ICANN meeting: Egyptian host demands independence for network administration
At the start of the 33rd meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Cairo, Tarek Kamel, Egypt's Minister for Communications and Information Technology, has called for ICANN to become an independent organization. Referring to the imminent expiry of ICANN's contract with the US Government next September, he said he expected ICANN to become a genuinely-independent, transparent and stable organization. Kamel is considered to be an important advocate of ICANN in the Arab world.
Welcoming the network administrators, he listed three great challenges that he said the international internet society must face up to. The new capabilities offered by the internet on the basis of P2P communications must go in the right direction, he said, serving to advance social and economic progress. In second place, Kamel talked of the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 addresses. He said it would have to be ensured that developing countries were given the share of the address space they were entitled to.
A further serious challenge, he said, was the subject of cybersecurity, a regular item on the agenda at meetings of Arab and African states. It was not government authorities who should enforce security, he said: solutions should rather come from the bottom up. The community of technical experts, who knew the problems, should take the initiative. He said he was hoping for good suggestions to be made by the time of the fourth meeting of the Internet Governance Forum – to be hosted by Egypt next year – both for a framework providing increased security on the net and also for a system of global network administration.
Questions about the political future of ICANN, under discussion in response to a report by the ICANN President's strategy committee, were subordinated this week to a debate about the procedure for applying for new top-level domains. Shortly before the meeting in Cairo, ICANN had published a draft for applicants, containing proposed details and costs.
ICANN President Paul Twomey said the proposals had been well thought through, but were in no way the final word. He said in his official working report that criticism and counter-proposals were expected. Twomey defended the proposed cost structure, in which the basic fee alone amounts to $185,000 per applicant, insisting it would be used exclusively to finance the complicated application process and rejecting criticism of the considerably increased salaries for ICANN management that have recently become known. He stressed that no part of the fees would go to his salary.
Twomey agreed with Kamel in his assessment of the topics of security and IPv6, attributing a high place to both on the ICANN agenda. He said ICANN was working to safeguard the Domain Name System with the introduction of DNSSEC, which would also be under discussion until Friday. Twomey mentioned the monitoring efforts of the private network administration directed at ensuring compliance with registration rules. A total of 13 registrars had had their authorization withdrawn in recent years, he said, because of contraventions. As though to provide proof of this, ICANN once more sent a notice of termination to EstDomains and withdrew the authorization of its registrar immediately before the ICANN meeting.
- US Government wants to retain control of DNS root zone
- IP address management group recommends fast introduction of DNS Security
- VeriSign wants to share (a small part of) the DNSSEC keys
- The US to implement DNSSEC in all federal offices