Josh Bourne ⬥ 4 March
This article recently caught my eye: ICANN Head Visiting China After ‘dot-China’ Request. It is a report of ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom’s visit to China, which comes on the heels of the country’s application to ICANN for the use of domain names that end in “dot-China,” with “China” appearing in Chinese script. IDG News Service reports that this application highlights questions about China’s Web censorship.
Why does Beckstrom get to represent U.S. and other nations’ interests on a matter that has such economic and national security implications? Unfortunately, Congress gave ICANN the legal mandate to act in this matter, even if Congress didn’t realize the extent of that grant at the time. And it seems like a dangerous amount of power for the head of an organization that has vested business interest in selling as many domain names as possible. Public interests are not being represented- just the interests of those with a financial stake in selling domains are being represented.