I will be traveling to Beijing to represent the i2Coalition at the next ICANN meeting on April 7 to 12. This will be my second trip to an ICANN conference in the past five months and with it, advances several key goals: support for technology that represents the core of our industry, integration into the global internet advocacy community and support for the multistakeholder process. Each of these goals have been identified by our board as important.
ICANN is at a crucial time in its history. There is significant controversy about the way it is run, governed, the role it plays in the Internet infrastructure, and the method is uses to administer top level domains. The i2Coalition is made up of a broad range of Internet infrastructure companies. Included within these are a number of registrars and registries. In addition, domain names play a significant role the businesses of hosts, both in terms of new business opportunities, and the operations of their customers.
Decisions made at ICANN in the next several years have the potential to fundamentally alter the structure of the Internet. For example, there is increasing demand from law enforcement for access to information maintained by registrars and registries, as well as some type of verification of this information. Infrastructure companies have deep experience with the burdensome nature of these obligations. Accordingly, we seek to have input into ICANN’s decision making process.
We have learned from our experience advocating in Congress that it is difficult to support our members without help from other aligned organizations. While we are already working with organizations such as the European Internet Service Provider Association (EUROISPA) who have deep involvement at ICANN, we believe that there is significant opportunity for coalition building. This coalition building will not only help us achieve our goals within ICANN, it will help us achieve them in other areas, including in the U.S. where these organizations are also active.
Support of the multistakeholder process is crucial to ensuring that the Internet remains the vibrant engine for economic progress and freedom. As we saw with the attempt by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to begin to exert supranational governmental regulation over the Internet, the institutions that currently support the Internet are vulnerable to attack. While ICANN is not the only multistakeholder organization supporting the Internet, it is the most important to the Internet infrastructure industry. Showing that our organization, and members, are committed to ensuring the success and continued viability or ICANN demonstrates a commitment to the multistakeholder process in general.
While we have not decided which constituency within ICANN is the best place for our voice, we will use this opportunity to continue to advocate the interests of our community. If you have any thoughts or goals for me to advance at this meeting of ICANN, send me an email at [email protected].