As long as it isn't some...
Corrupt (I'm being redundant here) UN agency that sucks up to not so "user friendly" governments.
The US government has formally approved a plan to transition control of the internet's administrative tasks to the private sector. In an announcement Thursday, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) gave the green light to a plan developed over two years by the internet community to hand control of …
ICANN (and ISOC and hundreds of other organizations) are structured as corporations under 401(c)(3) of the US tax code because that's the only way to set up a non-profit (apart from a Trust, which is much less transparent).
If ICANN had been set up in another jurisdiction, such as Switzerland or The Netherlands, which were both considered back in 1998, it would have been a non-profit Association. But at least in the Netherlands, the chances are that it would have been subject to VAT anyway. In the UK, it would have had to argue for Registered Charity status.
Since the US Government insisted in 1998 that ICANN be subject to US jurisdiction, there was no choice anyway, As Kieren says - it is what it is. The least bad solution, like democracy.
The Battle Over Obama’s Internet Surrender -Congress must act this summer to keep U.S. oversight and protection intact. By L. Gordon Crovitz
Unfortunately I must agree with critics described by Mcarthy and Mr. Crovitz. The current management at ICANN has continued to prove that although they may be suited to run a money making, self interested, expanding organization they are not qualified to run a non-profit public benefit organization to be entrusted with coordinating the Internet. This has been demonstrated time and again with trade-offs to support the interests of themselves and cronies instead of the Internet users at large. This change was most pronounced with the last CEO Fadi who regularly told people what they wanted to hear but then did otherwise internally. Combined with a strong culture of hiding information from the public and financially silencing opposition before pronouncing conclusions, the accountability and transparency so sought after by Congress is still a ways off. Most problematic is the manager of what will become the operation being transitioned. Her secretive and hostile nature has left only a shell of expertise left behind and, along with ICANN legal maneuvering limiting complete independence of “PTI” operations, the transitioned operations will certainly become victim to governmental control. A near term example is the Chinese Yeti effort which would require ICANN to cryptographically support a split root zone. ICANN will be sure to support this as a way to increase its domain name dollars though new Chinese gtlds and fear of losing legitimacy. A delay in the transition would allow the new CEO at ICANN to evaluate such issues and clean house.
I understand that Verisign (a US corporation with government contracts) will continue to have the last bite at changes to the domain name system like they have always had. So what is really changing here? Strong objections by ICANN execs and financial enticements of travel and relevance have shuttered any hopes that the internet coordination functions will trully be independent of ICANN's own profit seeking whims. This is not so much a problem with ICANN the institution but with the environment left behind by the last CEO Fadi. So whats the hurry? Lets delay the transition and fix the internal managment starting with those in charge with the coordination functions themselves.
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