New Zealand lawyer Peter Dengate Thrush was elected chairman of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and numbers (ICANN), the body that regulates the technical structure of the internet, today.
Dengate Thrush has been associated with the body for many years. He replaces Vinton Cerf, the man who invented TCP/IP, the protocol that is used to carry data on the net.
Dengate Thrush was the favourite to take the job and will supervise a major overhaul in the net which will see the number of internet addresses multiply vastly as a new version of IP is introduced, IPv6.
He was elected unanimously at an ICANN meeting in Los Angeles.
Speaking after the vote, Dengate Thrush gave some perspectives on the organisation's future. "ICANN is a unique model supporting a global community. The model works because it stands for one global Internet that is coordinated not controlled," Dengate Thrush said. "I think our biggest challenges are about serving the global audience. At a technical level there is the challenge of introducing international scripts at the top level for both gTLDS and ccTLDs, as well as new processes for introducing what may be a large number of generic top level domains," Dengate Thrush said. "At the organisational level we need to expand our global activity and constantly increase international involvement, as well work on the completion of the Joint Project Agreement with the United States Government," Dengate Thrush said.
An intellectual property specialist, Dengate Thrush is a past president of InternetNZ, the local internet governance organisation.
Last year tragedy struck while Dengate Thrush was attending an ICANN meeting in Morocco. He was informed by phone that his wife, father and brother among others had been killed in one of the worst car crashes ever seen in Wellington.