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ICANN Chief Warns Internet Governance Could "Slip From Our Grasp"

Published September 15, 2010

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Internet Governance Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania; ICANN's CEO warned against a shift away from the current multi-stakeholder governance model upon which the Internet of today has flourished.

In his comments, ICANN's President and Chief Executive Officer Rod Beckstrom said if governance of the Internet were to fall into the hands of any particular nation states or other interests, society would lose the foundation of the Internet's long-term potential. Mr Beckstrom says any decisions on the future of the Internet and the Domain Name System should be inclusive of the views of the entire world community and  not just governmental organizations.

The comments were made in response to a call to bring Internet governance under the control of intergovernmental organizations exclusively. Mr. Beckstrom went on to say with a sense of urgency that if this call was not addressed effectively, the multi-stakeholder model "will slip from our grasp".

He concluded by saying that all can call on the UN to retain the successful Internet Governance Forum, but more importantly, the multi=stakeholder model must be strengthened by continuing to welcome diverse and sometimes contradictory voices.

ICANN, the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers, was formed in 1998 and is dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable and plays a pivotal role in co-ordinating the Internet's Domain Name System.

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