Today is a historic day in the evolution of the Internet. On 30 September 2009, the JPA (Joint Project Agreement) between ICANN, the Internet governing body, and the United States Government expired. Many commentators believed the US Government would not allow the agreement which maintained their ultimate control to simply lapse, but it appears in all the ways that matter that it has.
ICANN is a multi-stakeholder organisation in which anyone can have a say. 2020Media regularly attend ICANN meetings, and compared to say, Nominet, the bottom-up approach is refreshing and stimulating.
The announcement by ICANN today includes an Affirmation of Commitment which we believe is ICANN’s way of promising to ‘be good’ in the future. In it ICANN promises to do periodic reviews of their accountability and transparency – but crucially these will report to the GAC, an ICANN constituency body representing all governments, not just the US government.
Vint Cerf commented: “[The agreement] fulfils a long-standing objective of the original formation of Icann: to create an organisation that can serve the world’s interest in a robust, reliable and interoperable internet.”