ICANN the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – is the USbased organization which manages the allocation of names and numbers on the internet.
Speaking at a press conference at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), chair of the business delegation to WSIS, Maria Livanos Cattaui said that the business community does not support the transfer of ICANN’s responsibilities to any intergovernmental organization.
The continued success of the internet to date has been in large part to the excellent coordinating role which has been played by ICANN,’ she said. Business sees no reason whatsoever why ICANN should not continue to play this coordinating role.
Mrs Cattaui, who chairs the summit’s Coordinating Committee of Business Interlocutors (CCBI) – and is also Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – used the press conference to dispel what she called myths surrounding the misnomer of internet governance”.
Internet governance doesn’t exist,” she said. There is widespread coordination and cooperation among various groups in relation to the internet and its functioning, but there is certainly no one authority or great deity managing or dictating it.”
Mrs Cattaui said the internet worked because of coordination among many existing bodies.
She characterised the three elements of internet coordination as:
- The technical engineering that allows the different components of the internet to interract;
- The coordination of the names and numbers system, ICANN’s function, a sophisticated a directory, or address book if you like, that allows people to accurately contact each other on the internet.”
- The definition of public policy matters including criminality and the security of infrastructures which should be discussed openly among governments, business and civil society”.
Following the press conference, Mrs Cattaui added that business looked forward to participating fully” in the discussion forum on this subject that UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan called for earlier this week.