ICANN reform committee proposes new bylaws for critical change

International

The Evolution and Reform Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has issued its Final Implementation Report and Recommendations. The report appends new bylaws that are designed to implement the committee's recommendations and completely replace the existing ICANN bylaws.

The report, which claims to be explanatory not authoritative, discusses the critical changes proposed by the committee regarding mission, structure, processes, funding and participation. The new bylaws redraft ICANN's mission statement and core values.

Proposed changes include:

  • the creation of an At Large Advisory Committee, to encourage informed participation in ICANN;

  • more effective integration of the Government Advisory Committee, to address criticisms that "a purely private-sector body cannot effectively carry out the ICANN mission"; and

  • the revision of ICANN's processes to address the need for structure in policy development and to include the Office of Ombudsman to serve as "an advocate for fairness within ICANN.

The report describes ICANN's funding problems as the "easiest […] to solve" and predicts that sufficient monies exist to support the implementation of the recommendations. However, it acknowledges that the reform initiatives have not yet successfully remedied ICANN's lack of participation by critical entities and advises that including each of these communities is next on the agenda.

Arlene Hahn, Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, New York

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