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Domain board plans public meeting

The private nonprofit board that is planning to run the domain name system schedules its first public meeting.

The private nonprofit board that is planning to run the domain name system has scheduled its first public meeting.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) (also known as the new Internet Assigned Numbers Authority or IANA), which is poised to take over administration of the domain name system from the U.S. government, is inviting members of the public to a meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on November 14.

Earlier this week the board announced that it had appointed officers after a private meeting over the weekend. Some in the widely divergent domain name community bristled at the fact that the board held its first meeting behind closed doors.

ICANN has no official power--yet. But the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration has sent ICANN a letter stating that ICANN is the government's top choice to run the domain name system once the government turns it over to the private sector.

However, ICANN must first address several issues raised by the Commerce Department that center on its need to be more publicly accountable for its actions.

The meeting is likely to be well-attended, and also contentious.

ICANN said it called the meeting "to let the new ICANN board hear the views and concrete suggestions of the Internet community on matters of current importance to the work of ICANN," according to a press statement. "The board members wish to understand the issues and to engage in open dialogue on ways to achieve the goals of the government's White Paper on domain names.

The U.S. government currently contracts out domain naming responsibilities to different organizations. For the past two years it has been trying to find a way to gracefully hand off control of the domain name management system, without which the Internet simply would stop working.