Internet Society Calls For Greater Autonomy for Key Organization


Reston, VA and Geneva, Switzerland - 26th July 2006 - Speaking during today's US Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) public meeting on the transition of the Internet's domain name system (DNS) to the private sector, ISOC President and CEO Lynn St. Amour outlined how key Internet organizations need to have enough autonomy to respond appropriately to the fast-changing technical and operational environment of the Internet.

ISOC's comments come as the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the US Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) concerning administration of the DNS approaches expiry at the end of September 2006.

ISOC has always promoted the self-regulation model of the Internet, and supports ICANN and the role it plays in coordinating certain aspects of the "collaborative" Internet management model. Furthermore, ISOC believes that ICANN along with its related organizations and their supporting processes are now ready to take the next step in the move to support the Internet's management and development in a private sector model, just as envisioned by the US Government in 1998.

"While we recognize and applaud the 'light hand' the US Government has always taken with respect to the Internet, we believe it is time to move to a minimal, transitional MOU where the US Government plays a 'backstop' role that would only come into play in the event of a serious organizational failure," said Ms. St. Amour. "We consider the MOU in its present form no longer necessary or appropriate at this stage of the Internet and ICANN=92s development. ISOC believes a clear unambiguous signal needs to be made internationally that we are entering a new phase and taking steps to move to the private sector model per the original vision of the US Government."

ISOC believes the success of the Internet lies in the fact that it is a "network of networks" characterized by distributed management and a minimum of regulation with operational and governance mechanisms being implemented as locally as possible using bottom-up community based processes built on publicly developed principles. These principles and processes have enabled the Internet to grow rapidly and adapt to new demands and opportunities -- and this is where the strength and stability of the Internet model lies.

Note to Editors: The full text of today's ISOC statement is available here:

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ISOC's response to the NTIA's Notice of Inquiry is available here:
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About ISOC

The Internet Society is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. With offices in Washington, DC, and Geneva, Switzerland, it is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. ISOC is the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and other Internet-related bodies who together play a critical role in ensuring that the Internet develops in a stable and open manner. For over 14 years ISOC has run international network training programs for developing countries and these have played a vital role in setting up the Internet connections and networks in virtually every country connecting to the Internet during this time.

For further details: Internet Society E-mail:

1775 Wiehle Ave., Suite 102 Reston, VA 20190-5108, USA

4 rue des Falaises CH-1205 Geneva Switzerland

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Peter Godwin
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