ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom continues to work toward net neutrality, according to recent reports. For ICANN, the battle for net neutrality has largely consisted of ensuring the Internet's inner architecture can not be exploited to favor major corporations. However, ICANN now faces new challenges as countries such as China seek more control over what Internet users are allowed to view within their borders.
When asked what his job was, Beckstrom says, "We want to keep the Internet global." This is a difficult goal following Iran's decision to block Gmail in favor of a state-run service and China programming its firewall to block major sites such as Facebook.
ICANN's power at this point is based largely on its ability to balance the trust of the U.S. government with a need to convince the rest of the world that the organization is not a pawn of any particular nation. As part of this goal, Beckstrom has pushed for the institution of internationalized domain names, which he says will help improve access and preserve local cultures.
Beckstrom also supports the institution of generic top level domains, which have been met with less enthusiasm. Trademark holders argue that registering so many domains would create an excessive financial burden. Beckstrom responds that ICANN has instituted a number of safeguards to make sure trademarks are protected. Beyond that, Beckstrom encourages trademark owners to "go enforce [them] in court."
From Wired News
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