The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced the appointment of 13 volunteer members to its membership advisory committee.
The committee will report to the ICANN board of directors--which oversees the Internet's infrastructure, including its addressing system and technical protocols--upon the election of at-large board members.
ICANN has faced a slew of public criticism from some in the Internet community who have voiced concerns that the body will be unresponsive to the public. Today, ICANN interim chair Esther Dyson called the advisory committee's creation an important aspect of democratizing the organization.
"These are to be the voice of the public," Dyson wrote in an email to News.com. "And it is this public that will elect future at-large directors."
ICANN's bylaws call for the creation of the membership committee. This committee, which includes both ICANN directors and others, is charged with deciding how "at-large" directors, or those not nominated by ICANN's supporting organizations, will be elected.
ICANN's larger mission is to assume the authority over the Internet infrastructure that the U.S. government relinquished this year.
Board members include representatives from around the world. ICANN previously had been criticized for being too United States-centric.
Board members are: