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Ethics Fight Over Domain Name Intensifies

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 ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom

ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom


The U.S. Commerce Department's announcement that it will temporarily extend ICANN's current Internet Assigned Numbers Authority contract for six months instead of renewing it prompted soon-to-depart Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) CEO Rod Beckstrom to ask the board to improve its ethics and transparency to retain control of Internet oversight.

"I believe it is time to further tighten up the rules that have allowed perceived conflicts to exist within our board," Beckstrom says. "This is necessary, not just to be responsive to the growing chorus of criticism about ICANN's ethics environment, but to ensure that absolute dedication to the public good supersedes all other priorities."

Beckstrom, like many within the organization, is concerned that if ICANN cannot maintain legitimacy, control of the Internet could be handed over to a United Nations (UN) organization, which could politicize governance and lead to fragmentation and censorship. The matter is expected to be discussed at the next meeting of the UN's International Telecommunication Union to be held in November in Dubai.

ICANN board chairman Stephen D. Crocker says the board is currently reviewing its conflict-of-interest policies, and notes that its directors are already required to file annual statements on potential conflicts.

From New York Times 
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