the FT. “People who don’t get in first will suffer commercially, and in some cases fatally, against those who get into the first batch.””Whoever gets out of the gate first is going to get a significant advantage,” he said.But Beckstrom defended the process saying “The batching system, as we’re currently administering it, was approved and was publicly posted before anyone filed an application. If anyone didn’t like the batching solution they could have expressed their views back in December.”Beckstrom also defended the use of “digital archery”, whereby applicants are told to click a button on a website at a certain time, with those closest to the mark being processed in the first batch.”On average, it’s fair,” said Mr Beckstrom. “Even if you used a random number generator, random generators aren’t perfect. [With digital archery] everyone has an equal ability. It’s a level playing field.”Beckstrom also told the FT that the application process is expected to be discussed by the board at the ICANN meeting to be held in Prague from 24 June, and that “if the board wishes to change it, they can, and then we’ll have to review the whole programme.”Other options, including processing all applications together, would slow down the process Beckstrom also noted.To read this article in the Financial Times in full, see:
Maybe he is trying to say ICANN is not good enough for him, but as he is about to “leave” ICANN after three turbulent years as CEO and President, Rod Beckstrom delivered a few grenades regarding its performance at the ICANN meeting currently underway in Costa Rica.Beckstrom was strident in his criticism of conflict of interest rules for directors, noting that “ICANN must place commercial and financial interests in their appropriate context.” He went on to ask “how can it do this if all top leadership is from the very domain name industry it is supposed to coordinate independently?”But Beckstrom’s stinging criticism was met with a withering criticism by former ICANN staffer Maria Farrell who wrote, “In the long tradition of tenants trashing the gaffe as they’re finally evicted, ICANN’s outgoing CEO seems determined to burn down the house he’s been renting for the past three years.””In an effort to salvage his tattered reputation,” Farrell continues, “Beckstrom seems to be following his standard m.o. of shifting attention to the suddenly glaring failings of the organization that’s decided to terminate his employment.”Beckstrom has form here when he left the National Cyber Security Center at the Department of Homeland Security, he complained “of inadequate funding and cites efforts by the National Security Agency to ‘subjugate’ the NCSC to its control,” according to an ars technica report at the time.Noting there is a “germ of truth” to his “searing criticisms,” Farrell says he’s been happy to run [ICANN] for the past three years … [where] conflicts are rife, with several industry-sourced Board Directors needing to recuse themselves from discussions or votes on new generic top-level domains. And ICANN’s standing is nowhere near to recovering from the dramatic act of pantouflage of our last Chairman, who went from Chairing the Board meeting that approved new gTLDs to running a new gTLD company within a few weeks.”Farrell then notes “things are more complicated than they first appear” referring to directors recusing themselves when, in many other organisations, this would not be required.Farrell concludes that “unfortunately, we can expect more of these ‘bombs’ to be dropped during Beckstrom’s final months, as the CEO and Board Director attempts to paint himself as a courageous contrarian speaking truth to power. But the truth is Beckstrom’s speech was not only inaccurate and mean-spirited, but a transparent attempt to wring personal, tactical advantage at the strategic expense of the organization he still purports to lead. It is a shame that at this point in Beckstrom’s tenure, we have come to expect no better.”Maria Farrell’s article on the Crooked Timber blog is available in full at crookedtimber.org/2012/03/13/icanns-departing-ceo-burning-down-the-house/
In this half hour speech, Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s CEO and president, gives the keynote address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
The speech is given during the week in which ICANN began accepting applications for new top level domains.
Beckstrom discusses the multistakeholder model, new top level domains, security and the internet. Regarding the internet, Beckstrom notes there are three things that unify the internet and that have to be coordinated globally for the internet to work – these being domain names, network addresses or IP addresses and protocol and primary registries. He notes these are the three things that make the internet look like one place.
To watch the speech in full, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV5yPwDDAHs.
As a member of the ICANN community, you are invited to attend an informal “meet and greet” with ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom in Washington, D.C. Mr. Beckstrom will be in town as part of ICANN’s ongoing efforts to promote awareness of the launch of the January 12 open application process for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs).
We hope you can join us to connect with colleagues across the Internet community and discuss the next exciting evolution of the internet.
WHAT: Meet and Greet with ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom
WHEN: Tuesday, January 10, 2012
6:00 â 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: The Atrium Room, Old Ebbitt Grill (cash bar)
675 15th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
About This Event
On January 12th, ICANN will open a process that could trigger a dramatic expansion of the Internet and launch a new era of online innovation.
We are familiar with .com, .org, .net, among the roughly two dozen generic top-level domains currently occupying the Internet’s addressing system. Hundreds, possibly thousands of new gTLDs, could be moving in within a year.
The program is not without risks and not for everyone. Understanding the marketing opportunities, the application process, and the program’s built-in trademark protections is important even if a new gTLD is not for you.
Join ICANN for an informational panel discussion that will focus on:
- The post-application launch timeline and process
- Potential marketing opportunities
- Trademark Protections & Dispute Resolution
The panelist also will take questions from the audience.
Panel Discussion Details
Moderator: Naseem Javed, ABC Namebank
- Rod Beckstrom, President and CEO, ICANN
- Roland LaPlante, Senior VP and CMO, Affilias
- Kristina Rosette, Special Counsel, Covington & Burling
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 11
Time: 9 am â 10:30am
Knight Conference Center, Rms 705/706
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20001
Phone Number: 888/NEWSEUM (888/639-7386)
To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination, we wouldn’t have one global Internet.
ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers.
ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet.
This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
Following a meeting of the ICANN executive team and New gTLD Program Director Michael Salazar on 3 January to review the readiness of the launch of its new generic Top Level Domain programme, it was determined that the organisation was ready to proceed as planned to open the application window on 12 January as planned.Writing on the ICANN blog, Rod Beckstrom, CEO and president, said the executive team and Salazar “carefully reviewed every critical aspect” and each executive “indicated approval to proceed” while noting “the ongoing presence of risks that were identified and highlighted to the Board and community in June.”On Thursday 5 January there was an information call with the Board of Directors where Beckstrom informed the Board that ICANN was “prepared to move forward and to open the program as planned.”Beckstrom also noted that “in the package of materials, available at www.icann.org/en/minutes, you can see the items that have been completed, as well as target dates for open items that require final resolution. These include support for needy applicants and a discussion of the timing of the next application round. The issues should be settled before the application window closes on 12 April but their resolution is not essential before the window opens on 12 January.”
A representative of the Young Men’s Christian Association of the United States of America (YMCA) and Esther Dyson will appear before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation a full committee hearing on ICANN’s expansion of top level domains today (Thursday).Others who will be appearing include ICANN’s Kurt Pritz, Fiona Alexander from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Dan Jaffe from the Association of National Advertisers and the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight.While it is predictable that Jaffe will rant against the introduction of new gTLDs, it is to be hoped the committee will ask why the organisation has only belatedly come to the party in opposing new gTLDs.The proposal for new gTLDs has been around since the mid-2000s and the ANA has even submitted comments on the proposal around 2008. Something Robert Liodice, the organisation’s president and CEO, forgot when writing his ill-informed letter to ICANN’s CEO and president in August 2011. Embarrassingly for the ANA and Liodice, Beckstrom refuted many of the issues noted in their letter and outlined how comments including the ANA’s had been taken into account when formulating new gTLD policy.Esther Dyson is an oddity. She was ICANN’s inaugural chair and has become a vocal opponent of new gTLDs, in an article she wrote for the Project Syndicate in August that new gTLDs do not “actually create any new value.””The value is in people’s heads – in the meanings of the words and the brand associations – not in the expanded namespace. In fact, the new approach carves up the namespace: the value formerly associated with Apple could now be divided into Apple.computers, apple.phone, ipod.apple, and so on.”Dyson believes “this sounds confusing [and] that is because it is.”Possibly, on the face of it, strangest appearance will be from Angela Williams, the General Counsel of the YMCA in the US. Kieren McCarthy on his dotNXT blog has dug a little deeper. McCarthy notes that the reason they are appearing is solely because of the intellectual property lobby.”The YMCA turned up for the first time at an ICANN meeting at the most recent meeting in Dakar just over a month ago,” wrote McCarthy. “Incredibly its representative, Michael Carson, immediately became the person in charge of both communication and membership for the newly formed Not-for-Profit Operational Concerns Constituency (NPOC).””Michael’s sudden elevation is thanks to the NPOC’s chair, Debra Hughes. Debra represents the Red Cross but is viewed by some in the ICANN constituency she represents – the non-commercial stakeholders group – as a Trojan Horse for intellectual property interests.”
Rod Beckstrom, CEO and President of ICANN, has called on the world community to speak up in defense of the multi-stakeholder model that has served as the “catalyst for the Internet.””The multi-stakeholder model is the catalyst for the Internet itself. By protecting that catalyst, we protect the Internet,” he said. “ICANN is an example of the multi-stakeholder model at its best: open, inclusive, balanced, effective and international.”ICANN, which works to ensure a secure, stable and unified global Internet, is based on the multi-stakeholder concept, which allows everyone with an interest in the Internet to participate in its work.”We need to make continued progress,” he said. “Otherwise a small number of stakeholders who do not represent the global public interest could step into the breach,” he continued. “This could stifle the voices of those whose contributions have led to the unified and open Internet that the world enjoys today.”Citing ongoing moves toward ICANN’s full internationalization, he also urged the world community to express its views on renewal of the IANA functions contract, which ICANN performs in conjunction with the US Department of Commerce.”The IANA contract is the next critical step in the evolution of the multi-stakeholder model, and the best vehicle for its expansion,” he stated. “Many parties around the world now seek clear progress on the structure of the contract. The credibility of the multi-stakeholder model will be judged by how well this evolution occurs.”In his address to the United Nations Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, Beckstrom highlighted the need to ensure that the IANA functions contract, which expires on 31 March 2012, remains an instrument for international participation in charting the future of the Internet.He also noted the increasingly prominent role of governments in ICANN’s work, and the international nature of its board, staff, operations and volunteer community.Beckstrom is visiting many counties over the next several weeks to raise global awareness of new generic TLDs, the program approved in June that will allow the use of virtually any word in any language “after the dot” in top-level Internet domains.This ICANN news release was sourced from:
In August, the ICANN board met via teleconference to discuss whether to extend the contract of CEO and President Rod Beckstrom, writes Kieran McCarthy on his .NXT blog, with Beckstrom announcing the following week he would not seek to extend his contract.However the meeting has not appeared on the organisation’s board meetings page and McCarthy has been requesting information, without any luck to date, on the details of this meeting.To read McCarthy’s post in full on the .NXT blog, see: