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ICANN Forefather Wants More Democratic Internet Governance

July 23, 2002

Public participation may be messy, but the organization that manages the Internet's addressing system must give ordinary Internet users more say in its decisions, one of the men responsible for creating the domain-name management body said today. 

"Expediency doesn't justify a lack of democratization," said Ira Magaziner, former senior adviser to President Clinton for policy development. 

Magaziner, who set in motion the creation -- and U.S. Government recognition -- of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), made a rare public appearance today at a Cato Institute forum on Internet governance. Magaziner currently works for private consulting firm SJS Advisors. 

ICANN manages the Domain Name System (DNS) under a series of agreements with the U.S. government. Those agreements are up for renewal in September. 

When ICANN was established, Magaziner and others involved with the process expected that the body would quickly adopt polices to establish public participation, Magaziner said. 

"I remain disappointed that that has not happened in the ways I would have hoped," Magaziner said, adding that if he were still in a position of power over ICANN, he would lean on the body to increase democratic participation. 

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