The expiration of the Joint Project Agreement that gives the U.S. Commerce Dept. accountability over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers--a situation that many people around the world find unfair--is scheduled for this September. ICANN and others began looking at options for the post-JPA era at least 18 months ago, but at a hearing last week with U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher's House Subcommittee on Communications, technology and the Internet, it became clear that many of the same fears and problems that have lingered like dark clouds over ICANN still exist.
Subcommittee members expressed concerns about ICANN's economic standing, as well as the effect that issuing of new top-level domain names would have on the Wild West-like marketplace of the Internet. Some also were concerned about security if the U.S. government relinquishes control, and the possibility that some countries with less progressive civil rights policies could gain more control in global Internet matters. Ultimately, as Domain Name Wire reports, committee members, some of whom may not even really understand what ICANN does, may want to extend the JPA longer, which is not going to go over well in the international Internet community.
- Domain Name Wire has a series of posts on the hearing
ICANN was cognizant of the JPA's expiration in March 2008
ICANN took heat during the Internet Governance Forum