Simply put ICANN is the policy making body for gTLD domains and IP numbers. They hold week long conferences three times a year to engage with all internet stakeholders, from representatives of government to non-commercial internet organisations to private individuals.
2020Media’s Management team attended the recent ICANN meeting in Barcelona, Spain. We present a short review of our experiences.
The most talked about issue that ICANN is dealing with at the moment is the WHOIS system. This used to be a public database where all the contact details for domain name owners was published. As you may expect it was used by spammers and malware pushers as a rich source of data. Thanks to the EU bringing in GDPR, all this personal data is now hidden from public view, and only available to law enforcement and other similar officials. A replacement system is also being discussed but has been bogged down for years.
On 1 October 2016, the IANA functions contract that the United States Government had with ICANN was allowed to expire. This represents the final step in the community-led IANA stewardship transition process that began in 2014.
From today, 1 October 2016, the IANA functions contract officially expired. As a result, the coordination and management of the Internet’s unique identifiers is now privatized and in the hands of the volunteer-based multistakeholder community.
The five Regional Internet Registries have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) in place with IANA that defines our expectations moving forward. A community-selected IANA Numbering Services Review Committee will assist the NRO Executive Council when it conducts periodic reviews of IANA’s services.
Users of the internet will not see any operational difference.
ICANN meetings are not only for registrars by any means, registrars play but a very small part in the processes and discussions. Having been to a couple of meetings in the past, I’ve always found them very interesting from an internet governance point of view, and a great counterpoint to the top-down we-know-best processes elsewhere.
Registration and attendance at the meeting is free. However, you are required to pay for your accommodation and meals. Coffee breaks are provided during the meeting and there are often events in the evenings that you can join.
The meeting brought together reports from the international Sharm El Sheikh meeting, and discussed the future of the IGF. Chaired by a cross-party group of MPs, the meeting attracted representatives, from amongst others, Nominet, Childnet, LINX, Internet Safety groups and regional goverment.
Although 2020Media is a small part of the internet in the UK, we believe participation in events like the UK Internet Governance Forum is important. At the moment, we are lucky enough that we as ordinary users and businesses can have a say in the governance and direction of internet strategy so it’s essential that we exercise that right.
One of the sections focussed on GreenIT, which we promote through EcoServ, a division offering highly efficient dedicated servers and virtualisation technology.