The United States has announced that it intends to give other governments and businesses increased oversight in the governance of ICANN. While the U.S. government has not cut ties with ICANN entirely, it will establish advisory panels for the organization made up of public- and private-sector representatives from across the globe. "The Internet is on a long-term arch from being 100 percent American to being 100 percent global," says ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom.
"This is a significant step along the arch to becoming more global." Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant U.S. commerce secretary for communications and information, says the agreement is part of ICANN's evolution. "In the early years we were focused on building ICANN as an institution," Strickling says. "We now are about to turn our attention to focusing on ICANN's performance."
Critics of U.S. oversight, including European Union Internet chief Viviane Reding, saw the expiration of ICANN's joint project agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce as an opportunity to change the way Internet governance operates. Under the compromise in the new agreement, which does not have an expiration date as previous agreements did, the review panels are to issue reports on ICANN's performance every three or four years. The makeup of the panels will primarily be the responsibility of ICANN's CEO, who is American. However, its chairman is from New Zealand and the chairman of the Governmental Advisory Committee is currently a Latvian.
From The Associated Press
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