New Developments Between ICANN and the U.S. Government

Phil Lodico ⬥ 28 September

Several outlets, such as the Economist and the Sydney Morning Herald are running articles on the upcoming expiration of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between ICANN and the U.S. Department of Commerce.  While we have discussed this issue many times before, the articles mention a new development: an agreement between the U.S. and ICANN called an “affirmation of commitments.”  Despite being a mere four pages in length, the document gives ICANN complete autonomy in managing its own activities, setting up oversight panels that include representatives of foreign governments to conduct regular reviews of ICANN’s work in four areas.  Those areas are competition among generic domain names; handling data on registrants; security of the network and transparency; and accountability and the public interest.  The agreement passes some of the authority the U.S. government has held over ICANN over to the broader Internet community, namely businesses, individual users and other governments.

The JPA is set to expire on September 30, and it is still unclear whether or not it will be renewed.  It will be interesting to see what plays out in the upcoming days, and what the “affirmation of commitments” document says. 

Tags: affirmation of commitments, businesses, domain names, foreign governments, ICANN, individual users, internet community, Joint Project Agreement, JPA, oversight panels, public interest, Sydney Morning Herald, The Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. government

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