Earlier this month, the nonprofit group, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, faced an onslaught of criticism from people in the Internet community worried that the new group would be closed and unresponsive to the public.
The changes, announced yesterday, are aimed at quelling those fears. But ICANN has a long way to go to completely pacify the many watchdogs who oversee and participate in the domain naming system.
If nothing else is sure on the domain name front, this much is: domain name activists are sure to study the proposed changes and comment thoroughly.
ICANN today also announced that it is prodding the Commerce Department, which has overseen the domain naming system, to proceed with its plans to turn over the domain system to ICANN.
"We believe we are now fully prepared to fulfill the mission identified in the White Paper -- to allow the management of Internet names, addresses, and protocols to be administered by a new, international, not-for-profit corporation that will be transparent and fully accountable to the communities it serves," Esther Dyson, ICANN's interim chairman, said in a letter to Becky Burr, Acting Associate Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Commerce Department.
Changes announced include the following:
The Board also will vote by roll call "on important issues," and "board meetings will be followed promptly by publication of complete minutes, including reports of votes taken, the positions of individual members on those votes, and their reasons for those positions."
However the proposed changes apparently do not include opening up board meetings themselves, to the public, as many have requested.
ICANN also is planning a second public meeting, to take place in Brussels tomorrow.