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ICANN Finalizes Plan To Shed Elected Board Members

December 16, 2002

The group that oversees the Internet's addressing system this weekend put the finishing touches on a plan that will remove democratically elected members from its board of directors. 

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will reorganize its board of directors in what it said is an attempt to halt internecine bickering. The reshuffling, which was finalized over the weekend in Amsterdam, will eliminate the seats now occupied by board members selected by Internet users in public elections. 

ICANN President Stuart Lynn said the reorganization would give Internet users more opportunities to participate in online governance by encouraging the creation of regional user groups. 

Opponents said the plan will weaken the public's voice in ICANN. 

ICANN's intentions are laudable, but its future actions will determine whether the plan works, said Center for Democracy and Technology Policy's Rob Courtney. 

"There is a lot of work that still needs to take place for anyone to believe that ICANN's structural and procedural problems are fixed," he said. 

Both the group's cheerleaders and detractors said they will closely observe the level of public input in future ICANN decision-making. 

ICANN has billed the plan's completion as the last chapter in its evolution, but some parts were written loosely or left blank in case changes are needed. 

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