InternetNZ international chairman sees victory for country-code rights

A meeting of internet body ICANN has achieved recognition of a new structure for country-code top-level domain organisations (ccTLDs) like InternetNZ to run their own affairs.

A meeting of internet body ICANN has achieved recognition of a new structure for country-code top-level domain organisations (ccTLDs) like InternetNZ to run their own affairs, says Peter Dengate Thrush.

As head of InternetNZ’s international affairs committee he was instrumental in steering ccTLDs through often complex and fraught negotiations, which were concluded at the meeting in Montreal last month.

After various attempts by ICANN to exert control over ccTLDs, the new structure incorporates a substantially independent ccTLD Support Organisation (ccSO). Though the ICANN board has the right to examine policies formed by the ccTLDs and their organisation, it cannot change these policies, says Dengate Thrush.

“The board can ratify or remit [send back to the ccSO]; it cannot remake. We have won one of the most important battles,” Dengate Thrush says.

The ccSO has two seats on the ICANN board – it wanted three – but the structure for managing ccTLDs as approved by ICANN is very close to that originally designed by the ccTLDs.

The decisions at Montreal are a significant step in a long struggle, first with ICANN’s tendency to concentrate almost exclusively on international top-level domains like .com and .net and relegate country-code needs to a much lower level of importance, and subsequently what the ccTLD lobby saw as an attempt by ICANN to exert undue control over the operation of the internet domain space in countries outside the US.

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