USCIB Welcomes New Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN

ICANN coordinates the Internet’s worldwide domain name and addressing system.
ICANN coordinates the Internet’s worldwide domain name and addressing system.

New York, N.Y., October 1, 2009 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which represents America’s top global companies across every sector of the economy, welcomed the announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to institutionalize and affirm ICANN’s responsibilities as a multi-stakeholder, private sector-led organization to coordinate the Internet’s global domain name and addressing system.

The agreement, called the “Affirmation of Commitments,” marks a new period in the technical management of the domain name system (DNS) following the expiration of a Joint Project Agreement between the two parties on September 30.

“The U.S. business community has supported the ICANN model since its inception 11years ago, and we still do,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “The Affirmation of Commitments allows ICANN to continue to evolve, and cements the private sector-led model as a key enabler in appropriately guiding the organization in its limited, technical, but critical role in managing the Internet’s DNS.  We believe this will benefit global Internet users everywhere, including the businesses we represent, for whom the Internet is such a crucial infrastructure and commercial platform.”

“USCIB commends ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce on the commitments laid forth,” stated Art Reilly, chair of USCIB’s Information, Communications and Technology Policy Committee.  “It is important to preserve the security and stability of the system, and ensure that decisions are made in the global public interest, transparently and with sufficient accountability.   So is facilitating worldwide participation through International Domain Names.  The commitment by ICANN to inclusive decision-making, providing published rationale for decisions taken, and evaluation of the consequences of decisions, provides a solid framework for industry and the global community to positively engage in the development of the Internet.  Putting these commitments into practice will be the next big challenge for ICANN.”

As part of the agreement, ICANN pledges to establish review teams to regularly evaluate the progress it makes on its commitments.  These teams will be constituted jointly by ICANN leadership and the chair of ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee, and will include representatives from ICANN, governments, various stakeholder groups and independent experts.  Team recommendations will be subject to public comment, and ICANN will have six months to act on them.

“Business has long worked with and within ICANN in its technical function to sculpt an inclusive, vibrant, and open Internet,” said Mr. Robinson.  “We view industry representation on these review teams, and within ICANN generally, as vital in bringing business expertise into deliberations that will impact the continued evolution and success of the DNS and the Internet.  The internalization of review processes within ICANN is a positive step that should promote accountability to stakeholders like business and others, and dampen concerns about ICANN’s link to any one entity.”

USCIB looks forward to continued engagement with ICANN and the global community to ensure ongoing progress and success towards accountable, transparent and stable coordination of the Internet’s DNS.

About USCIB

The United States Council for International Business promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.  More information is available at www.uscib.org.

 

More on USCIB’s Information, Communications and Technology Policy Committee

ICANN website

Staff Contact:   Jonathan Huneke

VP, Communications and Public Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5043

Jonathan Huneke is responsible for USCIB’s strategic communications, including media relations, publications, online content and high-level public events. He also manages the work of USCIB’s Marketing and Advertising Committee.
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