ICANN Leader Calls for Greater International Cooperation in Addressing Internet Security at Brussels Meeting

By June 21, 2010 ENUM No Comments

ICANN logo[news release] Defending the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) against attacks by “miscreants with malicious intent” requires increased international cooperation and objective data, according to the President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN.

Citing his “strong personal commitment to ensuring the security, stability and unity of the global Internet”, Rod Beckstrom argued for more cooperation among international Internet bodies. “ICANN cannot resolve these issues alone. We need to work within our family of organizations – large and small, formal and informal – to draw on the wealth of expertise around us.”

“ICANN’s mission is to ensure a secure, stable and unified global Internet. We must be an active catalyst for its defense,” he continued. “Our assumption must be that security can always be improved.”

Beckstrom made the remarks Monday during the opening session of ICANN’s 38th international meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

“The DNS is essential for a single, interoperable and reliable Internet. No one wants to experience in real life the repercussions of a major DNS outage,” Beckstrom told attendees.”We have an opportunity to take strong preventative measures now so that we may try to avoid a major disruption to our daily lives.”

“The Internet and the DNS are central to global communications, industry, communities and the world economy. ICANN consults widely within the community on cyber security issues that relate to the DNS. We have moved ahead vigorously on a number of key security initiatives, including the DNSSEC root signing now taking place.”

Several sessions at ICANN’s Brussels meeting will focus directly on the enhanced domain protection afforded by the DNSSEC security protocol.

The ICANN CEO also expressed concern about challenges to the bottom up model of Internet governance that ICANN represents. “The future of that model is once again being debated in international bodies like the United Nations and the International Telecommunications Union,” said Beckstrom. “We need your help, through every means available to you, to counter the misinformation and ensure that governments understand what is at stake when these issues are debated in the UN General Assembly later this year.

Other Internet issues to be addressed in Brussels include:

  • Generic top-level Domains: gTLDs are the end portion of an Internet address name, such as “.com” or “.org”, that are not associated with any specific country. Under a new developing program, the number of gTLDs will eventually be expanded from its current 21 to include almost any word, in almost any language [this implies every word will become a gTLD – need to get concept of availability in there]. The fourth draft of a proposed “Applicant Guidebook,” which spells out the rules and procedures of applying for a new gTLD, has just been published, and the meeting will afford participants a prime opportunity to discuss the latest draft. Please click here to review the Applicant Guidebook.
  • The Affirmation of Commitments: Last year ICANN and the U.S. government signed an “Affirmation of Commitments.” The agreement requires ICANN to conduct accountability reviews that will go to the global ICANN community. Attendees will discuss how ICANN intends to meet these accountability standards in furtherance of promoting competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice. Click here to find more information about the AoC.

All meetings are open to the public. Registration is free and reporters will have access to the Internet via ICANN’s free WiFi system. For journalists and all others who are unable to attend the Brussels meeting, many of the sessions will be webcast live.


A recording of Rod Beckstrom’s opening speech to the Brussels conference will be uploaded as soon as possible to: icann.org

A recording of a news conference with ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom and Chairman of the Board, Peter Dengate Thrush will also be uploaded as soon as possible to: icann.org/press.

You can find more details about the Brussels meeting here: brussels38.icann.org

About ICANN:

To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer – a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without tht coordination we wouldn’t have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit: icann.org.