Friday - April 24 - 2009
NTIA Launches Web Address Inquiry As Hill Interest Rises.
Friday, April 24, 2009
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration took an initial step today in what could become a contentious review of how much progress has been made in transitioning the Internet addressing system to private sector-led technical coordination and management. The government's formal relationship with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is set to expire in September, and the agency wants public advice on whether sufficient safeguards are in place to ensure accountability for the global membership organization and the continued security and stability of the global communications platform. NTIA Acting Administrator Anna Gomez's Federal Register notice sets a June 8 deadline for comments. A similar 2006 consultation resulted in over 700 contributions and evidenced broad support for ongoing involvement by the government.
The issue has sparked interest on Capitol Hill, especially after ICANN announced its intention last summer to make sweeping changes to the way top-level domains, such as .biz, .info, and .us, are assigned. Big brand owners like Marriott, Nike and Verizon are worried the expansion will force them to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to protect their identities from online fraud and intellectual property infringement. House Energy and Commerce Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va., is following the issue closely and may hold an ICANN hearing this summer, sources said. Legislation introduced recently by Senate Commerce Chairman John (Jay) Rockefeller and Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, would require a presidentially appointed panel to ensure that national security would not be compromised before renewing or modifying a separate contract pertaining to an ICANN body that oversees global IP address allocation. Another section would require NTIA to develop a secure Internet addressing system. A bill summary claims ICANN has "failed in this regard."
ICANN President Paul Twomey said his group will work with Rockefeller, Snowe, Boucher and other lawmakers who have concerns about the evolution of the Internet and the U.S. relationship with ICANN. He also said the lobbying blitz by IP stakeholders concerning the domain name expansion is premature. "We're not rushing this at all. If people have a problem with something, we invite their input," he said today. ICANN officials initially announced new domains could come online by the last quarter of this year, but they have since backed off from that timeline. Twomey said it is now more likely the rollout could begin in early 2010. Former ICANN board member Michael Palage, now at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, said before it tries to write legislation Congress should request a GAO study of ICANN and its underpinnings. It has been nine years since GAO released such a report.
Formed in 2000, MINC is the Multilingual Internet Names Consortium, aims to promote a multilingual Internet through the facilitation of research development, education and deployments of Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) and other naming systems of Internet navigation. MINC’s work dates back to mid 90’s to promote the Multilingualization of the Internet, the internationalization of Internet names including but not limited to multilingual Internet domain names and keywords. Over the years, MINC has established a wide range of links with international organizations, stakeholder organizations and other processes including The United Nations, the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), ICANN, ITU, WIPO, IETF, as well as language groups such as JDNA (Japanese), CDNA (Chinese), INFITT (Tamil), Euro-LINC (European Languages), CYINC (Cyrillic), GLWG (Georgian), RLWG (Russian ) as well as The Arabic language and scripts WG (Arabic) and ULWG (Urdu). Our language groups develop their own language and variant tables, and coordinate with each other on these tables. They also discuss other IDN related issues like the development of Dispute Resolution Policies and the use of IDN in software applications. For more information about MINC, please refer to the website at http://www.minc.org or contact MINC secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org .
About MINC ICMC
Formed in 2006, MINC's International Coordination Mechanism Council (ICMC) aims to coordinate with all local authorities and jurisdictions and known operators of IDN TLDs in various local jurisdictions, for a an equitable multilingual Internet and information society based on mutual respect, local empowerment and the right of all people for self-E-determination as a function of their human rights.
ICMC Technical Coordination
This MINC ICMC ad hoc committee coordinates the technical parameters involved in supporting a truly multilingual domain name system. All deployments of IDN should be Internet RFC- compliant and registered and tracked with MINC's IDN database.