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ICANN names 13 to advisory committee

The new, nongovernmental authority for the Internet's infrastructure takes a small step toward making itself accountable by naming a key advisory committee.

The new, nongovernmental authority for the Internet's infrastructure today took a small step toward making itself accountable to the public by naming a key advisory committee.

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 "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:

  • George Conrades, chairman (ICANN; United States)

  • Izumi Aizu (Asia Network Research; Asia & Pacific Internet Association; Malaysia/Japan)

  • Diane Cabell (Fausett, Gaeta & Lund; United States)

  • Greg Crew (ICANN; Australia)

  • Paval Duggal (Cyberlaw Consultant; India)

  • Kanchana Kanchanasut (Asian Institute of Technology; Thailand)

  • Daniel Kaplan (Consultant; Internet Society France; France)

  • Siegfried Langenbach (CSL GmbH; Germany)

  • Nii Quaynor (Network Computer Systems; Ghana)

  • Oscar Robles Garay (Latin American & Caribbean Networks Forum/ENRED; Mexico)

  • Dan Steinberg (Open Root Server Confederation; Canada)

  • Tadeo Takahashi (Internet Society Brazil; Brazil)

  • Jonathan Zittrain, non-voting liaison to Berkman Center membership study (Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School; United States)