ICANN Vancouver 2005: Update

For the past few days I have been at the ICANN meeting that is taking place here in Vancouver. I mentioned the meeting in an earlier post. It has been both enlightening and somewhat troubling to observe some of the workshops, round tables, and meetings that are taking place.

Until now I had no idea what went on behind the scenes at the organization that has such a large influence on what happens with the Internet. I didn’t know there were so many issues and various interest groups involved. After two days of immersion in the process I can confidently say that I still don’t understand most of what is going on, but I do understand that there are some fundamental flaws with the organization itself. I won’t go into detail here, but the biggest problem seems to be how hard it is for the average person to have a say in what goes on at ICANN. I could be mistaken, but, as I understand it, there are some pretty intense hoops that need to be jumped through just to get on the “At Large Advisory Committee” which, in reality, can only suggest things to the ICANN board.

The best part of the last two days has been the opportunity to meet all kinds of cool people like Susan Crawford, Wendy Seltzer, and Joi Ito. Talking to everyone has probably been the most informative part of the event.

ICANN Vancouver 2005 is at the Westin Bayshore conference centre and runs until December 4th. It’s free to register and you can do so at the event.

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