Hans Klein hans.klein at pubpolicy.gatech.edu
Tue Apr 5 22:10:21 PDT 2005

                     The Internet Governance Project
                     announces a new policy analysis:

                     "WHAT DO TO ABOUT ICANN:



The authors analyze how ICANN exercises governmental powers
without possessing corresponding mechanisms for accountability.
They propose three accountability mechanisms:
1. Creation of an international oversight body to replace US
     oversight of ICANN
2. Restoration of ICANN's global elections
3. Decentralization of the Internet root zone and coordinated
     management between ICANN and the ITU.

The paper is available at the Internet Governance Project site:
The executive summary is below.

This analysis will be discussed in an on-line forum to be held
on April 22, 2005. Additional details to be announced.

The Internet Governance Project is an interdisciplinary consortium of
academics comprised of:
Dr. Milton Mueller, Professor, Syracuse University School of
       Information Studies
Dr. Hans Klein, Associate Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology,
       School of Public Policy
Dr. John R. Mathiason, Adjunct Professor, Syracuse University
       Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Dr. Lee McKnight, Associate Professor, Syracuse University School
       of Information Studies
Dr. Marc Holitscher, Lecturer, Institut für Politikwissenschaft der
       Universität Zürich
Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn, Assistant Pofessor, Syracuse University,
       School of Information Studies


                             Executive Summary

                     "WHAT DO TO ABOUT ICANN:

                    by Hans Klein and Milton Mueller

With the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in
Tunisia quickly approaching, and with the work of the UN Working
Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) well underway, it is time to
identify concrete policy options for Internet governance. Any
initiatives in this area must address the criticisms that have been
made of ICANN.  Although the international community has defined
“Internet governance” in a way that goes beyond ICANN’s control
of domain names and addresses, ICANN nonetheless remains
central to many issues. Here we propose a series of structural
reforms for it.

The proposals here are designed to address the most important
criticisms that have been made of ICANN. These criticisms include:
*  Concerns about unilateralism by the US Government in its control
    of the DNS root and its supervision of ICANN.
*  Dissatisfaction with ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC),
     where governments have only advisory powers.
*  The perception that ICANN’s governance model does not properly
     balance the interests of developed and developing countries and
     suppliers and users.
*  Concerns about the relations between ICANN, country code top
     level domain administrators (ccTLDs), and national governments.
*  The overall perception that ICANN lacks legitimacy.

To address these issues, this paper proposes the following reforms
for ICANN:
1)  Limits on power and internationalized oversight. A legally-binding
      international agreement narrowly defining ICANN’s powers and
      replacing US Government supervision with internationalized
      supervision .  This would allow abolition of ICANN’s Government
      Advisory Committee.
2)  Democratization. Reinstatement and strengthening of the At Large
      membership of ICANN, especially a return to election of the At Large
      Board members and the granting of voting rights on ICANN’s GNSO
      to At Large representatives.
3)  Competition. Coordinated sharing of responsibilities between ICANN
      and the ITU in a way that would allow ccTLD managers and IP address
      users a choice of alternative governance arrangements.

See full analysis at:  http://www.internetgovernance.org


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