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Senators to Quiz New ICANN Leader

July 31, 2003 

Paul Twomey to Face Questions on Governance Reform, Internet Security
Australian businessman Paul Twomey is scheduled to make his debut appearance on Capitol Hill today to answer senators' questions about the legitimacy and public accountability of the group that manages the Internet's worldwide addressing system. 

Twomey will appear before a congressional panel to discuss how the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) intends to remain accountable to world governments, corporations and Internet users as it completes a massive internal reform that began before Twomey assumed the organization's leadership post last March.

Twomey took over as president just months after ICANN gutted and reworked its entire governance structure in a bid to speed its decision-making process.

In the process, the group abandoned the practice of letting individual Internet users elect a portion of its board of directors. The new structure lets interested Internet users around the world form regional "at-large" groups that would advise the ICANN board on policyissues.

Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), who chairs the Senate subcommittee responsible for supervising ICANN, said he wants to make sure that ICANN remains accountable to Internet stakeholders and that the public be involved with decisions that affect the Internet. Burns also is considering whether to introduce a bill that would increase the Commerce Department's oversight of ICANN, an aide said.

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