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Friday, March 17, 2017

ICANN-58 meets in Denmark


©Mark Ollig


The beautiful seaside city of Copenhagen played host for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meeting last week.

This was ICANN’s first meeting ever held in Denmark, and it drew more than 2,000 people.

“The Internet opens our eyes and minds to the world around us,” said Denmark Danish Minister of Culture Mette Bock.

“Denmark tops the digital economy society index in the European Union, and is in the top 10 UN ICT [United Nations International Telecommunication Union] Development Index,” she added.

Bock commented on how Denmark is very adaptive when it comes to new technology, and how Danish citizens are “the most advanced in the use of internet in the European Union, and we are leading the way in terms of adapting tablets and smartphones.”

Jean-Jacques Sahel, ICANN’s vice-president, gave the official ICANN 58 keynote welcome, and began with a description of the city of Copenhagen, which he described as the “beautiful coastal capital of Denmark.”

Sahel talked about the importance of collaboration and participation within the non-profit ICANN organization.

He also mentioned Denmark is the home of LEGO plastic building blocks.

To this, I drew an immediate association; I’ve personally contributed to the LEGO account receivables by purchasing numerous LEGO block sets for my younger relatives building and engineering pleasure.

“ICANN is an independent organization, ready to take on the next challenges in shaping the internet’s future,” said Sahel.

Started in 1998, ICANN is a not-for-profit organization comprised of people living in countries around the world.

ICANN is now the recognized controlling authority of all Internet Protocol address space allocation, protocol identifier assignments, and the generic and country code Top-Level Domain name management system.

The US had been the Internet’s Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA); or what many call the internet’s address book.

Six months ago, this authority was transferred to ICANN.

Setup as a private-public partnership, ICANN is committed to “preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.”

I checked the governance bylaws on the ICANN website, and noted article 1, section 1.1 states the mission of ICANN is to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.

ICANN coordinates the allocation and assignment of names in the root zone of the Domain Name System (DNS), and coordinates the development and implementation of policies concerning the registration of second-level domain names in generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

Because of the 2012 ICANN gTLDs expansion program, more than 1,000 new generic top-level domains have been added to the internet.

Examples of well-known gTLDs include: .com, .org, .gov, .mil, and .edu.

We can thank ICANN every time we type in a domain name, as the DNS will translate the name into an IP address, which connects us to the website assigned for that address.

The DNS manages the IP address associated with public website names.

So, when we type www.google.com into our web browser, the DNS takes us to IP address 172.217.6.1, which is Google’s Mountain View, CA website IP address.

ICANN’s complete (and lengthy) descriptive bylaws, and various section and subsections can be read at https://go.icann.org/2n616xT.

“One World, One Internet,” is the statement next to the ICANN symbol on its webpage, and so it makes sense to host its meetings in locations throughout the world.

ICANN hosts three meetings a year in various parts of the world.

The first ICANN meeting; ICANN 1, was held in Singapore in March 1999.

There have been six meetings in the US: ICANN 4, 7, 11, 30, 40, and 51.

The ICANN 59 meeting will be hosted by Johannesburg, Africa.

Future meeting locations have been planned through October 2020, when ICANN 69 will tentatively be in a country located in Europe.

ICANN currently has 10 offices located throughout the world.

Its US offices are in Los Angeles, CA and Washington, DC.

The English website for ICANN is https://www.icann.org/en.

Twitter hashtag #ICANN58 was used to send out messages and video originating from the ICANN 58 meeting in Copenhagen.

Videos from ICANN are available from the ICANN News YouTube channel, http://bit.ly/2n75AUW.

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