Discuss Your Role in ICANN
Silicon Valley Town-Hall-Style Meeting for Internet Users
VeriSign conference center
487 East Middlefield Road
Mountain View, CA
Sign-up/meeting information: www.atlargestudy.org
The impetus for the independent At-Large Study Committee's (ALSC) open-to-public meeting is to seek input on involving Internet users in ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). San Jose Mercury News journalist/commentator Dan Gillmor will moderate a panel of speakers and facilitate public discussion.
Most of the world's 400-plus million Internet users are unaware that decisions by ICANN help determine what Internet names they can use for Websites or e-mail, or how the underlying system works and can affect their online activities. "Although ICANN's work is primarily technical in nature (and does not concern Internet content and other controversial issues), its decisions affect people all over the world who are using (or will use) the Net," said Carl Bildt, ALSC Chairman. "The practical aspects of how to involve Internet users will be explored at the ALSC's Silicon Valley meeting. We chose this location because we are particularly interested in hearing from people who rely on the Internet for their livelihoods as marketers, engineers, product managers, Web designers, ASP hosts, content creators and the like, as well as for their activities as individuals and citizens."
ICANN is the international non-profit corporation responsible for coordinating the technical aspects of the global Internet, including domain names and IP address numbers. At ICANN's request, the ALSC is conducting a worldwide outreach, discussion, research, and consensus-building campaign to determine the best methods to ensure that individual Internet users' voices are represented within ICANN and its policy-making processes. The ALSC's work will culminate with a final report for ICANN's Board and the public in November of this year.
"We'd really like to hear from people who understand the issues but whose lives do not revolve around ICANN and Internet policies - we want their input as to how they can best have influence without having it become their lives' work. A couple of hours spent at our outreach meeting is a good start!" said Esther Dyson, ALSC member. "This is the chance for people to make their voices heard - not about *whether* the public should have a wayto be represented in ICANN's structure and policy-making, but *how*."
When established in 1998, ICANN committed to creating a method for the global Internet community to provide input to and accountability from ICANN. Thus far, the method has been a subject of contentious debate. This is the job facing the ALSC - and we hope to get more of the public to participate!