Global business welcomes new ICANN and NTIA commitments

  • 1 October 2009

The International Chamber of Commerce has praised a new “Affirmation of Commitments” announced yesterday by the United States National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The “Affirmation of Commitments” recognizes the interests of Internet users, including businesses, that are not directly engaged in ICANN or the domain name system. It also identifies areas such as accountability and transparency, stability, security and resilience of the domain name system, promoting competition, consumer trust and consumer choice, which are critical to businesses in all parts of the world.

The affirmation begins a new phase in the technical management and coordination of the domain name system following the expiration of a Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between the two organizations on 30 September 2009.

“Businesses all around the world and across all sectors count on the stable and consistent functioning of the domain name and addressing system,” said Herbert Heitmann, Chair of the ICC Commission on E-business IT and Telecoms and Chief Communications Officer, SAP.

“This is an important moment for ICANN, the global business community, governments and all other stakeholders. We welcome the spirit of the affirmation of commitments regarding the future evolution and responsibilities of the organization.”

“It paves the way for ICANN’s continued development,” he added. “ICC has always supported the private-sector led multistakeholder model of ICANN and continues to do so.”

The new commitments call for systematic reviews of ICANN’s performance by multiple stakeholders in several areas including accountability and transparency at least every three years. Previous agreements between ICANN and the US government provided for oversight and review by the US Department of Commerce.

“ICANN’s continued engagement with business will be even more important at this time of economic distress, when costs are key and a stable and secure environment is vital,” said Gordon Moir, Chair of ICC’s Task Force on Internet and Telecoms Infrastructure and Services (IT IS) and General Counsel, British Telecom. “The new reviews are a useful tool to create community and organization led accountability,” he added. “ICANN and the community will need to work hard and efficiently to put in place a clear and inclusive process to implement the necessary accountability mechanisms with a holistic approach.”

David Appasamy, Vice Chair of the ICC IT IS Task force and Chief Communications Officer, Sify Technologies said: “Broader business inclusion in the review panels will bring important experience and expertise. We look forward to working with ICANN and the community to build the transparency and accountability of this critical organization.”

The ICC EBITT Commission will meet next week in Paris on 6-7 October for its bi-annual meeting. Members will discuss further input into the ICANN discussions and processes on these issues in the coming weeks and months.