ICANN Asks For Independence

    January 24, 2008

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is requesting that the U.S. government allow it to become independent.


ICANN made the request in a detailed report sent to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The report will be the topic of a meeting to decide ICANN’s progress on objectives the U.S. government has put in place that would lead to the organizations independence.

ICANN maintains that the objectives have been reached earlier than expected and wants to discuss the issue of becoming independent. Paul Twomey, president if ICANN, told the BBC that the process of meeting the objectives was "essentially complete." The U.S. government asked for comments on ICANN’s progress prior to the meeting. Twomey said the detailed report was part of ICANN’s response to this request listing its achievements.

The meeting is a half-way point for the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) under which ICANN was charged with complying to a number of "responsibilities" that were necessary for its release from official oversight.

"The Board proposes that the JPA is no longer necessary and can be concluded," wrote Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of the ICANN board, in the letter accompanying the report.

In the future Twomey said governments would still have a hand in communicating with the organization about public policy developments but would not be able to dictate its agenda or development.

ICANN is scheduled to meet with officials from the U.S Department of Commerce in March. Anyone wanting to comment on the organization becoming private has until February 14 to let their thoughts be known to the U.S. government.