The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names And Numbers

2106 words - 8 pages

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers [ICANN] is a nonprofit corporation formed in 1998 to take over the operations of the Internet from the United States government. The main duty of ICANN is to manage and control the domain name system [DNS] which is the main basis for the Internet. ICANN is also responsible for the technical operations of the Internet, the creation of innovative ideas for the Internet and also provides stability for the operations of the Internet. The governance and control of the Internet by ICANN has been a controversial issue mainly because of the United States' influence on ICANN and the way it influences the decisions made by ICANN. An example of this is the decision made by ICANN on the .xxx domain name. This decision is believed to be highly influenced by the United States government. The question now is, “Should ICANN continue to govern and control the Internet?”. In this essay, I am going to go through what the popular press articles which include newspaper articles and magazine articles say about this question. Also, I am going to talk about the point of view of scholarly articles which include university press journals and books about this question.
Byron Holland, the President and CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority who wrote a popular press article in the Globe and Mail newspaper, believes the Internet should be left the way it is at the moment. ICANN is doing a good job compared to what any other country or organization would be able to do if they were to take over the affairs of the Internet (Holland, par. 8). He believes that the Internet is better off free and accessible to allow innovations and creativity to take place (Holland, par. 11). This is how it has being run since ICANN began to coordinate and govern the affairs of the Internet and it has made the Internet successful (Holland, par. 2). Similar to his opinion is that of Viviane Reding, the European Union Society Commissioner who said in another popular press article in the Globe and Mail that, “We are very satisfied with the work of ICANN. What Europe was objecting to was the government oversight of ICANN,” (Reding, par. 3). “I think ICANN is doing a perfectly good job as it is. Just leave it alone.” (Reding, par. 3).
Contrary to these two opinions, Milton Mueller a professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies, wrote in his scholarly paper, “ICANN Inc.: Accountability and Participation in the Governance of Critical Internet Resources”, that ICANN does have some problems. Some of these includes the fact that it lacks certain characteristics that most private corporations should have. For example, the modes of accountability are absent in ICANN (Mueller 8). In Mueller's opinion, society can take responsibility for this problem and repair it, or they can move the controlling authority of the Internet to another corporation, or they can encourage the growth of other...

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